Eight bags was the asking price. In return his people of pledges would get their hands on a well-overdue debut LP in its many formats. With eight grand he could finally record the solo album he was destined to make. By October 6th 2014, his crowd-funder hit £16,665. In one month he made more money than most of the grown-ups in his neighbourhood, he had more money than he could spend; he had it all.
The next day, he began to honour his 465 supporters with an extended double vinyl. You know why? It was outta RESPECT.
It’s been 20 long years in the waiting for Nottingham MC, Scorzayzee to get Out Da Ville – into his own to piece together this, his emphatic and predictably brilliant debut. Aeon: Peace To The Puzzle is a 28-track personal take on all things Scorz takes a personal interest in. Sprinkled with subtlety, rolled up in rhymes and fired up with flows, Scorz assuringly packs a Pesci-punch; hard-hittingly real – always entertaining.
Having been on the Notts scene and beyond for over two decades many hands were, as you might expect, lent to piece this puzzle together. The production alone features… *deep breathe* Nick Stez, Dj Fever, Juga-Naut, P-Brothers, Mecca:83, Stejallan, Owais, Zetia & TheElementz. Couple this fine array of intsrumentals with high-profile collabs from the likes of Chester P and fellow outlaw, Cappo and you can start to appreciate the sheer magnitude of this release. Everyone in the country wants to hear it. Even filmaker Shane Meadows chipped in a cool grand for Scorz’ album song-book in return. That Is England.
Whoever you are, you’ll have a run-of-tracks which strike a chord with you. Mine, as a fellow truant At The Age Of Innocence, begins with ‘Old School‘, where Scorz relives childhood memories he couldn’t wait to forget. Next up, ‘The Heart’ features excerpts from a Hamza Yusuf lecture, a poignant accompaniment for the Notts rapper to spill his emotions only to then preach from the poverty line with positivity and Nick Stez in ‘Money Worries’. As ‘Love Em All’ rings out a delicious beat which could easily be mistaken for 9th Wonder, Scorz shows he’s gotta lotta LaMotta in his lines, lyrically sublime, making other rappers look fooled for always Raging ’bout some Bull.
The lippy hippy in me fell in love with ‘Live Free’, beholding a beat which fluttered in my mind all day after the first play. The arrogant grammar-Nazi in me instantly reacted to Scorz’ opening verse to ‘Good Grammar’, smartly confusing colloquialisms and ‘good English’ to put me to shame. The altruistic ego in me sat and took note of Scorz heart-felt wisdom in ‘Street Angel’ – the hood Samaritan in these Mean Streets. The nostalgic hipster in me bopped and nodded to Scorz’ homage to hip-hops golden year of ‘1995’.
Peace to the Puzzle exceeds all the expectations and more. Scorz has always had a flawless flow, as flourishingly flaunted on albums’ penultimate tune, ‘Flow Sicker’. From royal conspiracies to privy politics, he has always had something to say and been unafraid to say it. But there’s more to Scorz. He has a feel-good sincerity about him much in the same way Brother Ali can just cheer you up when you’re feeling down. Rather than rant or piously preach, Peace to the Puzzle is more of a friendly conversation; I could feel Scorzayzee talkin’ to me. I mean, I was the only one there so he must’ve been talkin’ to me.
With so much to laud in this double-LP, it’s difficult to pin-point personal highlights (although, if I or anyone else did pick their best 10 out of 28, you’d always end up with one of the greatest UKHH LP’s, ever). “The entire 103 minutes is full the best flows you’ll ever hear,” I told Hans, my metro-sexual house-mate. “Vye is it sehr long?” he asked. I dunno. Perhaps Scorz is making up for lost time? Perhaps he’s just putting the extra cash to where it ought to go. Fuck does it matter? Sa’matterwichu? SA’MATTERWICHU??
Scorzayzee had been in and out of the UK scene for a while, due to his well-documented episode of schizophrenia. Even though at times it felt like he lost his identity, acting alone amongst a crowd of unknowns, the truth is, he never really Departed. And if Salvador Dali and Spike Milligan were examples to go by, a hint of madness never hindered artistic expression. In fact, that’s what made them geniuses. Couple this with Scorz’ relentless work rate and you have the final piece to the puzzle. Take a step back. Admire the mosaic in all it’s lyrical beauty.
So with four on the floor it’s Scorz for the cause. He’s back on the radar and under your pores; a tour de force who demands your applause before he smashes up your winning hand behind Casino doors. In a nice way, of course.
Review by Umrish Pandya – @_khansolo
Aeon: Peace To The Puzzle is out now – click here to buy