Not everyone remembers that rap music, and the hip-hop that it evolved from, is based on the idea of sharp wordplay and deft and dexterous lyrical flows. Thankfully, DeSean does and his latest album, Szn is full of smart word salvos and street-edge poetry.

Forget all of those mumbling bedroom rappers who seem happy enough to fire off one cliche after the next over the same old off-the-shelf trap/rap beat package, DeSean reminds us of the finer and more finessed end of the urban music world.

Over 17 sonically sharp-dressed tracks, ones built on timebomb beats and depth charge pulses, spacious tracking and beguiling musical motifs, he lays out the world according to DeSean. It’s a world that both remembers the traditions and sounds of the past whilst helping to create and maintain a bright future for the rap genre, and indeed music as a whole.

There are lilting and looping groovers such as Drip Gang, more subdued glitch-trippers in the form of Meant For Us and Ultra Instinct is sharp, snappy and brimming with confidence. And as great as the digital instrumentation and clever arrangements are, it is the lyrical delivery that defines the album. And that is the way it should be.


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Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.

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