This blog is about bands/artists that, even though being around for some time, have still yet to achieve the recognition that they deserve beyond their loyal fanbases. With this blog I will bring you an artist or band each week that has yet to make that massive impact on mainstream music, giving short histories and mini reviews of their work to date and try to show you why they should be more prominent on your playlists.
It’s quite difficult to believe that rap music can be poetic, especially when most rappers on the scene have albums full of tracks that blast out their love of guns, bitches and drugs amongst other things to further inflate their already ballooned egos. But the artists this week clearly show that rap can be fun and witty again.
Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip brings together a great combination of a DJ (le Sac) and a spoken word artist (Pip). Dan le Sac brings fantastic great beats with nice electric elements which sets him apart from most DJs. His backing music to their songs brings the head nodding element that would be missing if it was only Pip on his own.
Scroobius Pip as a spoken word artist lays down thought-out and meaningful lyrics which is a refreshing difference to the usual rap music that is being played on the radio. Saying that, his lyrics are that poetic they can be used on their own, the atmosphere would perhaps be different but it brings the poetry back to rap.
Their combination was made in 2006 when le Sac had booked Pip to play support at one of his early solo gigs. The group released their debut album Angles in 2008 which had a core of le Sac remixes of Pip’s early demos. But the group gained momentum after the release of the original song Thou Shalt Always Kill followed by The Beat That My Heart Skipped, which is the group’s most pop based record and has a video starring a very normal looking Paloma Faith.
Their second album The Logic of Chance went largely unnoticed with more original songs and tracks with lyrics stating more social issues along with some decent dance floor fillers. After this the group went on a break with both members doing solo projects, with Pip’s work being more prominent than le Sac’s.
They returned in 2013 releasing their latest album Repent, Replenish, Repeat combining the much stronger and experienced talents of the two artists to create an album that you can’t help but nod your head to and think about the lyrics as well. There are songs that feel generic but when you properly listen are actually different thanks to the poetic lyrics by Pip.
One criticism that could be said is Pip’s delivery; it can feel quite antagonising, like you are being forced to listen to it, it works for some but not all of their songs. Also if you a poetry enthusiast (or English student) you can claim that his lyrics are quite simple relying on rhyming couplets for the vast majority of tracks.
Apart from that Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip brings a very different version of rap/hip-hop that is currently on the radio. With the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah taking ever so slightly more commercial directions with their latest releases, the British rap/hip-hop scene is losing those renegades who dared to challenge the convention and have become superstars for it. These artists are waiting in the wings ready to take their spot among those names and the fact that they have 3 studio releases and have shown no signs of failure to challenge conventions and bring poetry back to mainstream rap, which has been seriously lacking from it in recent years. Well worth a listen.
All Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip releases are available on iTunes alongside their respective solo releases.
By Jack Greenard