When I think of North London, my mind automatically takes me to the heart of Tottenham. This may be due to the fact that many of its risings Rap stars reside from there – (Wretch 32, Chimpmunk, Skepta etc). Well as of recent events it seems there’s a new town in North making its way onto the ‘underground music scene map’ and that town is Islington. A Rapper by the name of Joe Blacks has everyone talking about the release of his latest mixtape ‘Realionaire’ and what perfect timing for such a compilation of tracks to hit our streets then the peak of summer (well what’s left of is that is). The sun blazing, windows down as you speed through the A10 or maxi dresses, chinos and snapbacks at a BBQ – whatever atmosphere you’re in just make sure ‘Realionaire’ makes an appearance on any form of audio player.
After reviewing 25 tracks of ‘real life music’ I have managed to pick out 5 songs that just stood out for me; I must add it wasn’t an easy task as this mixtape consists of a lot of musical excellence but it had to be done. In no particular order here is a list of Joe Blacks’ finest tracks (subject to opinion) on ‘Realionaire’ …..
Now I know Intros aren’t exactly considered to be tracks; as an artist wouldn’t put it out there with a video or anything but this one in particular is a great introduction into a mixtape. Joe has me from the get go here and entices me into wanting to listen to more and more which is how a good introduction should make you feel.
“I need K Koke’s views, Tine Tempah sales; I don’t need no one’s help I just help myself”.
The best feeling I get is when a movie says its title in the movie, I know this may make me a bit of a nerd but there’s just something surprising yet satisfying when this does happen. This can be said about this track. Joe Blacks explains to us what a ‘Realionaire’ is here with countless lyrics defining this term I have picked a few which might make it a bit more clearer for you…
“…real life so when I recite it I’m comfortable….”
“…I’m just tryna make music from the heart at the same time, move into the charts…”
“…If truth was a currency I’d be a Realionaire …”
05. Johnny Part 2
Narrative Music. We all love a good story now and again and this one about a boy called Johnny is definitely a character I know many will be able to relate with. Joe describes a male who is wanted by the police for what they would call his ‘wrong doings’ but to him it’s a way of life for survival.
“Johnny’s got a price on his head, the youts from the other side want him dead, he was realer than most so they were shook of him, they put couple grand up and made everybody look for him.”
Controversially enough looking deeper into the meaning of that quote; one could say it relates heavily into what is currently going on in our society today, regarding police brutality i.e. the death of Mark Duggan.
06. Music Is My Hustle
The extracts from what seems to be a Jay-Z interview alone makes this track worth a feature on my list. Joe Blacks basically states why he does music; everybody has a grind, a hustle and music is his. The use of Jay – Z here works in favour with Blacks as he uses him as a form of evidence to clarify what he is already trying to say through this track;
“It takes time for people to find themselves, to find their voice and know what they wana talk about, you know fortunate for me my first album came out I was 26, I was mature in that way that I knew who I was, I knew what I wanted to say I had a wealth of life experiences that I could draw upon and still draw upon till this day.”
16. In Between
First off the production of this track is crazy; Westy (the producer) brought a different vibe to this rap mixtape with this up tempo number, he almost revived a little bit of the Grime scene here. Secondly Joe Blacks doesn’t shy away from telling the ladies how it is with the sort of relationship he wants to pursue here;
“…I thought you knew what time it was when we swapped the digits, we link up, under the sheets and get it on, a quick f*** something to eat and then I’m gone…”
So there we have it, my top 5 tracks featuring on the Joe Blacks’ mixtape ‘Realionaire’. If you haven’t done so already download or even just have a listen and decided upon your 5 favourite tracks.
I tried to do it but it wasn’t possible, like I said earlier Joe Blacks has too much potential with this mixtape as to why it has received such a huge response. I just couldn’t let you lot go without sharing just one more track, that I think is the main reason as to why we all love Blacks…..
19. F*** a Concept
The title says it all need I say any more? But I will, Joe Blacks doesn’t follow a certain structure, rule book/instruction manual when it comes to what he raps about. Instead like Jay – Z rightly pin pointed he draws upon his life experiences. This in itself is a concept but one that follows no boundaries and is what I like to describe as ‘autobiographical rapping’. Rap that one will listen to and say ‘hold on he’s rapping about the same stuff I actually do’ or even ‘hey he’s rapping about the same stuff I know someone else does’. So either way Joe Blacks manages to reach out to a mass audience using this notion; which I believe is one of the key attributes that makes him one of the most respectable underground rappers around.
“This is real life, f*** a concept”…..
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