It’s been a couple of years since Ghetts has released any material, and when he announced that a new album was on its way last year, everyone knew that he had been cooking up something special, and after listening to the album several times already, it’s safe say that he has successfully produced one of the finest albums ever by a UK MC. In a recent interview with MTV, Ghetts explained what he wants listeners to take away from the album: “the substance – I want them to listen and relate to it, rather than it just be another CD to listen to.”
Touching on subjects such as the death of Mark Duggan, which led to the London riots in 2011, and anecdotal stories of injustices he has witnessed whilst growing up on a council estate, he showcases the subject matter as a matured MC, one who has seen a lot and now has the focus to put this anger and thoughts into a body of work. The album starts off with a short skit from a news reporter, who says:
“the rebellious spirit unleashes a strength in passionate individuals, their frustration, resistance and defiance formulates an uncontrollable, yet undeniable energy, producing rebels with a cause.”
The accompanying music gradually builds and the arrival of Ghetts is finally here:
“How do I look so young when I’ve been in the game for ten years, and how do I sound like I be in my prime still and if nobody wanna rap grime then I will.”
It’s the moment every grime fan has been waiting for, and in this one verse Ghetts shows that grime is alive and well. Alongside this Grimey aspect though, Ghetts also delves into other musical sounds, with rock, jazz and reggae influences all in the make-up of the album. This boiling pot of all different musical elements blend in really well; the song ‘Rebel’ is a great example, which takes a rock sound and adjusts it to suit Ghetts’ raw and edgy flow. The rebellious spirit is in full effect on the album, referencing his hatred for politics and David Cameron, the system as a whole, and other issues like world leaders and the media, as he explains on ’Stand On’:
“How can we be just following procedures when most these world leaders are guilty of some major crimes” and “I could not be manipulated by the media, when Rupert Murdoch’s participating in deceiving ya.”
However, the album is not all about rebellion and on a lighter note, Ghetts talks about his daughter and how fatherhood has changed his perspective on life, on the track ‘Fatherhood’ explaining:
“11 months ago my girlfriend told me she pregnant, I quit smoking weed the same day, hugged her and showed my affection, I wanna be the world’s best Dad so I’m guilty of over-protection, I feel like the wealthiest man now I ain’t my only reflection.”
Going lyrically from one emotion to the next, and one thought to another, he shows how far he has come from the young hoodlum grime MC known as Ghetto, to a well-known and established all-round lyrically agile rapper called Ghetts.
‘Rebel With a Cause’ will go down as a marking point for all young UK MCs to follow and learn from. To the build-up, promotion, marketing, and of course, the album itself, Ghetts has formulated his method perfectly, delivering an album that is both slick in production and meaningful.
First published: March 12, 2014