UK Hip Hop albums focused on drinking usually fail to capture my attention the way socially-conscious Hip Hop does; but Flabz recently changed my perspective by offering an extra element within this new musical mix. On Under The Influence the E & Daniels MC assembles some seriously well-made tunes over strong beats from Under The bed Productions; with a delivery that sets him apart from the pack, giving glaring, un-polished insights into his own situation, as well as his environment. Rather than glorifying the wreck up, he rhymes seven tracks that provide an honest take on the coping mechanisms we all employ to get by; with poetic words and a sharp flow that pierces through the haze of intoxication.
Sunny begins musically upbeat to balance the negative social situations the MC sees through bloodshot eyes; Life’s Addiction unashamedly explores his vices with a truthfulness informed by solitary reflection; while the elephant in the room spills it’s cider-soaked bladder on Superdrunk to form a lyrical trip through pisshead paradise with a superhero theme. The production peaks with Groundhog day’s lazy guitar strums; as Flabz pens another memorable hook that drawls with a half-cut steez. Missy Maria mis-steps with an over-use of the word bitch, but still evokes a clear picture of a doomed relationship through vivid wordplay; then Rush offers a more mainstream sound, allowing the talented songwriting skills of Jodie Lois shine on pop hooks.
Far From Perfect closes the album on a high, with content that makes the track stand out. A morose guitar loop recurs under melancholy horns; as the West-London MC shifts the focus of his lines from self to society, using his talent for honest self-reflection to form a perceptive overview of city living, as he seeks to escape the drudgery and steer his course through the labyrinthine landscapes he encounters. If Flabz writes with clear, meaningful messages like he did on the closing cut, he could become an important voice in UK Hip Hop; but whatever direction he takes his lyrics, this up-and-coming emcee will no doubt continue to write well-formed songs with vital verses.
You can get the EP from his bandcamp, here.