REVIEW: Black Josh – Brexit

Manchester emcee, Black Josh has been putting in some serious work for some time now and this, his most recent and most independent work to date, is another mixtape to add to his growing discography.

Just ’cause it’s called ‘Brexit’ doesn’t mean it’s political. More so, the engaging title is about a transitional period in the young rapper’s career, removing himself from previous work and making something completely new – and Josh has done a better job with Brexit than Theresa and co. have so far.

A highly regarded member of the Blah family, we can expect much more music to come from Josh under the cult-like label, but this is a completely independent project from Yung Rachet as he crafts a full tape of the sound that he and Sleazy F Baby have been making up in Manchester. This one is for the younger heads. For his generation and his people. Deep, somehow dangerous sounding instrumentals lay the platform for some chant-inducing hooks, heavy in some intentional ignorance and slang from a self-described ‘street kid.’ Josh can rap like this for way more than an album – he could probably fill a full tape with the ‘yeeah, yeaaah, yeaah, yeaah, yeeeah’ adlibs that he constantly groans out and it would still sound good.

Yet, in his four or five years in the game, he’s proven to be one of the most versatile rappers in the country. This is an album for his sovereign wearing gang of Hennie Boize, but on the likes of Ape Tape (2016) , Smoking Kills (2016) and #blahblahblackjosh (2014) he’s proven he can touch on a variety of topics, be it with depth or pure beautiful ignorance in a range of flows and over different sounding beats from the wide range of producers he’s worked with.

Brexit has a Playboi Carti feel to it but rather than making Hypebeats wile out, Josh’s lyrics filled with Mancunian and modern British references naturally help the ‘tape gravitate to a more finely tuned, more personal and relatable audience than the work of those in the States. A feature from fellow Manchester big don, Sleazy F Baby speaks volumes about the ethos of this project, with its roots firmly placed in the city’s colourful and exciting music scene. With artists like IAMDDB, shouted out on this ‘tape and making BIG moves in the industry, it is, as always, a good time to be a Manchester artist. Young Mancs are surrounded by talents doing it independently and doing it well like Sleazy, Josh, Children of Zeus and many more.

On a surface level, Brexit is the sort of mixtape you want your pals to hear so you’re not the only one want chanting; ‘They know my gang, they know my gang, they know my gang yeah, yeah,’ at pre-drinks this weekend. But if you look a bit deeper, it’s a drop in the ocean/many murky puddles of potential for good music in Manny’s hip-hop scene, and yet another example of the talent that Black Josh has under his rainproof North Face.

RATING: 459 ml out of the 750ml of Hennessy from behind bossman’s till.



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