Slowthai | Feature Artist
Before even releasing his debut album, Tyron Frampton had already weaved his way into the scene of the new wave of boundary-pushing artists we are seeing in electronica and rap, and it’s clear why he has a place among them.
The first encounter for many (including myself) was his feature on the last Flume project in 2019. Starting from there, we can easily track his progression into creating a space for himself in the industry. Whether that be from touring alongside JPEGMAFIA (article coming soon), or his single with Denzel Curry, Slowthai is sticking to those he admires. And after hearing his debut album, there remains no mystery as to why.
Nothing Great About Britain released the same day as Tyler, the Creator's IGOR (which he also claims a brief feature on), Injury Reserve’s major-label debut and the Carly Rae Jepsen’s follow up to the legendary E-MO-TION. On one of the most glorified examples of release oversaturation, NGAB managed to breakthrough and gain traction with listeners, pushing through too many end years lists. And for good reason, Tyron’s political commentary resembles something similar to that of ‘London Calling' with a delivery reminiscent of ‘Boy in da Corner’. He delivers an anti-monarchist view which manages to be as cutthroat as it is likeable. Alongside his tales of personal grief ('Northamptons Child'), drugs ('Crack') and his hometown ('Grow Up'), the songs all blend to create a compelling portrait of a young man living under the failures of modern government (see the title track).
The breakthrough single from the record is it's most forward-thinking in sonics. ‘Doorman’ sees his collaboration with producer Mura Masa bring post-punk aesthetics over shouted wordplay to create one of the most standout singles of last year. The collaboration was so successful both commercially and creatively, it led to a pseudo-sequel of sorts in the form of ‘Deal Wiv It’, which featured on Mura Masa’s last record ‘Raw Youth Collage’. Both songs are extremely likeable in the persona presented and the instrumental crossovers, it presents the question as to why Slowthai is a rapper per se and not the frontman of some hardcore band.
From the critical side of things, NGAB brought Slowthai a Mercury Prize Nomination. This rarely resonates with relevancy, considering the winner was Dave’s ‘Psychodrama’. But what is presented is a sort of ‘Class of 2019’ act where his contemporaries are finally placed alongside him. These include the excellent Fontaines D.C and Black Midi, but his main ally in the mix is that of IDLES (article coming soon), in that they have since become friends and share bits and pieces of inspiration (see IDLES performance at the award night to see the subtle hints). Slowthai also gained infamy the same night as he performed 'Doorman' with the prop severed head of Boris Johnson (see here). And to add icing to the cake, Slowthai has since gone on to collaborate with Gorillaz alongside fellow social commentators ‘Slaves’ (British, not the American wife-beaters) with 'Momentary Bliss'.
By this point, Slowthai is one of the best breakthrough artists in recent years on paper. And by the time you hear the music, it’s as clear as day as to why. He proves a perfect voice for the disenfranchised youth of today. Those who have been left behind by their leaders have their prospective champion, and with plenty of room to grow and experiment, Slowthai deserves the spotlight he is stealing.
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Featured Albums: Slowthai
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