10 British Rap Releases of 2017: SonnyJim & Sleaze – Paranoid City

“SonnyJim has the capacity to make you laugh and think within the framework a verse.”

by Yohannes Lowe

Paranoid City was the highly anticipated LP crafted by Sonnyjim & Sleaze, released on the 1 st of January 2017 on Eatgood Records. 

Both armed with an impressive record of releasing quality underground hip-hop, this long-awaited record was bound to special. The two rappers had been able to cement their chemistry previously working on the ‘Mnemonics EP’ in 2011 and Sonnyjim was still reeling from the success of his critically acclaimed ‘Mud in my Malbec’ album last year.

The production is versatile and multipurpose. At times it’s minimalistic and gritty like we hear in sinister tracks such as ‘Fitzroy’ and ‘Salt Shaker’, which are composed with sparse loops and memorable hooks. At other intervals, the samples are more layered and textured in their arrangement, as evident in songs like Lobster Bisque and Svengali. Producers Reklews, Sumgii, Illinformed, AvePee, Sam Zircon and Sonnyjim himself deserve to be given full credit for the consistency of the beats, which makes the whole listening experience a much more cohesive one than you may expect from a project comprised of such a diverse array of producers.

Sonnyjim’s flow and cadence is effortless and the Birmingham MC is able to glide over every beat on the EP. He has the capacity to make you laugh and think within the framework a verse. Sleaze’s unique voice captures the listener’s attention and his multi-syllabic rhyming approach is impressive and inimitable.

Sleaze wasn’t just rapping about the illegal material but was actually facing prosecution in real life. Despite the majority of the project being recorded before his imprisonment, Sleaze still had to send some of his verses while locked up and wasn’t present for the launching of the album.

These factors make the end product that even more notable and praiseworthy from an outside perspective. Easily one of the strongest British rap albums of the year from one the strongest labels, too.

Listen on Spotify

Buy it



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