If it wasn’t for Giggs the whole UK rap scene would not be what it is today.
If you are a fan of British rap then you probably remember where you were when you first heard ‘Talkin Da Hardest‘. You probably remember thinking this is so scary but so contagious. Or, if that was only me, you 100% remember your all of your friends playing the Peckham born-and-bred rapper.
Musically, Giggs gave us a raw uncut experience of his life and world. His flow was unique and lyrics cleverly straight to point. Here we had a British artist not rapping at grime’s 140bpm or over UKG/baseline instrumentals. Giggs’ relaxed style and lack of America accent made him stand out from all underground music at the time. He told the story of many people born into, brought up around and living life on the streets. He became the voice of the street, with many able to relate to his lyrics and music.
Through the years we have journeyed with the South London rapper’s life through his music. His first album ‘Walk In The Park’ showed us the depths of dangers surrounding life on the streets, with standout tracks like More Maniacs, Rat-A-Tat-Tat and Test Out Da Nine. Moving onto Let Em Have Giggs’ we saw the start of an ever slight transition to universal minded music. Although most of the tracks were still unforgiving, there were tracks like Little Man and Me, and hit, Look What The Cat Dragged In that showed another side to the rapper. The same pattern followed on the tape When Will It Stop. Between 2007 to 2016 the UK Landlord released 15 mixtapes, notably Hollowman Meets Blade, Another Quick One, The Final Straw and STR8 Murking.
During his career Giggs released a vast range of quality singles and featured on popular tracks including; Slow Songs (Ft Mike Skinner), Don’t Go There (Ft B.O.B), Man Don’t Care (JME) and Gossip (Fekky). If you have ever watched a Tim Westwood crib session then make sure you tip your hat to Hollowman. After the release of his first album the South London rapper, and his team SN1, were banned from the radio and out of this came the ‘Crib Session’ with Tim Westwood initially setting up space for Giggs to mimic live radio performances. Who would have known it would become the massive platform it is today.
Giggs Landlord Track By Track Breakdown
The album ‘Intro‘ is strong. A pretty straight forward summary of the journey so far, you get a real feeling that this is a moment in time like no other. Giggs plays with the flows over a musically led instrumental, it works very well. He signs off saying ‘I hope you enjoy the rest of the show‘.
For many ‘The Blow Back’ will be one of the favourites on the album. Strong melodic lines lead the production and track with Giggs sitting comfortably on the beat, rapping about what life looks like right now. The track features a very strong verse from UK grime artist Stormzy. I didn’t know what a Giggs and Stormzy track would sound like and I’m not disappointed at all, both flows work well and compliment each other. Old time friend Dubz (you may know him from ‘Pain Is The Essence) also features a strong verse.
The early release single ‘Whipping Excursion‘ is sick. Although we’ve already heard the track you really can’t skip it when listening through. I would say classic Giggs in some regard. Check out the visuals below.
Honesty. Track 4, ‘Just Swervin‘, has a lay it all out kind of a theme. Giggs explores emotions surrounding dealing with painful parts of your history, through talking about things specific to his own life. Although the stories are his own the track feels very relatable and open. When someone says it how it is, it’s hard to disagree. ‘I tell you what, it feels sh*t to be lonely, but I ain’t gonna sit here like a b*tch, getting b*tchy and moany’.
X-Rated! The production of ‘The Process‘ is beautiful, and gangsta, at the same time. Deep bass kicks, airy synths/backing vocals and overdrive electric guitar samples blend perfectly. If I could sum up this track in three words it would be sex, conflict and love – I love songs that take you on a journey and this one definitely does.
The second feature on the album comes from new Donae’o. The slick vibe on ‘Lock doh‘ is the first proper switch up of styles on the tape. Clever hooks and cheeky raps always work well when Giggs is involved. Expect to hear this in a rotation. ‘The Best‘ has an old school feel, with new school life. The track features Liverpool’s Aystar and London’s Young Teflon who both bring different styles to the table. Giggs is a big supporter of connecting with up and coming rappers, something he does really well.
Track 8, ‘Slippin‘, takes a trip down memory lane to when life wasn’t so sweet. I think this track is very cool because of how clever it is. I can imagine old school Giggs phrasing some of the lyrics very raw, but this track shows progression and how well thought through the music is now.
The CasIsDead and Giggs link up has to be one of my favourites of recent times. It makes so much sense! ‘501 (Hollow & Heston)‘ previewed on the one-off special Giggs Beats1 radio show and is a very good track. A catchy hook and strong feature verse, what more can we ask for. The next track ‘Of Course‘ is a very personal song journeying through the loss of a family member and the reaction to his new moves from the streets.
‘Savage‘ is not one of my favourites but again the track really marks progression. In comparison to older Giggs and Kyze tracks the song shows how experience can influence the way music is made. Although not my favourite, the Kyze verse is in the top 3 feature verses on the album. ‘Lyrical Combat‘ is 100% one of my favourites. In one word, HARD. Dubz and CasIsDead feature for the second time and rightly so. No hook just bars after bars. You get the feeling that no one wanted to have the weakest verse.
The final two tracks really do the album justice. ‘Clipped him with the spinner, clipped him with the spinner’. You’ll hear this hook for a while. Gunna D made his appearance on the Landlord on the track, ‘Clipped Him‘. Lots of bass on the production and skippy flows make for an all around good song. The album does not tail off by any means. ‘The New Sh*t‘ see ‘Hollowman the Landlord’ close off the album with the same consistent energy shown through the previous 13 tracks. Typical Giggs, heavy lyrics, catchy phrases and unique flows.
It is safe to say the highly anticipated Giggs Landlord album did not disappoint at all.