Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baseball Caps and Novar

"Finsbury Park's in my heart / It never left me"

With Skinnyman and latterly Taskforce having been a little quiet of late, it falls to Supar Novar to rep for some of the low N postcodes at the moment. This he does via a Tricksta-assembled mixtape, "Wordz From The Frontline", from Wolverhampton's Wolftown empire, and it's fair to say that even over 75 minutes the quality only rarely slides, Supar Novar supplying the talent to match Tricksta's in a way that puts this mixtape above solo efforts from Wolftown's own roster like Late's US-UK collabo last yr.

The usual Wolftown suspects (Late himself - most winning line: "I'm sick of seeing the world through the eyes of Judith Chalmers"), Jai-Boo, 10Shott appear, along with Novar's latest protege Big Ben, but "Wordz From The Frontline" is designed to be, and works as, a showcase for Supar Novar himself. His gruff, grimy rapping is to the fore, and as such "Wordz...", which includes "Measure My Success" (effectively the single, being the video that they've decided to throw at Channel U) and "New Year Startin'" (almost a rose-tinted UK "It Was A Good Day"), is a worthy accompaniment to '06's album proper, "From The Beginning". The only gripe we can find, if we try, is that like so much UKHH (and unlike so much grime), we wish it could sound more completely like it was from this side of the Atlantic: image-wise, Wolftown have always seemed slightly taken with the stateside hip-hop cliche thing, which is a mild disappointment, as plenty of their records have actually kind of transcended it.