And a warning to those music pundits with preconceptions of what a gangsta-rap album is supposed to sound like - beware for The Story So Far has much eclectic appeal and has lead to journalists of various news media unwittingly calling Slim DUTTY an R&B artist. To some extent this misnomer might arguably be justified for ‘The Story…’ encompasses a wide range of popular musical genre material from gospel to soul with many tracks remixed in garage, bhangra and dancehall versions.
The Story So Far is Slim acting as the perfect host and offering a little bit of something for even those rap music lovers that might prefer their ditty’s a little more on the cheerful side. Such as the comic relief proffered in ‘U should cum’, this is a light-hearted yet woeful tale on the pitfalls of nicking your mum’s car while she is off on holiday, don’t do it. Then again, there is the sexually explicit ‘dirty rap’ of Slim as the dick swinging stud elucidating the joys of sex in the darkly humorous ‘18 and Over’ which he describes as very loosely based on a true story.
Female rap fans out there are sure to appreciate more sentimental tracks like ‘Look 2 Good‘ wherein Slim’s smooth delivery adopts a more sensitive approach for a tale of ghetto romance. Even smoother still is the sexually charged slow tempo number ‘Get Paid’ a tale of naked ambition pitted against social deprivation, yet perversely ideal for making babies too. London Life is perhaps the track that articulates Slim’s political views incorporating socialist leanings, and paranoid conspiracy theories held up by one badass rap style, it is deep. ‘2gether We R 1Trinity’ is self explanatory it outlines the corporate strategy of Trinity Media and the direction that we are likely to see Slim take on album No2.
His ‘Don’t Underestimate True Talented Youth’ fam’ concept is idealised in the acronym DUTTY this track has a rock edge to it and is a warning to music industry heads not to underestimate the army of talented mixers, producers and emcees from all over the UK that helped make The Story So Far possible.
The aforementioned tracks express only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the thematic diversity of The Story So Far. This album is a phenomenon in the sense that it is the result of the cultural fixation of American music on British youth. But don’t get it twisted this is not UK rap music wanting to be American; this is UK rap saying we are your equal.
Back in 1979 when the Sugar Hill Gang’s ‘Rappers Delight’ made that first pioneering transatlantic rap crossing into the UK charts for the following decade a man’s rap credibility depended on his birth proximity to Brooklyn or the Bronx. But times have since changed and the geographical rap landscape has seismically shifted; now you have East Coast rap, West Coast rap and Dirty South rap sharing equal recognition. Fifteen years ago when Public Enemy were whipping up a political frenzy with a pro black assault on the rap world no one would have guessed that come 2004 a trailer trash white kid from Detroit would be recognised as hip-hops most famous ambassador. That is the beauty of rap as it is today the universal musical language of the oppressed.
So it stands to reason that given the right climate within the UK, largely considered to be America’s 51 State anyways, there should be nothing to stop a socially and politically conscious Black youth from our most multicultural city from prizing the global rap baton from the nervous and sweaty hands of Fifty cent and Kanye West.
ALL HAIL SLIM DUTTY. Peace