It is easy to be suspicious of anyone who presents a debut album that purports to be “Dedicated to Mother Nature and the future generations of humanity.” Haven’t we heard it all before? From the Summer of Love-children, to pagan tree huggers to new-day spiritualists using music to heal …or some such nonsense? 

Well, I’m happy to say that MC Earth offers something way above such cliches and a set of songs that talks about the future and the problems that we face from a wonderfully broad and brutally honest place. If you are tired of listening to idealistic tree-huggers waxing lyrical about unobtainable ideologies, what MC Earth does is deconstruct the issues into smaller component parts, from social attitudes to ecological issues, generational divides to baseball bat wielding activism, appreciating the world around us but still understanding the impending danger that we find ourselves in. If most activists seem to be sitting outside reality attacking what lies within, idealistic and opportunist, MC Earth shows that he understands, is part of, and can turn the spotlight on the society he is born into and the problems he faces. The problems we all face, whether we choose to admit it or not.

Take Millenials, the opening track of this short, sharp and shockingly great six-song salvo. It speaks for its generation and reminds us that a new attitude and approach is coming through, and that if those who have gone before, the Gen Xers and the Boomers, were so good at running the world, why has his generation inherited such a god awful mess? A line like “the game ain’t working for us, so we’d like a reset” pretty much sums things up and could be the album’s by-line.

Similarly, Gotta Say Thanks discusses similar themes. Unlike those who run the world now, the politicians and leaders and those in the upper echelons, MC Earth reminds us that money is not the solution. And then we have songs like Mother Nature and D4MN, which stands for Down for Mother Nature, both of which tell us that you can’t change anything until you have learned empathy, compassion and love. Love yourself and accept one another; only then will we have the tools to improve the world around us.

Often, such poignant and powerful subject matter requires heavy and impactful lyricism. But what is excellent about This is a Gift is how engaging it is, how full of humour, how often filled with nostalgic imagery but also loaded with important messaging. And musically, too, there is a bit of an old-school vibe to the sonics at work here. None of the usual off-the-shelf, mumble rap, skittering and empty trap-beat-driven self-aggrandisation to be found here; reference points such as De La Soul, Arrested Development and A Tribe Called Quest spring to mind more than any modern contemporaries. But that isn’t to say that the album doesn’t sound totally of the here-and-now; but it’s clear that MC Earth is happy to allow past, not to mention iconic, influences to guide his hand.

An album that is entertaining and informative, and album that makes you feel and makes you think, and an album that is fun and poignant. When was the last time a rap record made you feel like all of those simultaneously?


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