New EP from Sheffield’s Poet Laureate, Otis Mensah, is essential listening! Mum’s House Philosopher sees Otis incorporating his progressing love affair with Jazz more into his style.
As referenced in the lyric “I’m like Rakim mixed with Joy Division” on his recent UKHH Bars filmed last weekend outside Camden Assembly, Mensah’s style to date already combined a diverse range of influences. Making a name for himself thusfar blending lyrics that stand on their own as poems, hip hop instrumental stylings and Indie-band-esque melodies the MC has carved a lane of his own since day.
With Jazz pushing more to the forefront of the sonic canvas on Mum’s House Philosopher, its natural that this prominence of one of rap’s closest relatives has nudged the poet’s sound more into classicly hip hop territory. The result is probably something that fans and yet-to-be-converts are both likely to be pleasantly surprised by. Without simplifying any of the elements that have contributed to his unique style so far, there’s something more cohesive about the EP as a body of work in the way that everything is grounded in old school influenced, warm hip hop instrumentals.
Lyrically the project is as impressive as would be expected from Otis Mensah, fusing heartbreak, humour and topic matter with depth into his complicated rhythm-defying delivery as brilliantly as he ever has. The MC’s signature stylistics continue to manifest themselves in the form of breaks from complexly fluid flows into sudden anthemic outbursts such as the chorus on single ‘Outside The Cave’ and a humble introspection to the verses throughout.
Production for the EP by The Intern is pretty flawless across all 6 tracks and contributes greatly to Mum’s House Philosopher’s feeling of continuity and completeness. Samples/instrumentation from start to finish exude texture, complimenting snare and kick sounds that are intentionally stripped down, beating a pulse that keeps things rhythmically very hip hop.
One for Otis fans and hip hop purists alike. Playlist this for chill vibes and food for thought.
Mum’s House Philosopher is out now and available to Download from Otis Mensah’s bandcamp.