Release Date: Apr 13, 2018
Record label: N/A
18 months ago, south London MC Novelist passed on some good advice to NME: "You don't have to talk for conversation's sake, ever," he said. "You choose what you want to say." Almost four years on from his first EP, 'Sniper', the Lewisham rapper has brought that same sense of rigour to his debut album 'Novelist Guy'. And for Kojo Kankam, if something's worth saying, it bears repeating.
One of the features of grime's newfound commercial and critical attention is its initial sounds slowly shifting from radical to clichéd, as well as the stylistic parameters of the genre expanding as its proponents toy with new ideas. Hailing from Brockley, Novelist's self-released, self-produced debut album Novelist Guy is what could be described as grime-adjacent, utilising its cold aesthetic while also making use of elements sourced from a broader palette. Novelist's lyrics are cool and authoritative for the most part, dealing with issues like street life (Gangster), good times (Better Way) and his own determination (Whole 9 Yards).
Grime began as a punk-like, revolutionary black British art form, conceived and amplified by the youth in response to marginalisation and disenfranchisement. The political messages combined with the energy and DIY production created a sonic depiction of inner-city London and provided something real and relatable for its inhabitants. Over a decade and a half later, as the genre continued to transcend its London postcode to become an intercontinental infatuation, Novelist started working on his debut album, incorporating the genre's core values to document an equally turbulent time.