So Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn are back at it again with their latest release, Paid to List£n. 14 tracks of soft crackling vinyl beats with gentle meandering flows comparable to the smoke off the end of a cigarette.
This young duo from Brighton are creating a new unheard style which has the sophistication of an album that’s been conceived from several successful earlier projects. As artists these two have striven in securing a game changer to keep things fresh, resulting in two chaps from the new school taking it back to the slate with an album demonstrating a complete introduction into their style and sound.
After the release of their Gentlemen’s club back in April, the hip-hop community have been eagerly awaiting their next drop. The prolonged wait was made easier with Harvey’s beat tape which featured a couple of beats from the paid to list£n album thrown in, serving as teasers while showcasing the development of a style yet to come.
Frankie’s relaxed mellow flow slides easily over Harvey’s choice of perfectly placed samples, you can hear the hours of crate digging from these seventeen year olds, fingers tapping through the vinyl sleeves echo within the softness of beats found in the production itself.
The relaxed honest style that Frankie Stew brings is optimized in “Just Another Day”, his family ties found in his lyrics are apparent in his description of life lessons, painting the picture of who this lad is and where he is going. His flow is distinctive and different and for such a young mind surprisingly rounded and grounded in his delivery.
The teenage vibe that rolls with this is something that takes a backseat when coupled with the maturity of Mr Gunns beats, while still allowing the listener to relate to those old days and emotions we all find ourselves stepping through.
Not one of these tracks would sound out of place on the soundtrack of a European Noir film, helping in adding further audial sounds to the already present visuals; men in suits in a dark snooker hall, beautiful women in the background with bottles of champagne kept in ice-boxes cooler than the mellow sound of Frankie’s adaptable voice something that can be found on the chorus of track “I Cant Get None”.
If I was to try to describe each tracks effect I wouldn’t be able to. This is certainly an album to play through from start to finish, the clear narrative that is presented throughout each track, even the purely instrumental skits help to shape the entrance into the next one. “1994” I think is one of the most important for Frankie’s description of himself, the sense of identity in this whole project is one of the most striking things I found when listening to it. “Got It On A Personal Level” is simply an understatement for this album. These boys have smashed it. If honesty is a policy these boys roll with then the road ahead is going to have only good things paved upon it.
Review By Chez Willdo