Saturday, 9 November 2013

Discovery: Jack Flash - Vertigo

Six years ago, Kano's London Town was blasting out of my CD player (alarm clock) at 7.45am before school. I remember thinking to myself 'what in the hell is this?' when I woke up unexpectedly to "The Product". Of course, Kano was the finished product in 2007, and has faded since, but that period, in my abrasive morning wake-ups, often resorted in returning to London Town at night. Looking back in the past 40 years, it's only been Malcolm McLaren, and Dizzee Rascal that have surfaced as respective hip-hop artists in the UK. And even then, the latter doesn’t associate with that culture term (nor does McLaren in fact.) 'British grime' as it's so looked down upon by the State side elite as sewer music, is our version of their beloved 80s / 90s golden age - with drum and bass and garage thrown in as supplements. To the outside world, if you're not on Ninja Tune, then you're not hip-hop, and if you're in the charts, then you're either Tinie Tempah or N Dubz.

Jack Flash is in the same genre category as Speech Debelle, The Streets, and Plan B. The alternative hip-hop artists, where rap is at heart, and fusions dominate the music. Jack Flash is no different to Mike Skinner's spoken word aesthetic. You could say that Jack Flash's biggest musical influence is Skinner and his six studio albums.

Yorkshire's very own soulful rapper has been releasing music for over five years now. Jack Flash (whose real name is Rob,) takes his name from the strand of Cannabis, popularised through smoking weed which also happens to be a name of a Rolling Stones hit - happens. Well Jack Flash and his back-up crew create a blend of hip-hop, which is loosely defined as alternative hip-hop. There's the essence of soul driven through the vocals, with downtempo on the beats. "Vertigo" is a great example of live instruments bending the rules of hip-hop, with a smooth rap easy on the ear, and tasty on the tongue delivered by the Huddersfield based rapper. Jack Flash most certainly has a future in UK hip-hop, after his past so distinctively shows.
~Eddie Gibson

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