Ahhh The Blacklist, it’s been living a pretty solid life in all of my music players and for a good reason.
Reviewer: Ruxton – January 05, 2011
First up, i’ve totally slept on this review, having been sent a slightly advanced copy to checkout and review around September. Sorry everyone, i make no excuses, but here it is.
It’s hard for me to stay objective towards an album I’ve been listening to and enjoying a lot. So straight in with a summary and no bullshit, if you liked the Homemade Bombs EP you’re going to love The Blacklist, there’s more tracks here and Briggs has upped his game tenfold since joining on with Golden Era Records.
Briggs, i think is possibly the most exportable Australian rapper out there at the moment and I’m pretty sure there’s some other people out there totally aware of this. What I love about Briggs first and foremost is how he sounds, it’s hard no matter what’s going on. It’s great to sound hard, but you need content in your lyrics and some flow, Briggs has all of this and then some. Even when he’s rapping about being the greatest, like everyone seems to do, there’s something else being said; The track The Checklist is a prime example of this.
You can catch the lead single The Wrong Brother second on the album and this is one hell of a stormer. It’s really just an intro to the man himself, but shit it’s hot; just see for yourself.
Here We Go is the title of the next track and it sits in a great placement on the album. The names of the last 2 tracks really makes me think they should’ve been in the opposite order, however listening in that order just leaves the opening of the album lacking that oomf it has.
Game On comes up next and it’s just another track about Briggs, don’t be fooled the opening to the album is a kind of self-indulgent (it’s rap after all), but you know what? For once i don’t care that an MC is 4 tracks in and doing nothing but “me me me”, because it’s damn good and it’s not all bravado.
Five tracks deep in The Blacklist we welcome the first guest verse, Trials of Funkoars. So Dangerous is my favourite track off the album, and not suprisingly it’s produced by Trials. The overall mix in this soundscape of sampled horns, cuts and drums is well executed and along with two mc’s trading bars, makes for a really sweet track. My love for the track was recently re-enforced as it was slated as the second single off the album, you can grab the So Dangerous EP on iTunes now and apparently a film clip is coming shortly.
The well executed humour and storytelling i’ve come to really enjoy from Briggs continues with I Wish. A great track that I think can be summed up simply by sticking your tongue in your cheek and saying “I wish i was normal” as sarcastically as you could. It’s followed by a quick track 7 Blackmail, an interlude executed in the telephone answering machine message style with BrothaBlack.
Unlike other tracks on the album which i feel are leagues ahead the next 2 tracks Oh No and I Gotta both feel like they’re from a time closer to the Homemade Bombs EP. That’s not to throw them aside, they’re still killer tunes, I just don’t think they just don’t sound as awesome as many of the previous tracks.
At track number 10 is Since Forever which features Golden Era Records labelmasters Hilltop Hoods. I actually thought this sounded like a Suffa beat, but it’s actually by Pokerbeats. If you you asked me to describe it to you, I’d tell you it’s like Briggs did 50 in 5, hooked on the idea that “we’ve been here forever”.
The best content in the lyrics of all the tracks on this album comes in the form of a simple track titled I Could. I don’t even wan’t to get into this track, I want you to go listen to it over and over again. It has everything rap is supposed to have, the beat? check. the lesson? check. the story? check. the self-indulgence? check. tight mc? check. a dedication? check. He’s got it, he’s got it, he’s got it.
As we start to get towards the end of The Blacklist one thing becomes clear, Briggs isn’t letting up. Dealin’ With A Monsta is another heavy track. Quickly punctuated by a lighter, more serious track in Vicious Cycle, another stand out track from the album which features Dylan Smith singing a really smooth chorus.
The Blacklist closes up shop with another phat beat and another favourite of mine, Gargantuan. It’s so innocent in it’s intro and then along comes some big drums then, bam EVERYTHING is in. It feels so simple but Briggs really attacks this track verbally and that plays through into the beat.
The Blacklist was released on the 24th September 2010 and is available digitally from iTunes and from your favourite record store, if you don’t have it yet what the hell are you waiting for? you’re missing a top 10 album from 2010!
- “Its heavy message is handled with skill.” – The Mercury
- “It’s refreshing to hear an Australian MC rapping with a bit of style and personality” – Planet Urban
- “Overall, this is a solid effort from one of the emerging forces in Aussie hip hop” – The Dwarf
- “a melodic rapid-fire approach, and a powerful and unique voice” – Soundpet
- “Briggs has proved himself a powerful emerging force in hip-hop” – Getmusic