Loyle Carner's A Little Late Is The Best Thing To Happen To UK Rap In Years

A possible turning point for British rap music AND it's a free download - what more could you want?
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A possible turning point for British rap music AND it's a free download - what more could you want?

We're big fans of promoting British rap at Sabotage Times.

It's gotten an unfair run with many on these shores, swept under the carpet as people made way for the bigger, bashier sounds eminating from across the Atlantic but with an ear to the ground and a decent broadband connection, the roots of a healthy-as-fuck scene have sprouted in a big way - and Loyle Carner's EP 'A Little Late' might just be the impetus it needs to finally be taken seriously.

It feels like a long time since Klashnekoff and Lewis Parker and Jehst were threatening to do the same.

The South London MC's rhymes are heartfelt, uncompromising, elastic; he raps with charisma and a well-worn humour that take just enough edges off a melancholic tip that even songs such as Cantona (a heartfelt ode to his father, a recurring theme) never lapse into the sappy or the mawkish.

This is true London rap and Carner's voice is a huge element: at a time when more than a few rappers are affecting a Americanised twang (sorry Rejjie, lad, we're looking at you), Loyle stays loyal to his roots and never strives to be something he isn't, his music comes across as personal and genuine. Try saying that about many other rappers.

The production from fellow Londoner Rebel Kleff is also supreme, nodding to familar touchstones like J Dilla and Pete Rock without ever becoming a facsimile. The brilliantly smooth October features the sweet vocals of Kiko Bun and is the summer jam that this summer deserved, delivered a month or two too late. EP opener BFG opens acapella before a beautiful Donnie & Joe Emerson sample rides out under boom-bap drums and is possibly the best thing the rapper has done to date. If there's been a more heartbreakingly real moment in rap in the last five years than Loyle rapping, voice cracking, "Of course I'm sad, I miss my fucking Dad..." then you're gonna need to pull the other one.

Remember the name.

https://soundcloud.com/loyle-carner/sets/a-little-late-ep