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A Magazine for Sheffield

Hip Hop Original

Conn is back with his third studio album, his colloquial, evasive voice as charming as ever. Lo-fi beats join Rhodes synth and warm, fluid trumpets to build spacious and transparent soundscapes. Heartfelt backing vocals come from Bunty, who adds punch to the hooks.

The lyrical content is personal, retrospectively dealing with topics such as relationships, self confidence, fate and judgment.

“I wouldn’t want to hurt a sensitive man / Yet if I don’t say what I think is true / How can I help him improve his work?” Conn broods in ‘One In A Million’. I’m not here to help Conn improve his work. Conn has certainly matured with his subject matter, which is more complex in approach and delivered with playful inventiveness.

But those trademark rhyming couplets can start to grate after a while with their one-dimensional styling. ‘In the Abstract’ sees Conn “incorporate a lot of meaningless text”. Ironically or not, he is still guilty of doling out a lot of meaningless text.

This is Conn’s style. This is what he is known for. Sometimes I wonder if he is laughing at us with this tongue-in-cheek styling and I can’t help but want a little more bite, a little more attitude. It is, after all, hip hop. But perhaps this is the original hip hop he refers to in the album title - a leafy, suburban hip hop belonging to the geek chic-loving Chorltonites.

It's definitely worth a listen for his musings. If you’re feeling in need of an urban kick with a dose of apathy then this is a rapper’s delight.