Artist: Mind The Gap Anthems V2
The United Kingdom has managed to preserve the original essence of Hip Hop. The hip-hop created in the nooks and crannies of The Bronx remains prevalent with the Queen’s subjects. Tha 4orce brings that old hip hop swag back on his latest offering Mind The Gap Anthems version 2.
The intro is nothing more than an intro. Some foreshadowing organ plays in the background while Lil 4orce informs us the proceeding is “real music for real people”. 4orce’s Anthem is a stellar view into the mind of a electronic musician. Though 4orce does rap, his skill truly lies in the production of the track and the scratching in the chorus. While most of the songs on the album shine the limelight on 4orce’s behind the board skills “Precise Precision” shows he has flow too. While 4orce flows methodically over a heavy percussion filled beat Pete Cherry gives a strong baseline and gives harmonies ad-libs. “Precise Precision”. “Drums vs. Drums” is an original look into the way music sounds pitting real drums against electronic drum patterns. Though it isn’t a track you might want to bump in your car and get hyphy to, it’s a throwback to originality. Tha 4orce brings that originality back on Mind The Gap Anthems version 2 while “serving up that ol’ shit to create a new hit”.
Though 4orce serves us original hors d’oeuvres he manages to squeeze in some samples we’ve indulged on in the past. “Damned if I do” sounds like it could be a Robin Thicke track. The production sounds more like a D’Angelo / Lauryn Hill track but the familiar sound is there. Although it is familiar, you still feel 4orce’s originality and the track is still a solid one. “I Want You” is compiled of samples from Common Sense to Method Man to 70’s soul, he ends it with just one insightful yet personal verse. Nearing the end of the compilation 4orce throws in something from Leftfield. ”Superb Splenda” has absolutely no vocals! This entire track is an instrumental that has 6 musicians just jamming. It’s the perfect track to just throw on while your in the shower or by yourself in your room just pondering things you ponder. The familiarity in MTGA ver. 2. was a strategic chess move to keep casual fans interested while slipping them Tha 4orce.
Tha 4orce put together a valiant insight of the UK hip-hop scene. He showed us what hip hop was when it was all for the fun before the bling-bling era. Although it was a great retrospect this album is not to be mistaken for a rap album. There aren’t more than 10 rap verses on 12 tracks and most of those verses aren’t by Tha 4orce. MTGA ver. 2 was a microcosm of the UK rap scene. They are more than a decade behind American rap but who says being behind is a bad thing?
This album gets a 4 out of 5. You just hope that there was more of a vocal presence on this album. More rap and original elements still wouldn’t have made it a classic album but it was a good listen. Because it was a throwback treat it has a long shelf life and that’s what saved it from getting a 3.