This week’s Unsigned Sunday sees us showcase Loyle Carner, a young Londoner who sounds like one of the brightest new voices in UK hip-hop on his debut EP, A Little Late.
‘Pieces’ is built around a smooth jazz sample that glides through three and a half minutes of lyrical discourse that never misses a beat and is constantly engaging.
It feels real from start to finish, communicating with the listener in a way that is intelligent, witty, thought-provoking and in places even humorous.
The EP sounds as if it was quite a personal voyage for Carner to embark on, with the opening track ‘BFG’ laying bare the emotion in his heart following the passing of his father.
Too often wannabe MCs think it is enough to unearth a slick beat and pepper it with nothing but a torrent of self promotion and arrogance. This can create a barrier that is built too high to jump for those who are not staunch hip-hop enthusiasts.
There is a confidence to Carner’s output, but this never risks becoming overbearing. He’s not too stiff-lipped to let insecurities infiltrate his lyrics – something that adds a level of empathy, welcoming the listener to come into his world and experience it with him.
A Little Late shows signs of a style that fits in with a new generation of rappers with the ability to commit streams of consciousness to paper, giving us an insight into the depths of the mind – just as the likes of Roots Manuva, Ghostpoet and Dels have done expertly in recent times.
We’re not the only ones who have cottoned on to Carner’s encapsulating sound either. Next week he will hit the road in Europe to bring his music to a huge new audience when he supports master of the genre Atmosphere.
If ‘Pieces’ does it for you then it practically criminal not to commit slightly more time to listen to A Little Late in its entirety. Its six tracks are an exciting first chapter in the career of a rapper who would appear to have the world at his feet.