Slowthai: The Future With A Positive Message
Slowthai is arguably one of the most exciting prospects erupting in UK Hiphop right now. The rapper’s experimental production colludes with an aggressive yet endearing lyrical execution to demonstrate a rare individuality. His latest EP, RUNT, is the latest in a catalogue of prior work that began in around 2016.
Unlike the majority of UK rappers, Slowthai is using his platform to draw attention to some of the UK’s most pressing issues. On the track ‘Drug Dealer’, Slowthai expertly encapsulates the political and institutional oppression of the working class, a running theme throughout multiple tracks. The track ‘Ladies’ emphasises the importance of respecting women, a breakthrough in a scene so riddled with misogyny. This isn’t to say that Slowthai is the only rapper sending out positive messages - but there’s something powerfully potent about the sincerity of his execution.
Though most of his videos depict him as somewhat unhinged, the combination of lyrics and visual ideas suggest an artist extremely calculated in his work. The video for ‘Northern Nights’ is riddled with film references from films such as Clockwork Orange, The Blair Witch Project and The Shining. He makes a visual reference to John Lennon in ‘Ladies’ who he admits is someone he looks up to in an interview with Rinse FM.
As well as the culturally positive messages, those lucky enough to have seen him live will know about the sheer energy and intimacy that he brings with his performances and is known for rarely remaining on stage, instead heading out into the audience such as during his electrifying performance at the BBK takeover in 2017.
Slowthai is undoubtably earning his right to be considered one of the most prominent of the UK’s new wave of artists, and what’s more is that he’s doing it without conforming to the pressures of genre conventions. Catch Slowthai at upcoming performances including Bristol’s Simple Things Festival and Manchester’s Warehouse Project; his prospering reputation suggests they’re not to be missed.
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