GRM DAILY 1ST LISTEN REVIEW- GIGGS LANDLORD
05 Aug 16
1ST LISTEN REVIEW: GIGGS’ ‘LANDLORD’ ALBUM
Today, Giggs released his third album Landlord worldwide. It’s the first time he’s released a full length proper “album” without a label behind him, as he takes the increasingly popular independent route.
Landlord comes off of the back of a huge year for Giggs last year – one he was originally going to take off from music – as he delivered some of his most popular verses yet. Not least so, was his infamous appearance on Jme’s now-classic “Man Don’t Care“.
We’ve had very little in the way of new music already released from this new project though, except lead single “Whippin Excursion“. Despite that, eyes from all fans of UK music – rap, grime and everything in between – have quickly turned his way. 2016 was heralded as year of the album, and Skepta and Kano have both already dropped Mercury Prize-nominated albums. The pressures on their fellow torchbearer, Hollowman, to follow through too.
With such a huge album, it’s initial impact is going to be greatly important. That’s why we’ve decided to give you our first impressions, as our guy Griff writes a review of his thoughts, as he listens to it. Think of it as an endless stream of consciousness, Kanye style. Of course, it’s important to sit with an album for a while and fully digest it, which we’re certain to do, but first impressions matter too. They might not be lasting feelings, but this is our place to capture the magic and the excitement of that very first listen. Sit back, spin the album, and enjoy our live review of Landlord.
Everybody’s here… I’m promised this is a moment. This instrumental sounds like one of them holy Just Blaze type beats that rappers just dismantle. I hope that’s what we got here. Giggs is taking on one of his favourite recent flows here. “The mandem starting, the madness starting” he’s rapping.. “I just dropped this album cos it’s actually destined”… Very much one of those intro songs that sets the stage for what’s to come. I’m feeling warmed up for “the rest of the show”…
“The Blow Back” (ft. Stormzy & Dubz)
For half a sec there I thought the “0-100” beat was about to start, but this is much darker. Huge, booming trap has got me gun-fingering still. I wonder how Stormzy is gonna sound on this? Giggs kicks things off with some serious gun talk. Bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang gang gang gang gang gang gang gang OH S**T HE’S HERE. Rass, he knew he had to step up to the plate here and really ain’t disappointed. I’m not even sure how many bars Giggs gave him, but there was A LOT here. Dubz – aka Giggs’ favourite rapper – rounds things off with a fire final verse, his first of two on here.
This song was a slow burner for me. I can’t lie and say I loved it immediately when it first dropped, but it’s grown on me like moss on your baby mama’s foot. This beat just bangs so hard, and Giggs really finds pockets that NOBODY else is finding. He gets 10 bonus points for The Walking Dead bar too. I know from experience that he loves that show, his face literally lit up when talking about it. Not as much as the dragons in Game Of Thrones though… Giggs loves the dragons… How did I get here?
Things have slowed down a little bit here. Did he name this song so it rhymes with the last one? I hope so. Did he just say “It feels s*it to be lonely”? Ok, he’s actually getting pretty dark and deep on this one. The flows are just as hard, but Giggs is showing a little bit of emotional vulnerability here. Ratings. The hook on this one stands out to me so far as one of the more intricate and is def one of my favourite so far.
This one starts like it’s going to be way more sunny than what’s come so far, but no. The first 808 drops and things are just as cold and barren as they have been all the way through. The distorted vocal carries on behind the verses and adds a lovely bit of musicality. This one’s got something different than the usual street banger… Second time that interpolation comes back and I am JIVING. This LP feels like it’s getting better with each song. IT’S NOT EVEN HIS FINAL FORM!!
“Lock Doh” (ft. Donae’o)
OIIII! The mood has fully switched up, as UK Funky king Donae’o clearly has provided the riddim for this one. It’s bouncy and fun as f*ck.”I got these b*tches on lock doh”, he sings on the hook. As he does, I can hear every man in Visions tonight singing along. I know these tracks are more bait, but I love Giggs on these types of beats, it’s all about dem pockets again. Wait… did he just sing?!
