If there’s one man in Britain who can truly claim to not give a fuck, it’s Datkid. The Bristol emcee has made a career out of saying the unsayable and throwing two thoroughly pungent fingers to convention. Now back with his third album, Datkid is ready to cement his reputation as the king of crud.
Despite being regularly touted as ‘one to watch’, Datkid has been earning accolades as part of the Split Prophets crew since 2012. Since then he’s dropped two fire LPs (including the instant classic Teeth Ledger) and guested on some of the dirtiest tunes of the past five years.
The rapper’s persona is built on pushing boundaries, and he delights in spitting the most outrageous flows possible. Look beyond the shock value, however, and you’ll find a man at the top of his game. As you’d guess from the album title, Confessions of a Crud Lord is gritty, grimy and grubbier than a McDonald’s toilet at 3 am. Bars land like a rusty shank between the ribs. Tracks like ‘Eyes’ (with some reliably insane bars from NY heavyweight Conway The Machine) and ‘Heroin’ leave you reeling like a tightrope walker with vertigo.
Even considering the lyrical deftness of Confessions, the secret ingredient here is Leaf Dog’s reliably slick production. The album hangs on Datkid’s effortless delivery, but the soundscapes composed by the Four Owls’ producer make it. From the Mediterranean-infused instrumentals of ‘Hoes’ to the rapid-fire bars of ‘Myth’, Leaf Dog’s presence propels Confessions from another quality Datkid release to a thing of (admittedly cruddy) beauty.
So sure – it’s fair to say that Datkid doesn’t give a shit what you think, but it would be unwise to assume he doesn’t care about anything. His verbal dexterity and gloriously depraved lyrics single him out as a master of the craft, and he’s clearly striving to carve out his own corner. With Confessions of a Crud Lord, Datkid has proven if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. After all, as he says on ‘Blank Page’: “What’s the point in living if you’re just surviving?”
Confessions of A Crud Lord drops on the 17th of May on High Focus Records. Grab yourself a pre-order here.