The latest writer for Blatantly Blunt, Clarissa Pabi drops a review of the new mixtape from Stay Fresh’s Macca. Download link at bottom…
If you haven’t heard of Macca you’re probably from London or not even fan of grime. This week the MC, who represents West Midlands collective Stay Fresh released his second mixtape entitled ‘Monster Mac’. And the message I think that Londoners, and fans of grime, can take from it is (to paraphrase Biggie): “well if you don’t know, well now ya know”.
‘Monster Mac’, however, is not enmeshed in the same kind of South-East coast/West Midlands coast beef – a track like ‘This is the midlands’ makes that clear. Macca, Pressure, and C4 are not saying we are better than ‘you’ but rather ‘there ain’t no competition’. What is great about the mixtape, and that track, is that not only is it an introduction to Macca, and his forthcoming album ‘25’; but it also manages to be an introduction to the sound coming out of the West Midlands, as well as a re-introduction to a sound that emerged out of London.
On a track like ‘Now you know’ Macca manages to give us a quick history of grime, and in that sense he pays homage to it – the base is dutty (and I think I heard a little So Solid in the flow?). Moreover on a track like ‘When We Come Through’ Macca’s flow becomes reminiscent of JME on a track like ‘96 bars of revenge’. This isn’t to say that Macca’s flow is not unique, it indubitably is, but it is to say that as an artist he is aware of what is unique and distinctive about voices in grime. Macca and his Stay Fresh click recognise the importance of London but they represent a very distinct sound.
‘Lightwork’ is the best track, for me, in terms of it demonstrating Macca’s flow (closely flowed by ‘No hook’). Macca switches it up constantly and seamlessly. Like ‘Lightwork’ the sound of grime dominates the sound of the mixtape in tracks like the classic ‘Mike Lowery’ but there are some hip-hop tracks which have been originally produced.
Standard mixtapeness come about on tracks like ‘Runnaway Love’, ‘Here I am’ and ‘Moment 4 life’ which are sampled from Ludacris and Nicki Minaj respectively. Lyrically Macca’s ‘Runaway Love’ is more graphic than Ludacris’s original and in it he shows a natural flair for story-telling. Macca, J1 and Pressure do justice to Tyga’s ‘Light Dream’ transforming into ‘Where would I be’ – the vibe is light, deep and chilled.
‘So di ting set’ features Sean Blaze and has a bashment vibe and – it’ll go down great ‘inna di rave’. Continually mixing it up with genres Macca also gives us a slow jam. ‘What you need’ is full of all that mack daddy pre-noughies naughtiness – foreplay and word play are blended effortlessly – it’s one for the ladies and shows lyrical brilliance.
Macca – So Di Ting Set ft Sean Blaze (Prod by Z. Dot)
‘Monster Mac – The Mix CD’ does what a great mixtape should do. It traces influences from the UK and US. It pays homage to different musical scenes and even to the females in these scenes (Leshurr gets a shout out). It’s collaborative and eclectic. Macca forges flow and voice and is backed by great production throughout – and yeah and there are loads of tracks.
Review by @ClarissaPabi