REVIEW: KNUCKS – LONDON CLASS EP
7 Oct 2020
Knucks’ “London Class” EP is a salute to his artistry, upholding integrity in his career and an important conversation on London’s classism. Hailing from North West London, the emcee is a spearhead figure in the UK’s rising alternative scene and now, more than ever, we hear him. Knucks has impacted each quarter of the year in a significant way, with an impressive roll-out panning from singles in early 2020, his EP release, down to his recent Daily Duppy freestyle.
Adding to his already superior discography, “London Class” comes in, after Killmatic and NRG 101, as a 24 minute project with eight records and four attuned skits. The rapper-producer is an obvious student of music and reworks samples and sounds for our listening pleasure.
The project zooms right into the familiar London soundscape with the intro skit. The second track, entitled “Thames”, is an unapologetic reiteration of the concept behind the project. Never fold, never bend…‘na mean? It’s a nod to Knucks’ vow to stay true to his sound, paired with a catchy hook.
The jumpy energy is kept alive as the next record welcomes a collaboration with rapper, Sam Wise. They display their sonic compatibility as they exchange verses back to back, play with melodies and describe a ‘fxcked up’ life experience familiar to them both.
Throughout the EP, the skits seemingly separate the track list into sub-sections and, with each, a new theme is introduced. Knucks approaches his interactions with women in two opposite ways. “Duchess” is a tongue-in-cheek love letter accompanied with sultry vocals, courtesy of U.K. songstress, Shae Universe. “Hugh Heff (ft KXYZ)” is a wavy ‘play boy’ anthem — it’s in the title — and allows the rappers to hit us with braggadocios bars over a bouncy beat.
It’s a smooth ride as we move into the closing selection of songs. The “Under Class” skit features British activist, Akala, offering insight into the relationship between blackness and classism, mirroring the “London Class” EP title. This then follows into intentionally placed records, “Your Worth” and “Muva’s Life”. The mellow rapper ends with inspiring and introspective lyrics, addressing social matters and delivering a pro-authenticity message.
What do you call it when an artist just has too many levels to them? Knucks. Stream “London Class” on all major platforms now!