More, more Manchester, GIVE ME MORE! Ask and ye shall receive; in the form of this slickly compiled EP from another one of Manchester’s dark horses, Fabz and his ‘Grown’ EP.
‘Grown’ is the follow up to 2014’s ‘Lost’ and just as the name sake suggest, shows a growth in the skill and tenacity of the emcee as well as representing the personal growth of Fabz. ‘Lost’ is a seriously good record its own right and to outdo that straight out of the gate is a notable achievement of its own. The album is high class, the beats produced by Fabz as well as some of the UK’s top underground producers, Kydro, Atsuko and Pro P are clean and cutting edge and encompasses a wide and varied range from smooth, rolling beats to dark, wallowing sub bass monsters.
As a rapper. Fabz brings a clear and unique style. His thick, Salford drawl gives him a unique, deep tone and gives him an instantly recognizable voice. But it’s Fabz delivery, his skill as a word smith, delivering bar after bar of intricate and intelligent lyrics spat with the fervour and guile of a long time veteran of the art that gives him deserved notice.
The EP takes us on an odyssey of rhythms, beats and bars. Starting with ‘Diva’s’ and a pitched up sample of Kim Carnes Looker, Pro P creates a heavy, deep based leviathan for Fabz to spit his first statement of truth over! The EP takes a slightly darker tone with ‘I Don’t Need No Help’, the track telling the poignant tale a young man, being conditioned and hardened by the world around him and gives a good insight into the early years of the man behind the pen.
‘A Cautionary Tale’ is just that. A hood fable of telling the stories of the young Princes and Princesses caught in the struggle and mindset of an impoverished backdrop. Fabz story telling is true to the original ethos of Hip Hop. Rap was about telling stories of struggle, hardship and overcoming and rappers fed off their troubled past’s and used them as true poetic muses and this is something Fabz does well. The words fully immerse you in Fabian Chambers world just as proper Hip Hop should.
‘When The Sun Goes Down’ picks up the pace and changes the feeling with Atsuko’s beautifully crafted, eerily addictive beat. It’s completely immersive; feeling like a wave of sound enveloping and warping its way round your ears. It really is something else and it gives Fabz another frame to demonstrate his near flawless skill as an emcee. ‘Just Play My’ sees Fabz first grab of the production reigns on the EP. It’s simple, blissful drum beat and deep, pumping bass carry the chilled song along and gives the album a nice break from the dark.
‘Tryna Find My Way’ offers another insight to Fabz continual growth over the years. Another intricately penned anecdote laid over the top of a recognisably smooth Kydro composition. ‘Holding Back The Years’ again see’s Fabz taking production credits, it’s minimal, plodding, dream like beat adds basis and sets the scene for another Manchester memoir. Last track on the album ‘What Else Can I Do’ in a way pays homage and summarises the rest of the album. In a world of continual struggles, the trials and tribulations that befall many inner city youths, Fabz has found a voice and a path and he knows that; music, is his future.
It’s an album that’s hard to find fault with. There isn’t much more you could warrant from a Hip Hop album. The lyrical content is well versed and instead of just covering the same used and over used mainstream subject material, Fabz has gone back to the elemental roots of Rap and is a proper scene setter and story teller. Beats are instrumentals are as varied as the populace of Mancheter and keep the album fresh and interesting. If I had to offer any criticism it would only be that Fabz skill as an emcee outshines his production credits and the album definitely started stronger than it finished. That being said, these are only small criticisms and as a whole the album is very good. A very enjoyable listen and a very worthy addition to the growing list of serious Manchester talent. A+!
Photo Credit: http://www.antwerpmansion.com