Music Reviews

Album Review: Frisco – System Killer

I have a confession to make. While I might’ve been screaming BBK since 2008 when the streets were flooded with BBK and Star In The Hood T-shirts, I really haven’t been interested in all of their artists. To be perfectly honest with you I only ever listened to Skepta’s mixtapes and albums. I had no reason for overlooking the other artists: JME has had an array of hits, Jammer is a talented rapper and my favourite verse on ‘Too Many Man’ did not come from frontman Skepta but Frisco. “Too many man, too many many man I’ll slew any man slew any any man”: legendary line. But despite me never hearing a bad verse from any of the BBK members, I’ve never ever taken the time to listen to their solo work, so when JME posted the link to Frisco’s album on the 15th of April this critic thought he should correct some of his wrongs. I did not regret it. System Killer is one of the most entertaining LP’s I’ve heard this year. Pure energy from track 1 to 15 keeping that grime 140 bpm-feel, whilst Frisco touches on different topics from his exceptional ability as an MC and what BBK has done for grime, to girl problems and raving. If you’re looking for something to fill that Konnichiwa shaped void in your iTunes Library, give this LP a listen.

Frisco’s unique voice over familiar sounding instrumentals is what made this LP so accessible for me, and is a testament to the fact that Grime has been a genre that has been able to produce quality albums and even though this is classified as a mixtape it is of album quality whilst staying almost exclusively grime in terms of genre. Maybe Chris Price will have to retract his comments made earlier in the year. The LP starts off mean with Frisco asking, “What’s man saying?” The Swindle produced instrumental is cold, from the brass to the sinister synths played in octaves and the crazy percussion. Frisco is basically popping his head out after no solo releases last year and asking what everyone else is saying while telling everyone who he is, what he’s done in the scene and why these new guys don’t compare. You know: typical grime stuff.

‘Raving Tonight’ provides a different vibe to the LP with the chorus “my girlfriend’s getting on my nerves, the arguments are hurting my head. So I ring up the mandem ASAP, cus I heard there’s a rave in west. Raving tonight I’m raving tonight”. The chorus basically explains the premise of the whole song. The verses are entertaining and the voice clips of the ‘girlfriend’ in the background add an element of hilarity to the track. Skepta and Wiley unsurprisingly kill their features; all that’s missing from this track is a killer JME verse.

‘What It Is’ is another track that deserves a special mention. This song will have you screwing at your mum for no reason; dirty, grimey, lairy 2-finger gun skank central. ‘Clear’ is another special track on the LP with salsa percussion fused with a grimey kick and snare. The synths add a fun vibe to the track. Wiley’s hook is cold on this as well and the execution is perfect especially for the tone of his voice. If you’ve heard the remix to ‘Walk With The Elephants’ you’ll be aware of the chemistry that Frisco and Shakka share, and System Killers has graced us with two collaborative songs on the LP. Shakka kills the hooks on the single ‘Different Kind’ and my favourite track on the LP ‘Noise’. The synths sound like they’ve been lifted right from AlunaGeorge’s ‘Attracting Flies’. ‘Different Kind’ has a great energy as well.

If you’re looking for deep, socially conscious rap that’s going to make you think differently about life, you’re not going to find it on this LP. But if you’re looking for flows, delivery, great instrumentals, two-finger-skank screwface-everyone-on-the-train music, you’ll enjoy this LP. This was an entertaining listen for me from track one to the end and has a lot of replay value. A great project to keep the momentum of the grime scene going, and in terms of in camp competition, having the best BBK project this year isn’t going to be a walk in the park for Skeppy.

Joshua Ogunmokun

Josh is currently listening to ‘Live From Chattanooga’ by Tut

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Co-Editor of the Music Section at University of Nottingham's IMPACT Magazine.

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