We live in trying times. Brexit, Trump, the impending threat of nuclear war, the resurgence of autotune; it’s enough to make anybody question just how long the human race has left. Thankfully, there are still some people making a case for our existence, even if it’s by pointing out that we’re all fucked.
After dropping their 2017 debut as 40% of the South London group Gatecrasherz, Jack Diggs & Big Toast are back to present Call It On and stick two fingers to the “bedwetter trendsetters.” An instant underground classic, Call It On serves up a helping of boom bap beats with a side of wry British humour to deliver a bitch slap to the Tarquin’s of 2018 Britain.
After establishing his credentials with his 2013 debut Dirty Finger Nails, Diggs’ production is on top form here. ‘Nocturnal’ sways like a Japanese skyscraper, smooth bars intercut with a smorgasbord of samples and more scratching than a crocodile at a dermatitis convention.
With Call it On, Toast and Diggs are angrier than ever. Razor sharp put-downs rub shoulders with delicious digs at everything from triggered teens to celebrity worship, all wrapped up in a sneering, caustic indictment of modern British society.
Simultaneously, the brothers aren’t above the odd schoolyard-cypher put down. Bars like “No difference whores, tarts and bitches, or shitty emcees with a poor grasp of English,” could go either way, but it’s delivered with such a bone-dry humour, it’s hard not to crack a grin.
Although Call it On is their first release as a duo, their time working alongside each other – not to mention with every other labelmate from Revorg Records – has honed Diggs & Toast’s delivery to a fine art. ‘Twelve Quid’ closes the album with a kick like a shotty, channeling the spirit of early Jehst to tear apart the entitled, royal wedding loving young-Tory mindset.
Above all else, you get the feeling that the London duo really is as cynical as they come across. Looking around at the world they paint, it’s understandable why. They might spit bars “more dead than a Tory’s conscience,” but as long as we have narrators like Big Toast and Jack Diggs to shine a light on the austerity, food banks and Jacob Rees-Mogg Jnr’s hiding beneath the surface of our ‘Strong and Stable’ nation, there might be hope just yet.