10 British Rap Releases of 2017: HAPPYPPL – Things to Do in Happy Land When ur Dead

Trellion whispering ‘Donnay’ after Scott speaks of his verses having ‘that new sock feel…’

We had the rare sensation of finding out about the release of this project straight from the horse’s mouth – with the horse looking a lot like Lee Scott as he sat on the other side of a table in a Kilburn cafè.

We were conducting the very first interview for Off Licence Magazine, something that will be hitting corner shop shelves and doormats early next year.

“What’s that gonna sound like?” we asked him in the most quizzical of tones, trying to hide our joy that he’d made a whole project with fellow English rap royalty in Trellion; because being happy about things is sad. That’s pretty much the tone of this half an hour of velvety production from Sumgii, as 3/4 of Cult Mountain come at you with various ingenious ways of saying nothing very much at all – whilst also saying fuck loads at the same time.

Things to Do in Happy Land when Ur Dead is a grower; not because I first didn’t like it and then had some epiphany that made me realise it was the greatest thing ever. Not that at all. Rather, because I thought I liked it right away, then literally felt the groan-like delivery of various verses and hooks physically grow on my brain. Stinkin Slumrok’s ‘Happy Laaaand, where the sun smiles and the moon’s rockin’ ‘Baaaans’ might just sneak into your subconscious after you hear the Blah man read out the hook on Hey Hoe. The next time you’re asked to introduce yourself to someone, you might have to resist the urge to say ‘I’m an internet meme evolved,’ ala Trelly on Heart Shaped U. 

Despite both Lee and Trell saying they ‘don’t even wanna rap no more’ on that track, and Mr. Scott ironically rapping that he can’t rap on Ebb Tide, anyone who knows the long list of releases from both of these will know they are lying. As such, it’s hard to compare this project with the likes of Trellion’s North Luna record with Sniff, or Lee Scott’s recently repressed Stupid Poignant Shit – but there’s no need go and compare this with past work. These artists are showing how to bring new sounds into hip-hop without mumbling or having ‘Lil’ as a prefix in your name. Sumgii’s left-field production helps achieve this, but only as much as the nerve these HAPPYPPL have to say the shit that they do in such a slow, sw£g-heavy way.

Sly features from Milkavelli in the form of his bouncy verse on Manzell and random adlibs complete Cult Mountain, with Milk assumably taking the form of the grills in this hip-hop Megatron. Megatron that is, dressed head-to-toe in a Slazenger tracky. And on the subject of low-budget sportswear and adlibs, Trellion whispering ‘Donnay’ after Scott speaks of his verses having ‘that new sock feel’ on Timon Squared is a highlight. In its simplistic complexity, relatability, cleverness, cheek and originality, it’s 6 of the 616 reasons why this record is a good one.

Listen on Spotify

Things To Do In Happy Land When Ur Dead is available to buy from Cult Mountain’s Bandcamp.

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