Their newly released EP titled Good For Nothin’ has been made available after a wealth of setbacks suffered by the group (including their studio having to be rebuilt 3 times!) Featuring emcees Mnsr Frites, Jester Jacobs, Fourny P, Bibs Quintero, and Corkhill the group are quite a charismatic bunch, with personalities that are very much entwined in the fabric of their music. There’s jokiness, but also earnestness emanating from these guys, especially Jewish funnyman Jester Jacobs, also known as Jester (a guy you might be familiar with if ever you’ve watched the hilarious Leeds-based rap mockumentary In The Mix).Underneath his slacker-stoner demeanour, he proves himself to be a genuinely clever lyricist who skillfully straddles droll humour and more profound poetic strands.
Musically, Good For Nothin’ is often reliant on samples but is equally worthy in terms of compositional merit. From ‘Scatty Dreams’ with its elusive oriental string glissando, to the edgy and brooding textures of ‘IDyeah’, the EP delivers quality UK hip-hop material with sharpness and precision and without ever moving into the predictable territory of dusty soul-derived samples, trite nu-jazz piano noodling or maudlin ballad-like pop-rap synthetics.
The EP’s stand-out track is ‘Grawler’, for which a video was released prior to the release. Spun by sinister minor chords, the track sees each emcee impart their own thinly-veiled “fuck you” message to the exigencies of life and money both pithily and with abundant poetic flair. Mnsr Frites, also of Granville Sessions (a highly-rated hip-hop collective renowned for their live instrumentation and excellent live shows) really stands out here with some sublime bursts of lyricism: ‘Night of the omen, light at the opening / I can survive on papaya and opium.’
Another stand-out has to be ‘Crunch’, a track which is altogether less forceful, but one that still carries with it the same level of emceeing clout. Corkhill here is the stand-out emcee, who declares himself among other things, as ‘all British, like Magaluf.’ There are also two solo tracks on the EP including Jester Jacobs’ ‘Twin Dreidels’: a joint punctuated by a series of very nice cuts and plentiful displays of Jester’s syllabic dexterity: Mind over matter/ Grind over chatter. The faster tempos are dipped slightly in the EP’s other solo track, ‘Lesson One’, which is bolstered by slow and heavy boom-baps and snares. The song has a surreal fantasy film feel with Corkhill’s varied and colourful references to ‘Yorick’s skull‘, Dali’s melting clocks and comic-book hero ‘Aquaman’ set amidst the ebbing and flowing orchestral samples and eerie atmospheric flourishes.
Traveling with an artistic community feel yet remaining essentially rooted in real-life, the emcees’ abstractions are canny and dextrous but not brain-addlingly complex or esoteric; indeed they contain enough populist sentiments to make this accessible enough to fans less attuned to indie-rap. Though very accomplished, I suspect this EP is a prelude to something bigger, because for all the interesting musical threads and emceeing skills on offer, it still feels a little empty. The EP could do with a punchier and more prominent overarching theme, but as a showcase for creative skill, it’s still pretty darn good. Indeed, all contributors on this project excel at their craft; the emcees flex their skills by volleying substance-filled rhyme schemes with aplomb, and the producers make some intricately-wrought instrumentals to enhance these.
Overall, Organised Mess is a motley crew of individuals positively brimming with artistic talent. Good For Nothin’ certainly demonstrates this, plus the fact they’ve clearly had a lot of fun in the process of making their music.
Purchase Good For Nothin’ for just £2.50 from either of the following links: