Cd Review: Usg – 'unfortunate Souls Grieve'
Of all the crews and collectives in the UK rap scene, not many can boast to have as healthy a work rate as north London’s USG (Usual Suspect Gang). Presented by the Charlie Sloth, USG bring us their long-awaited mixtape, 'Unfortunate Souls Grieve', featuring all members of the camp, including K Koke, Exo, Squingy, Chuck, Butch and Menace – as well as features from across the scene…
Containing a good amount of original UK productions with a couple well known US production thrown in, the sound and theme of the project is very much centred on both displaying the trademark USG sound to listeners and showcasing the talents of all members of the camp. The introduction track, 'It’s On', sets up the mood and tempo of the CD perfectly, and the pace is relentless throughout. K Koke’s recently released solo project, 'Pure Koke Vol.2', carries a sombre and reflective mood all the way through, but 'Unfortunate Souls Grieve' comes in start contrast and sees Koke at his greaziest and meanest right the way through.
With a camp as big as the Stonebridge collective boast, outside collaborations are understandably at a minimum – but these occurrences do offer refreshing variation in styles and delivery. Big Narstie steals the show on a freestyle alongside Koke, albeit he flows effortlessly over the track. Tunes such as the explosive 'Still Grinding' is the closest example of USG at their best – with four of its members trading gritty war stories over an atmospheric sample and stabbing kick drums.
Listeners who are not familiar with USG will certainly be left impressed, however, long-time fans may be a little underwhelmed with a large chunk of tracks already out on several releases prior. With the album on the way – as well as ‘Waiting Room’ from Exo – this is just the tip of the iceberg. USG look set to flood the streets for the rest of 2011, and with this as their first attack, the takeover looks imminent.
Download USG's 'Unfortunate Souls Grieve': H E R E
Stay up to date with USG on twitter – www.twitter.com/USGEnt
Words: Tobi Oke (@TeflonTobz)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)