‘Lyrical innovation’ – a review of Blay Vision’s latest EP Free

Blay Vision’s ‘Free’ is the perfect combination of aberrant beats and lyrical innovation.

Blay Vision, one of the most promising MC’s in the Grime scene, released his latest project Free on October 26 and is currently number eight in the iTunes Hip/Hop-Rap Album chart.

Best known for his politically charged track Gone Mad featuring Grime legend Jme which released in 2017, the independent artist has reached new heights with his new EP. It is 27 minutes of pure, unadulterated London rap that instantly hypes the listener with great lines such as “Life is short, you’re only one ‘suck your mum’ from dying” which comes just 42 seconds into the first track, Eyes.

Not only are the lyrics intelligent and well formed with a distinct Grime cadence, but the beats that support them are just as aurally pleasing and it really shows how competent Blay is as a lyricist and as his own producer.

The best example of this is the fifth song Cool & Calm which is one of the more understated tracks of the EP with more emphasis on the calming nature of the instrumental than the lyrics, which in this case are more complementary to the music rather than the other way around.

In saying that, Too Much Leng which immediately follows Cool & Calm is a perfect example of an artist showing off their lyrical ability. References to Kylian Mbappe, football in general and Boris Johnson are all seamlessly interwoven into the overall message of the song.

This isn’t a purely solo project with three of the tracks having features from Capo Lee, P Money (x2), Dapz on the Map and Lay-Z. These songs show the versatility of Blay as each have their own unique sound.

The Skeen Remix with Capo Lee and P Money, a fresh version of one of his best tracks from his 2017 album Turner Avenue is arguably the hardest hitting song of the entire EP and leaves you feeling like you’d be able to rob your own family if it came to it.

The EP does more than just highlight the unstable environment that young black people in London grow up in. It also provides an insight into the mindset of someone who has had to work hard to get to the place he is today … all while avoiding the potential pitfalls of drug and gang-related crime that is all too prevalent in the English capital.

If you’re looking for an artist to get yourself acquainted with Grime there is no better place to start than this EP, but be aware you’ll need some knowledge of London slang for full enjoyment and appreciation of the lyrics.

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