It has been quite some time since a breakthrough UK artist left such a lasting impression as Ghostpoet‘s debut record has. Given the seal of approval by Mike Skinner in his Guardian Music takeover. Quite fitting that as one of stalwarts of UK hip-hop bows out with the The Streets, he is heralding in a new generation of talent.
Ghostpoet (real name Obaro Ejimiwe) grew up on a merry-go-round between London, Coventry, Nigeria and Dominica which has certainly provided him with a wide range of influences to draw from. This diversity is reflected in his debut album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam, an off-kilter fusion of dub-step, electronica, hip-hop and blues.
Fitting somewhere between the everyday musings of Mike Skinner and the gruffness of Roots Manuva, he charts a journey through the daily toils of life in modern Britain both personal and philosophical. Each track is graced with his drawl, hazy idiosyncratic slurred delivery with a backdrop of atmospheric beats and screeches creates an almost spectral soundscape.
Ghostpoet is a unique and different voice and quite unlike others MC’s, prefering to concentrate on what he knows about, ‘life’. ‘I Just Don’t Know’ is a declaration of this intent; “Other MCs want to talk about crime, but that ain’t me”. His artful wanderings take us on a journey to the bright and hopeful, ‘Survive It’ and ‘Liiines’ and to the darker ‘Cash and Carry Me Home’, a whisky-fueled encapsulation of hang-over induced self-loathing and fear. Always honest, beautiful and open.
A very unique debut from one of the most exciting and thought-provoking artists to emerge this year. An impressive statement of intent from UK hip-hop’s new standard bearer, watch his stock rise is ’11.
Download: Ghostpoet – Longing For The Night