“We don’t know where we’re going but we sure make a lot of noise getting there!” - so goes the tongue-in-cheek opening to Rapping With Paul White, the gifted South Londoner’s first full-length vocal project. It’s another left turn after last year’s intriguing Paul White & The Purple Brain excursion into prog and psych-rock and deserves to establish its mastermind as one of the most versatile and individual producers working today.
Stones Throw artist Guilty Simpson appears twice, his grim warnings perfectly matching the sparse, brooding production on lead single Trust. Gap-toothed, mohawked Danny Brown is one of rap’s rising stars – a recent signing to A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold label, his lewd punchlines top White’s exuberant production on the not-safe-for-work One Of Life’s Pleasures. There’s humour in New Yorker Homeboy Sandman’s turn too, as one of hip-hop’s most likeable lyricists recounts his cultural missteps during a trip to London over a quintessential Paul White track.
It’s not all Americans on the mic: Jehst shows why he’s one of the UK’s most respected MCs on Indigo Glow, and One-Handed Music label mate Tranqill lays waste to Rotten Apples in the album’s grittiest moment. And how may hip-hop records feature a folk singer from Wigan, Nancy Elizabeth, laughing her way through a bizarre Edward Lear poem? There’s plenty for fans of Paul’s instrumental work too: from waltzing drum machines to medieval vocoders, the interludes are as compelling as the vocal tracks.
released 21 August 2011
Produced by Paul White
A&R by Alex Chase
Mastered by Mandy Parnell
Illustration by Penny Davenport
Design by Made In Earnest