By showcasing some of Nottingham’s finest urban lyrical talent, contextualizing it in the global Hip-Hop scene by drawing on international influences, and by staying undeniably true to the topics and talking points (from conspiracy theories to mental health) so often heard across our fine city, Creativity Crisis serves up a conscious tour de force which promises to be real, relevant and relatable to so many of us in 2018.
Lyrically, 1st Blood have delivered an incredibly versatile record, blending the humorous and the serious exploration of pressing political and philosophical themes. The record’s wide-ranging roster of well-known and up-and-coming artists and features allows us to embark on a truly enjoyable and never-boring phonic adventure.
Whether it’s because I’ve been living in the city for 7 years now or because I essentially have belonged to its’ sceptical and spiritual, conspiracist and health-conscious scene, I feel a natural affinity to the concept of this record and what it stands for (to me) – a no-bullshit, genuine account of what it means to live in the internet age of individuality, suspicion and the pursuit of a greater meaning (particularly in Notts).
Rich with references to current and trending themes – from mysticism, Kundalini and the chakras to the existential hardships of modern living, from Monsanto, New World Orders and conspiracy theories to the pursuit of peace and happiness amidst it all – this record stands out primarily due to its engaging and empathetic pertinence.
As someone once said: “Real recognize real” and 1st Blood have been just that.
Although I’m quite frankly not the biggest fan of the urban Notts accent, it manages to steal the show somewhat in Creativity Crisis’ expertly-produced and well thought out landscape which places it alongside lyricists from the States and across the UK as well as cushioning it over the familiarity of old American TV vocal samples and masterful vinyl scratch sequences.
Articulating themselves over an eclectic variety of well-crafted instrumentals, these guys are able to switch it up accordingly without leaving any space for predictability, keeping me eagerly on my toes in anticipation of the next track.
From the dark and gloomy, slow and heavy beats that I was expecting to the surprisingly uplifting and light-hearted Hip-Pop beats of ‘Step Up’ and ‘Fire Fire’, this is an undeniably well-rounded record which checks many boxes and intends to reach out across the spectrum, hopefully carving out a wider space on the scene for Nottingham Hip-Hop.
Review by Liam MacGregor
For reviews email a streaming link and as much info about the release to Info@imnotfromlondon.com