Hailing from Watford, rapper Robin HD (or RHD on soundcloud) has gained a huge reputation for his gigs in and around Nottingham. 2 years after his first commercial release, an EP titled 'Double Vision', Robin returns with his debut album 'Colours'. Cat Jordan offers her thoughts.
Performing in venues all across Nottingham, from the I-club to Icon Bar, as well as across the country on grime sets alongside JME and Jammer, Robin HD is cementing himself as one of the most determined up-and-coming rappers in Nottingham. And, judging by his debut album he is definitely one to watch out for.
The inspiration behind the album is revealed in the final 40 seconds of the final track Rainbow. Each track of the album takes a different colour in the traditional rainbow order, and Robin takes inspiration from the colours to set the emotional tone for each track. Robin HD also uses Rainbow to spend some time thanking the other contributors to the album. It’s incredibly important to credit Rob Wilks for his impeccable mastering of the album, as even though Robin HD is still a small artist, the mastery was at the same level as songs by the biggest artists on the radio. It would be great to see Robin HD work with long-term collaborator Wilks more in the future, as you can really tell that Robin’s vision of the album was well executed with his help.
'Robin HD works alongside the singer Tenant on both Green and Blue, the latter of which is a bravely-written piece about their experiences with mental health'
Proving himself as an artist in every track nevertheless, the song that stands out as the is without a doubt purple. In this track, Robin HD shares his parents’ life stories (which becomes his life story too) and really highlights his strength as a storyteller. As a listener, this is the track that really leaves you with a better understanding of why Robin HD has such a strong work ethic, as although he mentions that he wasn’t raised in poverty, he had a great upbringing as a result of his parents working hard.
There are quite a few collaborations on the album, including Whitey Blindo and Mighty JY in the opening track Red. With a piano playing a minor repeating bassline, Red is definitely the darkest-sounding song on the album. This is a great way to begin, as it introduces listeners to Robin HD with a more mainstream sounding material before entering into the more emotive pieces such as blue, purple and pink towards the end of the album.
Robin HD works alongside the singer Tenant on both Green and Blue, the latter of which is a bravely-written piece about their experiences with mental health, particularly depression. The repeated lyric “I’m always feeling blue, it hurts” contrasts with the lyrics in Yellow, where Robin HD describes himself as being a “yellow guy with mellow vibes”- this contrast puts huge importance on the album as a whole. The layers of Robin HD’s personality are a reflection of men's unwillingness to show weakness, a fundamental topic in the growing discussion about men’s mental health.
Written by: Cat Jordan
Edited by: Elliot Fox
In article images courtesy of Robin HD via Facebook.