They say that you should write about what you know and so there is something wonderfully referential about writing a rap song about the industry you are a part of. When it comes down to it, any artist is writing songs so that you can get noticed and hopefully take move themselves a step or two up the career ladder. To be able to do that whilst rapping about just how difficult that is and just how ruthless the people and the system around you is, seems like the ultimate act of creative subversion. Biting the hand that feeds as a brilliant act of revolution. How great is that?
But then Ghostwriting proves without a doubt that Bel James isn’t here to play by anyone else’s rules. He calls on the stark and incendiary style of the earliest hip-hop pioneers and mixes it with some spacious modern beats and cool samples. But the music is clearly second to the message and the message is this. The music industry is just a machine designed to chew up artists and spit out conformity. But that isn’t for him and if he is going to make it, then it won’t be through any form of compromise.
But there is something wonderfully belligerent and brilliantly brave about the idea of getting to the top of the industry by exposing its dark undercurrents and soulless machinations to the world. It is the sheer bravado of such a revolutionary act which will probably take him all the way.
Link to the single: