independent album review giggs landlord


11th August 2016

Giggs ‘Landlord’ review

Eto Worchie London

On August 4, 2008 the people’s champion, Giggs, offered the world his first album Walk in Da Park, a monumental moment not only in his career but also for the UK rap music scene. Giggs gave us one of the rawest, undiluted, purest UK rap, pure UK street music. Many culture critics would point to this to moment as the moment the door was kicked open, the moment UK rappers had a collective epiphany, realizing they don’t have to water down their music. Eight years, three albums and a lot of stripes later the young brazen, unapologetic Peckham rapper has ascended into a Titan. Much of his consistent and genuine output has made space for a lot of other young spitters, hence nicknames like The Originator, The Godfather and even The Landlord; let’s get into the music. 

The album starts with a dramatic, cinematic intro, addressing the listeners as “Ladies and gentlemen.” “UK rap scene yeah man’s still staring.” It feels like he’s accepting an award of some sort or throwing some sort of celebratory party. Either way, he knows just how important he is and recognizes he’s the centre of attention, letting us know just how comfortable he is with that. He narrates some subplots, telling us how he parted ways with his old record label. He ends it with “I hope you enjoy the rest of the show.” Giggs acknowledges how much expectation and pressure would be on his shoulders releasing an album, but he also makes it known he is the star of the show, he has full faith in his ability and knows exactly what he’s doing, so we should relax and enjoy his show.

My eyes lit up seeing the features on the next track. I still wake up in cold sweats thinking about how Dubz’ verses on Ard Bodied. He’s also got Stormzy on this 6-minute track. Big Mike immediately lights this track up here with a solid verse. Dubz strolls in at the end and gives us one of his signature lackadaisical flows, he drops an incredibly confident, boisterous verse, bragging and telling us how much better he is than most of these rappers, even in his absence.  

Pre-released “Whippin Excursion” has a very bossy feel about it and leads straight into the next track. In the former he tells us the pressure of leadership explains his struggle to making it to the top, narrating lower moments in his life, heavy is the crown. A very pensive track here. Donae’o dispatched a bouncy hook on “Lock Doh” where Giggs just flexes his way through explaining the struggle of having women throw themselves at him all day – poor guy; one of the best features on the album.

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One of the standouts on the album is “The Best” featuring Aystar & Youngs Teflon. I love this suave persona Giggs can assume; he seamlessly weaves through an almost swing inspired beat. This man has countless flows. He makes sure we know he’s not like other rappers who got to where they are by “spanking some arses” probably the same rappers who get the ‘gold spoon treatment’ he was talking about in “Let Em Ave It.” Aystar gives us a gritty hook, explaining how real the trio of rappers can be. Youngs Teflon, who’s been amazingly consistent recently, flexes his muscles here, completely goes blind and tears the beat apart. 

Giggs goes back to back with CasIsDead on “501 (Hollow & Heston),” Cas is almost prepared by Giggs’ repetitive hook, “go get em.” Cas doesn’t need to be told twice as he unwaveringly obliterates his verse here. Next, we have a slow, thought-provoking tune called Of Course, in which he slows it right down, with a meditative feature from Rico Love, reminding me of a soliloquy from a play. He gives us some deep and personal thoughts, appearing extremely vulnerable and human. 

“Lyrical Combat” is a 5-minute epic featuring both Cas and Dubz, two heavy lyricists, produced by Boomblast. It’s never pretty when Dubz and Giggs are on a Boomblast beat. All three rappers violently dispatch their verses and calmly exit the messy crime scene. Hollow man brings the show to a close with “The New Shit,” the etymology here at the end of the album hints that this probably isn’t the last we’ve seen of Giggs this year.

It’s really interesting seeing how much chemistry Dubz and Giggs still have; it feels like there’s still some space for Ard Bodied 2. Another highlight of the album is seeing Giggs’ tap the younger artists like Stormzy and Youngs Teflon, who probably witnessed that moment eight years ago in awe as aspiring rappers, and are now trading blows with the veteran. Giggs gives us some vulnerability and greez here, reaffirming himself as The Boss in this album. Even eight years later he reminds us he’s still the same person and is still 100% authentic and 100% paying no attention to the industry. Make sure you’ve paid your rent and make sure you’ve paid your homage to the landlord.

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