Since I started this blog late last year, Hip Hop’s role as Lingua Franca between all people from all countries has been revealed to me personally. It’s unifying force, based on love of the culture, with respect for the pioneers and reverence for it’s true practitioners has not only gifted me new music from all over the planet; but also conspired to unite two heads on opposing sides of the globe, who began collaborating after linking online. The culmination of their efforts is the aptly entitled Universal Language, which drops in September on Monad Records. No Mercy is the first single lifted from this exciting alliance, with bars from D.I.T.C legend A.G. and a dope new video from one the UK’s principal videographers, Globalfaction. London MC Arise King David and Australian producer and indie label owner Deepstar have crafted some of the finest Hip Hop you’ll hear this year.
As soon as you see the South Bronx you know you’re hangin where Hip Hop lives, with UncleRaeRae’s slick shots of locals on the corners, handstyles on bins and throwies on buildings spliced together through Globalfaction’s cinematic scope. Deepstar’s beat holds a healthy amount of 90’s influence, with heavy drums that still pack a punch despite the current trends leaning more towards minimal, reserved production. With a memorable guitar loop lending the song a tension that echoes the video’s sprawling cityscapes, and a simple hook that sits upon swelling string melodies; the old-school arrangement and classic feel give the track a timelessness rarely found in today’s over-proliferated music scene. Arise King David’s rhymes are littered with jewels, and as a stripped down version of the beat kicks back in for A.G’s verse, the Diggin In The Crates originator keeps it plain with his words; that stylish flow that took his crew to their 90’s heights still alive and well.
It’s no secret the majority of rap coming out of New York right now is heavily influenced by the meteoric rise of BK’s Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies & Underachievers; so to hear strong raps with knowledge wrapped in the traditions that took the culture from jams in the park to the world stage is not only refreshingly informed, but essential listening for anyone deep in the history of Hip Hop. Mark the ninth month down as the time Universal Language will be born, then sit back and watch it grow to dominate the worldwide underground by the time the year is out.
Grab No Mercy here.