FFO: Loyle Carner; Kano; Kojey Radical
The UK Hip-Hop scene has been producing rappers with a social conscience for years, with artists such as Stormzy, Akala and Devlin unafraid to tackle controversial issues such a racism, police brutality and inequality. We are very much of the opinion that this is a trend in the right direction, and want to welcome London-based rapper Lemzi into the fold with his latest single, B.O.T.S.
B.O.T.S is Lemzi’s plea for an end to violence on streets across the UK, and in this respect it is both well-reasoned and eloquent. Beginning by expressing his wish to see ‘no more blood on the streets’, Lemzi goes on to examine several causes and factors behind street violence for the duration of the song, touching on postcode gangs, parental (or lack of) guidance, social media and economic inequality.
Given his extraordinary grasp on a topic as complex as knife crime, it comes as no surprise to learn that Lemzi has a degree in Law and Criminology, lending his social commentary an authoritative voice. There is no doubt that he is a guy who knows what he is talking about and this makes B.O.T.S all the more powerful.
In addition to his academic grounding in the issue of street crime, Lemzi has also been a victim himself, having a knife pulled on him after he had finished performing a show in London. This is an issue that is close to his heart, and you can hear his love and concern for London and its people in every rhyme.
The sound is laidback, without the harder edge of many grime tracks. Instead, Lemzi channels a slightly g-funk vibe (although gangsta-rap this is not) along with the jazz-inspired instrumentals reminiscent of Loyle Carner’s relaxed, Sunday-morning atmospherics.
Don’t let the low-key timbre lull you into a false sense of complacency, however. B. O. T. S is a track that has a very important message, and we think that Lemzi is exactly the person to tell it. His ability to convey the intricacies of street crime (and what’s more, in a logical and reasoned manner) across a 4 minute rap is really quite special, making this one of the best tracks we’ve heard all year.
Check him out on the links below:
SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/lemziartist
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/lemzitv
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/lemziartist
Twitter – https://twitter.com/lemziartist
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lemziartist/
Website – https://www.lemzi.com/