86 Nights – Lil Dream (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If rap and hip-hop and the more modern sounds which have coalesced around them are defined largely by the lyrical flow and dexterity of the delivery, then one listen to Trust from Lil Dream’s latest e.p. proves that this is an artist who deserves to be on a very exclusive short-list. Not only does he manage to fire off incendiary lyrical salvos, there is more to it than that; the diction remains solid, the lines melodic, the narrative relatable. Forget all those mumbling rappers tripping over their words to be the fastest, or R&B infused chart minded wannabes with nothing to say, Lil Dream delivers his words with both speed and accuracy and remains competing and addictive whilst he does so.

But this is no one trick pony and across the remaining four tracks of the e.p. he shows that he can explore many sonic paths which branch out from his core sound. C.D.G. is a skittering, squalling blend of trap madness and trip-hop melodics and Benz Truck is a slow meandering, staccato blast of attitude over addictive electronica and pulsing back beats.

Hip-hop has come a long way since it grew up hanging out on the street corners of South Bronx but 86 Nights proves that whilst times change, studio techniques open up more opportunities and even such streetwise music evolves, rap, hip-hop and all its related sounds and scenes are at their most real when they feel as if they are still hanging around those house parties and street battles of the dark, inner city streets. 86 Nights echoes with the sound of the streets.

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