Saturday, 14 July 2018

Haynesy - Hip Hop Advocate Album Sneak Preview Review

We at ABU were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of HAYNESY's upcoming album, Hip Hop Advocate.
For the uninitiated, Haynesy was half of the DJ Cue Tips & MC Dashy D partnership (responsible for the classic, 'Control' as featured on the Hard Core One album from 1988) as well as the SLR Crew (South London Renegades) so he has a good pedigree.
Tired of not hearing the sort of stuff he likes he decided to go one step ahead and simply make his own stuff instead. The result of this decision is what eventually became Hip Hop Advocate.
Entirely self-produced, Haynesy has employed the talents of two talented wordsmiths; Scorzayzee and Dweller who proceed to float over the tracks as smoothly as a pint of Guinness and give the set a glaze of lyrical perfection.

There is already a huge buzz about some of the tracks that have already been heard on the radio and no diggidy, you will certainly agree when you hear them.
The album is just going through it's final mastering stages then will be available through the usual audio platforms (Spotify/Apple etc..).
More details when we get them.

Here's a track-by-track run-thru.

1. 1995 ft. Scorzayzee (95 bpm)
An homage to hip-hop five years before the Millennium took place with many namechecks of artists, albums and events of the era. This is a mid-tempo plodder with a Rockit stab which acts as a sealant to keep the funk flowing throughout.

2. Jewels ft. Scorzayzee (93 bpm)
Some nicely-furious rhythmic scratch in the chorus really does propel a song along and this is a oft-repeated tactic here on H.H.A. With Scorzayzee's effortless rhymes acting like a lyrical cosy pillow, DJ Cue Tips' turntable trix act as that early morning alarm bell to wake you from your slumber, albeit in a good way.

3. On & On ft. Scorzayzee (93 bpm)
A great groove on this with some dirty funk guitar licks and brass as Scorzayzee drops his flow.

4 Love 'Em All ft. Scorzayzee (96 bpm)
Dope sparse break punctuated by a Bouncy stab giving way to plucky guitar and snazzy hi-hats on this one.

5. B-Boy Showdown (110 bpm)
A seriously scorching instrumental which as the title suggests is aimed primarily at the dancefloor. With it's uptempo bpm this cut bounces along with some fine production and unloads breaks and stabs at an alarming rate which is destined to provide a highlight to any forward-thinking club night with open-minded dancers.

6. Dusty Vinyl (90 bpm) ft. Dweller
DWELLER is on the mic for this moody "old school banger". Initially punctuated by some sly Meters drums it quickly drops into a mid-tempo, thematic groove.

7. The Limits (82 bpm) ft. Dweller
This first 'slow' track of the album utilises the En Vogue Hold On bassline to tremendous effect here. And if you're after a mic-drop moment, then ,"I took hip-hop and restored it to it's Factory Settings" is certainly it.

8. Portraits (94 bpm) ft. Scorzayzee
Guitar licks pepper the dreamy groove with Scorzayzee's rhymes of how he is perceived by others ("I am whoever made me…however you wanna paint me"). Strictly 4 the head-nodding crew.

9. Brain Tour (96 bpm) ft. Scorzayzee
The brass on this lends the feel of a big band on production - it seems larger than it is and fills any blank spaces in the track with horns, flute and scratch. If your cranium is peckish this a feast for the ears.

10. Bonestash (92 bpm) ft. Scorzayzee
As we reach the end of the session one thing becomes clear - there have not been any rap cliches throughout. The breaks mostly sound as if Haynesy has invited a live funk band into his front room, given then a fresh brew, couple of Hob-Nobs and pressed 'play+record'. Double naughty.

Overall this album is excellently produced and the tracks - although not dirtily-raw - are clean which allow the vocals to shine through without getting muffled in the mix. The choruses all feature a sadly-lost motif from hip-hop of yesteryear and that is, quite simply, the scratch.
Every chorus has a scratch running through it either subtly (The Limits) or more frenetically (Jewels) which automatically gets the ABU thumbs pointing sky-high.
Also what compels me to grin like a loon about this album is that it utilises that not-oft practice in which just one producer gets to layout his sound throughout. This is the opposite of the usual 'too many cooks' approach in which the average album can get lost in the many examples of different sounds trying to be heard from start to finish.
Haynesy, with his unique stamp driven into this project, adds a notable calibre to this UK rap album making it an easy contender for any punter's top 5 long-players of 2018.

And with this in mind, we're giving Haynesy's Hip Hop Advocate album a rating of 4.5 LEEs out of 5.

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