“Not just rhyming, I’m educating your mind so you can relate to mine”. This line sums up Morals Over Everything – the new mixtape from Confz. It’s a collection of seventeen songs in which Confz documents his thoughts and frustrations regarding negative social stereotypes, political hypocrisy and perhaps most of all his increasing frustration with the reckless behaviour of his peers. It’s a glimpse of life from Confz’s perspective. Morals Over Everything actually listens like a damning social critique and the atmospheric production provides the perfect backdrop for Confz to express this. It’s a coherent body of work which manages to be humorous and witty while making astute observations about social behaviour.
The spoken word introduction “Art Money” sets the tone for the mixtape. It highlights Confz’s ferocious ambition to succeed and be known as an artist who stands out from the rest. He touches on how negative stereotypes of today’s youth have been exacerbated by the 2011 riots. Conscious of his own mortality, you get a sense of Confz’s desperation to prove himself and be recognised before it’s too late. The clear, no frills delivery is hard hitting and Confz’s passion gives his flow colour and texture. “Art Money” commands attention and creates a tense, intriguing atmosphere which is fitting because what Confz has to say is not comfy, it’s supposed to provoke thought and challenge perception. You’re not supposed to sit back and relax and let the words and beats wash over you, you’re supposed to sit up and pay attention.
The mixtape is loaded with the weight of anticipation and urgency. There’s something about Morals Over Everything that just feels like now and right now, Confz is aggravated by the status quo. On the tracks “Is This Life” and “Dead man Walking” He speaks with assured clarity about blinkered views within the police force- ‘you obviously don’t know life outside your office constable’. This idea is revisited on the track “Racial” where Confz highlights society’s ignorance by listing various negative racial stereotypes in an ironic, mocking tone.
Although Confz makes a comment on the external factors that affect his generation, Morals Over Everything is by no means a pity party for today’s youth because he goes in on them too. The nineteen year old speaks with surprising authority about the throw away, “YOLO” mentality of his peers on the track “Don’t Do It”. Confz’s staccato flow on this track is perfect for the witty dressing down he gives about everything from unprotected sex to posing in rented cars.
The production on the majority of Morals Over Everything is good. “Dead Man Walking” has the kind of dark, ominous bass line of a worthy of an Aftermath Entertainment artist. The Dr Dre and Eminem influenced production works particularly well on that track and is a thread that runs throughout the mixtape. It can be heard on tracks like “Should’ve Listened” and “Dumbed Down Sh*t”. Even the satirical “Library Raid Skit” is a gentle nod to the tradition of the Hip hop skit, heard most notably, in recent times on Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP and Marshall Mathers LP.
On Morals Over Everything Confz does not just tackle social issues, he also makes a comment on today’s Hip hop scene. He frequently expresses his vexation with wannabe rappers and those who sacrifice their artistic integrity in order to chase the commercial ideals. He does so most notably on “Real Hip Hop 3 Remix” and “Showcase Flow”: ‘lack of talent in the scene, I’m here to make it up… you tell lies in the booth and we know that you are faking funds …you fake gangsters stick to comedy’. Confz’s disillusionment with the scene echoes the current feelings of many Hip Hop fans. But this mixtape is Confz’s effort to set himself apart from the wannabe rappers on the scene.
On the spoken word end track “Peter pan Diet”, Confz refers to himself as a: ‘Preacher in three striped Adidas’. Perhaps half in jest and half in truth Confz presents himself as a kind of Hip hop prophet who has arrived on the scene just in time to tell the world about itself: ‘These dreamers need a leader, I promise you I’m the speaker’. By the end of the mixtape it is clear that Morals Over Everything is not just Confz recklessly sounding off. You get the sense that Confz is attempting to affect change by offering a different perspective.
This is conscious Hip Hop. It represents the bare bones of what Hip hop is about: giving a voice to the underrepresented. Confz is angry, irritated and exasperated but most of all he is articulate. He delivers each track with conviction and a sense of youthful insight. Confz’s flows have an oratory style- his rhymes are clear, unfussy and not filled with over complicated metaphors. But this is not to say his concepts are without complexity. Morals Over Everything is a Hip Hop discourse on society and it subtly celebrates the art to be found in the transparency of the message.
Reviewed by Bibi Cofie
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