Si Phili and Dom Dotz are killin it right now, their work together has been solid since they linked over a year ago; but with this first full-length collab they’ve surpassed all expectations; releasing a relentless barrage of lyricism over beats from Britain’s most sought after producers. Passion Hifi’s huge beat begins Travel The Globe, with a memorable hook and an elevated word-rate. It’s no secret Si Phili has been prolific with his penmanship since he first burst onto the British rap scene, but since The Country Bumpkin’s Drunk Singing Skunk Binge, Dotz has raised his game to levels unattainable without serious work, and deserves respect for the hours he’s clearly put into his craft. We Stay bangs with a rowdy beat from Leaf Dog, inciting riotous bars from both MC’s, with Phili flowing especially slick; ‘Snatch ya medallion, with just the force of my flow, the sick spitter comin’ colder than a corpse in the snow.’
Pete Cannon brings the party vibe on Oh No, which quickly dissolves into horrorcore wordplay from the pair on Verbal Dissection; as Bad Habitz crafts a tense instrumental. Cystic’s mellow vocal chops back Flo’s haunting melodies alongside more furiously determined bars from Dotz on Inner Demons; before Blak Twang joins Phoenix Da Icefire to both destroy their verses on Lyrical Gun Slingers. Passion Hifi’s Parliament synths miss the mark on the G-funk influenced Get Back; but Cystic’s chilled accordion loops reset the course on Rise Of The Sceptic, as Dotz juxtaposes western complacency with world struggle; ‘selfies in the mirror tell a lot about your vanity, with money for a bottle, not a penny for a charity’. Leaf Dog’s rhymes stack clever metaphor over hazy horn loops on Let Ya Mind Breathe; whilst Pete Cannon’s psychedelic sitar samples wind around clanging bells blessed by breakneck bars on War Dance; before the album’s second single Training For battle Rap brings in the LP’s final stretch with a display of lyrical dexterity that had me rewinding to catch it all.
Passion Hifi drops a dynamic beat for The Rhyme Assignment‘s stern tones, while Phili’s political roots shine through his dissident lyricism on Fuck The Government; and Illest Rocks stands out for it’s top-class features. Dotz spits ‘iller than six million kilowatts’, Verb T encompasses esoteric ideas as easily as he offers elegant metaphor; Klashnekoff scripts another flawless verse that reminds of his razor-sharp darts on his essential Sagas Of début, Wordsmiff pulls no punches, and Leaf Dog ends this epic with vivid simile’s. As Golden Fingers plays the album out with honest parting words from PND; there’s no denying this début alliance between two of the UK battle scene’s strongest voices has held it down for the whole country. For fans already up on the British music scene Phil N The Dotz is what you’ve been waiting for. If anyone you know isn’t into UK Hip Hop, send them a copy asap after buying two for yourself.
The album comes out May 31st, pre-order it here.