1. English Kids – feat Stylah & Suparnovar
2. Everything Or Nothing – Feat Genesis Elijah
3. Heaven Or Hell – Feat Kasha.
4. What’s Poppin – Feat Kyza, Darkus & Triggs
5. JoJo’s – Feat Sick Sense Cru & Taurus
6. On Guard – Feat Taurus
7. Black Clouds – Feat Scriblah (Terra Firma)
8. Cash Doe – Feat Lost Souljah & Yungun
9. All I Got Refix – Feat Klashnekoff (Terra Firma
10. Dead Stranger – Feat Keys
11. Pain Music – Feat Mega (SAS) & Triggs
12 What’s Going On - Feat Sick Sense, Sharky P, Hyperactive & Soul Nana
13. Peer Pressure – Mr Ti2bs & Bigga
14. Take A Chance – Soul Nana & Filipa
15. If I Ever Leave – Extremists
16. Pimp Principle remix – Genesis Elijah & Ahmos
Out In The West Records’ production prodigy Beezwax has experienced the urban hustle firsthand in Paris and Berlin before relocating to London. On ‘Sting Operation’, he enlists the cream of aspiring talent from the metropolis to bring vivid and impassioned reportage on the grim realities of the daily struggle for his accomplished and heartfelt debut album.
An impressive roster of the nation’s new generation of lyrical masters heeded the call. Some names, like Taurus, Sick Sense Cru, Keys and Triggs might be new to your ears. Others, such as Kyza, Yungun, Mr Ti2bs, SuparNovar, Genesis Elijah, Stylah or Terra Firma’s Klashnekoff and Skriblah have already cemented their credentials. Those present address the harsh truths of gun crime, poverty, drugs, depression and the temptations borne of desperation in the wasteland of the estates. Yet this is no shallow glorification of violence and money, nor are these bland, sentimental exercises in affected blues or a wallowing in some misplaced self-pity. Commitment in the face of adversity and a proud determination to rise above are the recurrent themes.
The star that shines brightest, though, is Beezwax himself. He is influenced by a wide range of styles including French and German Hip Hop, world music and Drum & Bass. Beezwax blends synth-based beds with organic, melancholy strings and piano motifs into original, wistful and often elegant sonic backdrops. Along the way he impresses with the powerfully moving strings marshalled for Klashnekoff’s ‘All I Got Refix’, the Persian strains of ‘Everything Or Nuthin’ with Genesis Elijah and the insistent harpsichord on ‘English Kids’ featuring Stylah of Poisonous Poets and SuparNovar. He also easily adopts London’s gruff Grime stylings into his beat portfolio on tracks like ‘Jojo’s’ and ‘Pimp Principle’, adding the idiosyncratic sophistication of middle-eastern riffs.
How long can the mainstream summarily dismiss the raw talent or the passionate sentiment bubbling in the British underground? Judging by the skills on display here, a cathartic and revelatory awakening cannot be too far away.