Release Date: Jun 11, 2013
Record label: Anticon
Genre(s): Rap, R&B, Alternative Rap, Left-Field Hip-Hop, Alternative R&B
Young Fathers are primed for something big. Hints of it have been percolating for a few years now, but the re-release of Tape One back in January saw all their early promise come to fruition and forced anyone in its path to acknowledge that this Edinburgh based trio might just have something very special. Tape Two really hammers that home. What sets Young Fathers apart from the throngs of other hip-hop groups is their sense of sonic adventure, because even to label this as ‘alternative’ or ‘experimental’ hip-hop would seem too reductive.
Edinburgh-based trio Young Fathers are often mislabelled “alternative hip-hop”, a term that’s (perhaps unintentionally) condescending because it suggests that hip-hop should sound a certain way and should be relegated to certain types of people. Not only is the term in general insufficient, it’s wholeheartedly inaccurate in describing Young Fathers. Not so much a hip-hop group but instead a collective that takes musical influence from a diverse array of traditionally black music, from hip-hop to soul to Afro-pop.
A mixed bag of styles, Young Fathers' Tape Two follows up 2012's Tape One and pieces together a few genres, either drawing from moody, lo-fi R&B beats à la the Weeknd; getting wild with tribal African beats; or featuring quick-tongued raps over ominous electronic backgrounds. As the word "tape" in the title suggests, all of the production is in a lo-fi, red-lined midrange that would probably sound great on a boom box. "Queen Is Dead" and "Way Down in the Hole" take the dark, minimal Shabazz Palaces approach with menacing raps over fractured backdrops.
Edinburgh hip-hop trio Young Fathers’ ‘Tape Two’ sees the group diving ever deeper into their dark and bleak explorations into contemporary culture. In a world where social degradation is rife, Young Fathers’ resolutely anti-hedonistic approach strikes a chord for tough times.Young Fathers represent hip-hop’s long held ideals of addressing and reacting to social ills. The trio of Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and ‘G’ Hastings, use a multi-cultural approach to give their socially conscious rhymes a diverse sound.