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A Magazine for Sheffield

All I Can Do

Room2 Records is an exceptional platform for Manchester talent at the moment and the short mixtape format suits the cause well, with producers and MCs writing and releasing at an impressive rate to keep things fresh. The All I Can Do LP marks the first real album and every one of its 20 tracks offers something different enough to go the distance.

Ellis Meade has guested with just about every other artist worth hearing in Manchester’s inclusive hip hop scene, but sets himself apart with this release, choosing to bask in the limelight with fewer collaborations. That’s not to say that he’s alone for long, with welcome appearances from label mate Sparkz, Mattic, Rex Domino and Laura White, amongst others.

Starting with ‘All I Can Do’, Meade joins a host of rappers who start classic records with a personal manifesto and the journey doesn’t let up from there. Meade also takes the mantle of producer for the majority of the tracks and showcases an impressive variety of beats, from the mellow spaced out keys of ‘Manchester’ to the Fruity Loop minimalism of ‘Jack-Ups’. On the whole, the album is a much more laid back and considered affair than other releases, and denotes a musical maturity missing from the playful onstage persona of his peers.

It’s a fascinating time for Manchester hip hop with many MCs successfully transitioning onto tape from hosting parties and club nights. With this release, Ellis Meade sets the bar even higher, foregoing hedonism for realism and challenging others to do the same.