"psychedelic hip-hop boy band"
This three-piece alternative rap group from Edinburgh, Scotland is known for infusing many genre styles into their music, and their latest album, Dead, is no exception. Formed in 2008, Young Fathers began their careers at fourteen performing in various nightclubs around Edinburgh and released two independent EPs before their latest and first studio album. While their first two EPs showed immense potential, Dead is an excellent and well rounded album. The group members Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and “G” Hastings have clearly hit their stride.
Not only are Young Fathers musically talented, they are also known for directing their own videos, making their own posters, and planning their own shows, proving that they can be a self-sustaining band. see their tumblr.
This trio does not shy away from harsh, gritty sounds. This album is chock-full of dirty beats and quick, biting lyrics. Coming up with a name for this specific brand of rap is tough, but they describe themselves as “psychedelic hip-hop boy band.”. The trio also focuses on bringing in elements of their diverse heritage, which gives the sound an even sharper edge.
Young Fathers write emotionally-charged lyrics that are intensely relatable. The shockingly noisy and severe beats left this humble listener on the edge of her seat. The way each song rolls into the next is surprisingly smooth considering the heavy lyrical content of each song. The single “Get Up” pairs a typical party beat with angry verses that are so catchy you can’t help but listen again. However this upbeat almost-party song segues into “Dip” which is haunting and fairly tragic. This song is rife with religious imagery and perfectly sums up what it’s like to grow up and feel insecure.
Each song has an individual sound and message that come together extraordinarily well. Every track seems to highlight a different strength that the band has, and even with the harsher sounding tracks there is something delicate in the story that the lyrics create. These three manage to deftly show us the reality of war and death. The diverse inspirations for Dead blend together to create a coherent, intriguing whole. This is a group that should be heard. Even if you normally shy away from hip hop or rap, I would highly recommend giving this album a listen.
Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis, MN US - May 10, 2014