You can look, but it won’t be a simple task to find homegrown lyricism as skilful, intelligent or profound than when Melanin 9 is blessing a mic. His classic, must-have Magna Carta LP was lyrically superior, and lightyears ahead of it’s Roc-a-Fella derivative when it dropped last year; and after many months spent building with Triple Darkness, April sees M9 combine forces with London-based label Blunted Astronaut to drop an exclusive new solo single. Amulets is yet another lyrically deep, stylistically rich cut from the writer’s prolific pen. The efficacy of M9’s delivery lies in his ability to spark your innate desire to learn. By making specific reference to historical, spiritual and occult subjects through his expansive vocabulary; he treats the listener with an intellectual respect that few MC’s manage to pull off without sounding showy; ‘I toured the globe as a ghost of my soul’s steps, drenched in cold sweats beneath a sub-zero cloud, emotions left buried in doubt, blowing nostalgic nouns from astronomical perceptions, forced to glance evil’s reflection as I dance in the tempest.‘ The Summit’s instrumental encompasses traditional beatmaking but adds enough modern elements to ensure their take on boom bap stays current; and as thick horns cradle DJ Ping’s chorus chops, the hook is sure to be one of the catchiest you’ll hear from the underground this year.
Cloudsteppa harks back to the MC’s mixtape days as he pens precise lines over DJ Drinks’ claustrophobic instrumental; flowing rapid yet coherent as he relays his unique perspective through a mastery with words; ‘Asphyxiate your chords like Galaktus, the Moorish blacksmith, with planets orbiting my chakras.’ Lewis Parker spits with his usual cool demeanour; dropping simile’s and old school film and tv references like most rappers drop F bombs; leaving Variation Music’s Vinyldigger to close the song with short stabs of static transformed by his crossfader. Parker’s Cloudsteppa Remix surpasses the original, winding down this dope release as his SP cranks out dusty drum loops and samples that simulate old detective films. Amulets undoubtedly deserves a place in your collection; and with plenty more to come from the Triple Darkness camp, and his 2007 début High Fidelity set for a vinyl-0nly re-release in May; 2014 is shaping up to be yet another pivotal year for this highly talented MC.
Buy the single on wax here.