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Lethal Bizzle - Go Hard

Lethal Bizzle, Go Hard

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

LETHAL Bizzle is often described as the most prolific, exciting rapper to emerge from the UK underground scene. But his music veers wildly in quality depending on which demographic of listeners he’s trying to please.

His latest album Go Hard is one of the most hit and miss releases of the year so far. It boasts plenty of ambition, some neat collaborations (with producers Donaeo, Mark Ronson, Dexplicit, Youngstar and Gallows), and a refreshingly diverse approach to his particular brand of rap.

But some of it is just plain crap, especially when Lethal seems to be pandering to the grime and hardcore rap scene… or worse, the dance genre.

When keeping things hip, indie or even rock focused he’s got something worth listening to. But such moments appear to be in shorter supply on Go Hard, which overall rates as a failure.

Tracks like Money Power Respect Fame, Don’t Run It Up and Going Out Tonight may have something interesting to say lyrically (and Lethal Bizzle certainly is a wry observer of UK trends), but they don’t excuse the onerous nature of the “songs” themselves.

Who The Fuck Are U? is another example of offensive, sub-standard Eminem rapping, which has you reaching for the skip button. It’s unrelenting… and when the Outro invites the listener to “now fuck off”, the inclination is to say the same thing to Bizzle.

Much more fun, and just as lyrically on the money, are tracks like Lost My Mind, which benefits from the presence of Mark Ronson, and drops one of the funkiest beats and synth-loops on the LP. Bizzle and Ronson make a potent combination.

Title track Go Hard, with its addictive drum ‘n’ bass loop and bluesy backing vocals, also work well and boast genuine crossover appeal, while Bizzle’s rock out on Rockstar drops a thrilling guitar sample to really make you feel as pumped up as the lyrics suggest you should.

Flap Your Wings is another example of quality horn samples, kick-arse beats and good vocal combos, while Bizzle is clearly having fun with his lively cover version of Jump, which is only available on the download version (and worth downloading).

But as good as moments of Go Hard are, it’s hard to tolerate or even condone some of the provocative, in-your-face and lamentable nature of the album at its worst – not just lyrically, with its repeated F-bombs, but also for the lame nature of the music and samples it tosses around, which really are a turn-off.

Bizzle remains worth listening to, as he genuinely and often creatively crosses genres, but Go Hard tries a little too hard to be all things to the masses. Instead, it only boasts limited appeal depending on which demographic you represent.

Download picks: Go Hard, Flap Your Wings, Jump, Lost My Mind

Track listing:

  1. Intro
  2. Money Power Respect Fame
  3. Go Hard
  4. Can You See Me
  5. Crazy Nightmare
  6. Going Out Tonight
  7. Lost My Mind
  8. Skullz on My Hoodie
  9. So Addictive
  10. Flap Your Wings
  11. Rockstar
  12. Push It
  13. Don’t Run It Up
  14. Who The Fuck Are U?
  15. Outro
  16. Jump (bonus download version track