The fifth in my increasingly inaccurately named ‘trilogy’ of hip hop reviews, and my first non-Scottish rapper review, this time, hailing from just outside London, England, representing the underground, I give you Maniak10 and his new album ‘Asylum’.

Good expressive rap, with grooving beats and grimy lyricism, (not to be confused with the genre ‘grime’ cos’ this is pure hip hop) this record is unctuous with soul. A well-produced, well-polished album. The first track is good, I can relate to it, being the vituperative c*nt I am, “fuck a gun, my tongue is like a semi-automatic weapon”, lots of good wordplay. The second track, which is a toast to hip hop, is really good too, nice and progressive, with some good mixing and nicely positioned soundbites paying tribute to Biggie and Tupac among others.

We’re really getting into the groove with the hard-hitting swagger of ‘Get Gone’, slightly more sinister and aggressive than the first two offerings, and with a vaunting attitude and a banging beat that makes you nod your head in appreciation, and with some cool sound effects and a nice trippy overture carrying it along, making this a great standout track!

A poignant, nostalgic offering in ‘Till You Know’, a raconteurial song that takes you along a tale of woe. It is followed by a bullish, hostile slice of greatness in ‘The End’.  The melodies and vocal deliverance so far on this record can’t be faulted. Halfway through and it hasn’t dropped the ball yet, consistently good and pleasing to the ear of any fan of hip hop I’m sure.

‘Illusions’ is a trippy, ominous track, visceral and dark, heavy and hardcore, dripping with The Fear and carried along with some fast-paced, well-delivered vocs. The sounds on this record are woven together well, from the cast of multi instruments to the sound effects, scratches and samples, it’s all threaded together with an eye for detail and an ear for good timing.

Some nice female vocs on ‘Broken Poetry’ interlaced with good lyricism and a cruising beat, a good track to chill to. A melodious, pleasing, positive vibe. I can’t find a bad track on this record, there’s no fillers, it’s all good flow and an idiosyncratic sound, and it’s good, underground music, similar in style I would say, to the kind of vibe the Wu-Tang Clan were rocking in the early days. A talented MC for sure, influenced by all the great kings of the hip hop genre, and with his own unique style.

If I was to pick a standout track I’d probably choose ‘Dangerous Fly’, the song that has remained stuck in my head after the record finished. I can give this album my official recommendation, I think the term is “dope record” and you can check it out here and follow the artist here .

Seeya’ in the pit!

CTH (Gonzo Div.)