It almost feels wrong listening to music by Kid Acne’s musical project Mongrels digitally. As I opened up my Spotify app (other music streaming services are available) and hit the new album ‘Attack The Monolith’, I felt like I should be opening up a limited edition vinyl, individually numbered, with artwork pressed by the artist himself. That seems the way that Kid Acne would like it. That was the way he did his recent EP ‘Low Budget/High Concept’. That option is of course still very much available (if they haven’t all gone already), but if you’re one of those awful people like me who doesn’t own a turntable, then this is the way it has to be; not a crackle to be heard, just the way you would have listened to albums by Run DMC or De La Soul back in the day. And ‘Attack The Monolith’ is very much an old skool hip-hop album. It takes all the elements of the genre that made it such an exciting type of music back in its infancy. On the opening track it references Neneh Cherry’s anthem ‘Buffalo Stance’ and that other great legend…MC Hammer. Okay, so maybe that just shows that he has a sense of humour.
It’s been a while since we had new music from Kid Acne. His last solo album ‘Romance ‘Ain’t Dead’ was almost ten years ago. Concentrating instead on his day job as a street artist and print maker, he is now back with musical partner Benjamin. And what every great MC needs is someone equally as competent to make the beats. Think Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. Think Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip. Think…erm…DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. These two guys clearly have the same ideas of what hip-hop music should be about. The album is made up of twelve huge tracks, kicking off in style with recent single ‘Full Moon/Half Moon’.
There is something very British about ‘Attack the monolith’. Kid Acne as both a lyricist and and MC has a uniquely UK hip hop sound, both in his words and his dialect. But it is mixed with a very American sound. The influences throughout the album are undeniable. The big US stars from the infancy of the genre are all over the twelve songs included, often name checked too for ultimate respect. It’s the combination of the two that give Mongrels their own unique sound. Whilst there may be sounds borrowed from their heroes, what comes out us a sound very much of their own. Extra vocal are provided by Sebash, who appears on the majority of tracks, his gruff vocals giving the tracks a touch of ‘gangsta’.
It is lyrically that this album stands out. I was going to quote some of my favourite lines, but I felt like that would be a spoiler. Instead I reccomend listening to it with your headphones on and take them in yourself. Pay special attention to ‘Duppy Conquerer’ and the uber chilled out ‘Full of regrets’.
Attack the monolith’ is an album with a real summer vibe. Mixing chilled out beats with some of the most interesting rhymes you’re going to hear on a rap album.
Find out more about Mongrels o Kid Acne’s website, or on their social media.