P Money Live and Direct Track by Track Review
Regarded as one of the veterans in the grime scene, P Money has firmly established himself over the past decade, through a plethora of hard-hitting mixtapes, legendary features, (Pow 2011) and a remarkable consistency of flows and rhymes.
The fact that until now, P Money has not actually released a full major label album is rather staggering, but it emphasises the enormity of just how successful he has become, without the push of having to release album after album. Through countless mixtapes, touring the country over and over, and been a founding member of regular grime scene affiliates, the OGz crew, it hasn’t been a requirement for P Money to drop an album.
Today however, that album that has been so long in the making has finally come to fruition, in the form of Live & Direct. Carrying an impressive total of 15 tracks, and featuring some of grime’s standout names, P Money looks to finally cement his name in a long list of impressive albums released in 2016 by fellow grime emcees.
Live and Direct Track by Track Review
The introduction is a deep, meaningful, piano influenced track, seeing P list the disappointments at his father’s misdemeanours throughout his childhood. The track switches up midway through from the gentle piano synths to a striding bass that sees P Money’s flow pick up a few notches. A similar flow and beat to Meek Mill’s classic Dreams and Nightmares intro, this is a strong way to begin the album, both lyrically and production wise.
The second track certainly sees P Money revert to the standard 140bpm grime flow, with production handled by D33CO. The heavy dubstep influence in this beat is present, and it is the sound that resonates strongly with lots of P Money’s music. The overriding of many kicks, certainly gives the track a stamp of old school traditional grime, which I expect a lot more of in this album.
Welcome to England – ft Solo 45
The first feature of the album is from BBK hype-man Solo 45. The track certainly gives off a moshpit feeling, which is usually par for the course if Solo is a feature artist. P Money’s no-nonsense lyrical acumen is very prominent on this track, with Solo carrying the hype in a predictable but raucous fashion. One for the man that like to get lairy.
Keepin’ it Real – ft Stormzy
This is one I’ve been anticipating! The haunting start to the track gives me a sense of mad trepidation. Oooh, a gentle bassy drop, that ‘head nodding’ way of recognition is too tempting to not do. Stormzy murders this beat, I didn’t think it possible he could ever get near to a feature as strong as ‘The Blow Back’ but he isn’t faraway with this short but savage verse. The real-talk catchy chorus, ‘They don’t even know how it feels when your, trill, keepin’ it real’, is a smooth finishing touch to a real cross-over of old and new school vibes. Definitely a standout track on the album!
Mans Involved – ft Blacks, Little Dee, Jendor & Ruger
A collective of OGz emcees on this track, a rather bitty track, slightly repetitive in a lyrical sense. After one listen, the title of the track is most certainly in your head. The beat is the grimiest of the album so far, no real surprise, given the level of spitters featured. Potentially, I see it as a track put on the album to just give some exposure to the OGz, but nonetheless, certainly a grimy banger.
Contagious – ft Rubylee
A signature grime music move on this track, as there is the traditional phonecall tone as an intro. This usually signifies that the song will be focusing on some form of issues with the gyal, and given the featured artist, I feel I’m not faraway from being right. Yeah, Rubylee’s distorted vocals answer me that question. Given P Money’s aggression on his tracks, it feels slightly abnormal for him to broach this subject, and when the beat kicks in, it does feel a little too much for the topic of the song.
Not really much you can say about skit’s, unless they converge a deeper meaning. It is short in length, with a beginning of P Money rapping, cut short by a phonecall that fools you into thinking it’s your phone ringing. A standard halfway through place for a skit on an album, a small breather before the second half ensues.
Don’t Holla At Me – ft Splurgeboys
An unusually trap feel to this track, which despite the straying from the traditional grime feel, is in a strange way, welcoming. The 808s booming down are a very clean sound, but the Splurgeboys feature is a slight letdown, not really contributing much to the overall feel of the track. P Money’s Jamie Vardy lyric is rather current and amusing, probably the standout on a somewhat lacklustre effort.
A straight up bar-slinging grime joint to follow in keeping with the rest of the album, after the last track. P Money is so much more effective on a beat like this, purely because of the way he’s allowed to express his ultra-confrontational lyricism on beats like this. The end to the track feels slightly JME in how its tone is delivered.
The title is a very effective but rather simplistic way of breaking down the name of the capital city. Nevertheless, again it feels like P Money has found his true vintage self on the last two tracks, given the overall experimentation on previous tracks up to this point. The beat again is a reverence to old grimy beats, but the chorus certainly sounds like J Spades, with the slight accent change. Hard, hard track.
Gunfingers – ft JME & Wiley
This standout dropped a few weeks ago, as an obvious promo for the album. We’ve not heard much from JME in 2016, but his feature game is still strong as ever. The production is handled by Skepta, with the bitty, distorted, Pacman sounding effects in there. With Wiley featuring too, a true grime scene core is present here, and that is reflected in both the lyrics and production, typifying the solid grime vibe.
Lyrics & Flows
Another moshy floor-filler, with a catchy hook, a tried and tested formula, but one that P Money can consistently deliver. Nothing much to say about the beat or lyrics, it’s all pretty much self explanatory in the piece. Requirements for this track are, a dingy club setting, two gunfingers and a gushing amount of liquor.
Take Over ft NY
Woah, the high-pitched synth on this is like been trapped in a trippy amusement. The sounds on this are mad! The flow is crucially important to nail on a track as distorted as this, and it really works well. Again, an old school feel to this one, as we’ve seen on a number of tracks throughout. I do like the female vocals provided by NY, it kind of feels compulsory to really bring that inner-city feel on this track.
As suggested by the title, P Money pays homage to his fellow industry bredrins. The likes of BBK, Wiley and Dizzee among others, are almost subliminally credited to the creation of this album. It’s a fitting touch that P Money can recognise the vast array of talents that he affiliates with and also looks up to. ‘I can’t forget the people that brought me, can’t forget the things that they taught me’, a simple touch of class, that makes me realise just how much respect each grime emcee has for one another in our scene.
This one though, this one! Despite it been released a year ago, I’d go as far as to say that, 12 months later, it’s P Money’s signature track. I’ve banged this Sir Spyro produced monster all year, it’s one of those rare tracks that carries a certain novelty about it that doesn’t wear off and become overplayed. That bassy bounce on the beat, has me pulling that ‘screwed up face’, the grime expression of approval.
It had to be the track to finish off this grime work of art, and really put the seal on what has been an exceptionally strong year for grime album releases.
You can purchase Live and Direct by P Money here: P Money – Live and Direct
Follow P Money on twitter: @KingPMoney