The opening track “Blaow” stands out as a mid-tempo head nodder with some clever lyrics, while slamming beats and aggressive battle raps make “Yet To Verify” and “Dogs of War,” featuring Wordsmith, into additional album highlights. Or maybe I was just won over by the Star Wars and Ol’ Dirty Bastard references on “Dogs of War.” But it’s far more likely this is just dope underground hip hop. And if, like me, you have a hard time with hip hop from the U.K., Freedom Of Press might very well convince you to alter your opinion.
It’s true that the Hip-Hop world runs in over-lapping and well-formed circles. For most breaking into those circles can only be a dream, and certainly an accomplishment if achieved. Rather than joining or merging within the circles, a brand new circle has been formed. YTV (Yandle The Vandal) and Henry Tha 8th have collaborated to form “Freedom Of Press” for their new project “Yet To Verify”. I previously blogged the information on Hip-Hop Kings, but wanted to follow with an official review.
I’ll avoid the cliché comparisons and negative fashion that critiques seem to enforce on album reviews and focus on the music. The seven-track E.P has been entirely self-produced and recorded, and features guest appearances from familiar names Jack Flash, Wordsmith and Sensa amongst others. The aim was to always create grass-roots, no-ulterior-motive Hip-Hop album for the minority of “fans” that exist within the genre.
The music simply speaks for itself. “Dogs of War” with Wordsmith and the E.P titled track “Yet to Verify” are the lyrically pleasing efforts we expect from such a calibre of artist. YTV and Henry Tha 8th create two underground-type tracks that will sit as firm favourites across any listener who comes across the E.P, and should be used as fine examples as to what to expect for the rest of the project. Another standout track is the mega-mix “Verbal Contact” which features the above mentioned artists, plus Nugget, Tenchoo and Flex Digits. Each artist pounces on their opportunity of sixteen bars and creates one of my personal favourite entries on the track listing.
The only concern is the music falling on deaf ears. Without an extensive marketing budget or previous commercial success, promoting such a project proves to be difficult. It’s clear to me that Freedom of Press are hustlers of the best kind, and will work relentlessly to ensure the music is heard to the right people. With support from the likes of HHB Radio, Bring Da Ruckus and plenty of others, the wheels have been set in motion, and I wish the guys the very best of luck. Please show support by purchasing the E.P for just £2.00 from the official bandcamp link below.
Ryan Maxwell www.hip-hopkings.com