Bigg Taj grabs the mic from track-one and represents. Let me be clear, he REPRESENTS something. That something that’s often missing in today’s vast collection of mediocre hip-hop music coming in the form of free downloads (and they call it an ‘album’) type releases.
This is a genuine thought-out, thought-provoking piece of work from a Scottish legend within this genre. Thought Taj only beat-boxed? Time to think again…
‘People are terrified, media be telling lies’
Bigg Taj does a brilliant job during the first few tracks of this release to get the point and direction of the EP across. We don’t have intertwined-interlocking-lyrics at play, we don’t have similes and metaphors that perplex or make you think ‘what does this mean?’ We simply have dope-raps, a strong message, with production that adds and compliments to this style perfectly. Yet rather than have depression social commentary (I’m guilty of myself), I automatically feel uplifted by the opening sounds on this release. This is positive hip-hop.
‘This ain’t no rich-boy rap, and I ain’t a poor soul’
As we progress into the track-list, the same tone and feel of track remains with varied production and vocal assertion. This clearly has a covering message throughout despite having a versatile collection of tracks. Taj is pissed off, but clearly far from given up on global issues and making a change. Tracks like ‘Propaganda’ is a signal of this. He tells it straight, and without saying ‘f**k the system we live in’, he manages to put this across in a more articulate way with a softer approach. Often we see Taj looking towards a youth scene, a youth that could grow up to change this broken lifestyle and media with some simple advice. You can clearly see he relates to younger people, and why he is himself involved in youth work projects throughout Scotland.
Constant in this project we feel a very high energy, we hear this confidence which many vocalist can lack. Look, this isn’t going to blow you away lyrically, or make you think Taj is also a wordsmith (along with being a beatboxer and producer). This is a man with something to say, backed with brilliant beats, cuts and features that also reflect his mind-state. I also get the felling Big Taj hasn’t made this because he wanted to progress, or achieve anything. Taj had something to say, something clear which fits perfectly into 7 tracks. There’s no point in dragging this out as a full LP, nor could he have covered his emotions in less tracks. It’s a brilliant release, I’d urge anyone, of any background to listen and connect.
Review by Drew Devine (Werd).
Released 4th April 2016 - Available on most digital retailers.
Feature acts : Singh Mahoon, Spee Six Nine, Angel S (Sarah Little).
Beat Production: DSB, Sean El, Aereka, Breakbeats Son, Richard Richardson.
Cuts: Doc bLAdez (Raman Dhillon), Dj Bud (Hardeep Matharu)
Original Artwork by: "khush".