“The Best” (ft. Aystar & Youngs Teflon)
This is one I had my eye on when the tracklist dropped. Aystar is hard and it’s sick to see Giggs recognising his talent from way up in Liverpool. Proper old school, real rap vibes on this one. Hollowman kicks things off on this one, as he has done before every rapper so far. This is proper zone out music, I’m SO glad I burned an L before this. There’s a lot being said just in this verse and I’m not even allowed to run it back 🙁 Scousematic is next up and boy he’s doing the damn ting. I’ve never heard the Scouse accent flow so fluently. It’s not long before Tef chimes in and, f**k me, it’s hard. Can we please celebrate this guy more. He’s been consistent for how long? “I smell am and I’m a whole different man”. I hear you Tefs! I can’t lie, I didn’t even realise that Aystar’s contribution was a hook? Is this a hook? I dunno, but this one was cold.
I’m enjoying Giggs way more on these less-stereotypical trap bangers. “Slippin” still bangs with the usual harshness of a trap riddim, but it’s just got a slightly different and more interesting edge. The mood is still way darker than the last two tunes though. Things are short and sweet here, before we roll into another exciting collaboration…
“501 (Hollow & Heston)” (ft. Casisdead)
Before I even start on this one, I need to make it clear that “Hollow & Heston” is the dopest name they could have ever come up with for this. Spot on. There’s those hollow choral sounds straight off the bat – I see what they did here – as “the “Swifta productiooon” tag chimes in. If there last collab was anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. Cas is on the first verse and he goes in with a double time flow. “Giggs and Cas on a track, imagine that” – you don’t have to, because there’s two of them on this album! “Never saw man coming like Leicester” has to be one of the bars of the album so far. This is that lyrical sparring again, it feels like the two of them are trying to outdo each other. OMG F**K OFF!!!! I DON’T CARE IF IT’S AGAINST THE RULES POSTY/CAROLINE I AM RELOADING THIS WOW WOW. THIS GIGGS VERSE IS FIRE EMOJI!
“Of Course” (ft. Rico Love)
I had to have a time out. Giggs’ verse on the last one was too brazy, I am chesty af right now. OK this is the compulsory gyal tune. To be honest, I feel like I needed this breather. Rico Love is doing an R&B hook but I just can’t stop thinking about “Hollow & Heston”. Content wise this isn’t a gyal song at all, I have no idea what I’m talking about. He’s actually getting pretty honest and open again on this one, letting us into the man behind the persona a little further.
“Savage” (ft. Kyze)
Judging by the title of this one, that rest isn’t lasting too long. Giggs, why you doing this bro, I’m tired of being gassed. This is a loud and ignorant banger again, with Giggs flexing like he’s in the big fur jacket again. “Man call me The Landlord, come and get your keys cut”. A little insight into the theme/energy of the the whole project there (at least thus far). Long term collaborator Kyze wraps things up with another strong street-wise verse.
“Lyrical Combat” (ft. Casisdead & Dubz)
Two MC’s who have already featured are back for seconds. The piano on this one is real spooky. Giggs is floating all over this album, he was really focused on bodying every single 16. Dubz is coming through with the intricate flows and unpredictable lyrics. Think this was stronger than his first one. All three of them came extra hard. Every collab with another rapper has felt like they’ve all been shadow boxing each other for real. This whole album has been a showcase of some of the hardest in UK rap.
“Clipped Him” (ft. Gunna Dee)
Giggs said in his NFTR interview that he (and everybody in SN1) believe Gunna Dee is the best out of them all. We’re about to hear them go against each other here. Gunna provides the gritty realness as expected, repping for the roads. Hollowman sounds like he felt the pressure of coming after him and delivers – word to Khaled – another one. The skippier flow returns and it pays off.
“The New Shit”
There’s no respite right until the very end. Another booming, skipping trap instrumental. More of the start-stop flow. Giggs kept it consistent right the way through this album. The outro is like the intro, straight bars all the way through. If he doesn’t close with a final “JHEEZE” I’m gonna be sad though. He didn’t 🙁
Having given Landlord it’s first play through, it’s safe to say that Giggs followed through on his incredible guest verses with a solid project of his own. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite project from him ever, but it’s certainly my favorite ALBUM. Sonically and thematically things mostly stay down his tried and tested path, but where they do switch up, they do so well. For me personally, there could have been a little more experimentation musically, but why fix it if it ain’t broken? Fans are going to love this, the roads are going to love it and the clubs are going to love a couple of these too. Landlordis an unfiltered and uncompromisingly pure UK rap album. Make sure you check it out for yourself and cop it on iTunes right here.
I hope you enjoyed my mindless babbling and please feel free to hit me up with your own thoughts. I’m gonna go reload this and bun a zoot. Peace!
Images and content are courtesy of GRM DAILY