Young Fathers "Dead"

By Carlos Lima-Lopez

Scotland’s Young Fathers are no doubt one of the  more sonically original Hip-Hop groups out there. Their music is minimalistic, but the emotional scope is something else, huge and new. In one sense, it all sounds very tribal. Imagine a group of Natives playing these drums but with rappers thrown into the mix; that’s the result you’re going to get.

I bumped into these guys through Theneedledrop (please check him out) as he reviewed their first mixtape, Tape 1. As short as it was, I knew this was on some next level type-of-ish. It was very minimalistic, but the emotions heard were no doubt loud, full of aggression. Tape 2 felt less aggressive but trust me, it still had some more than enough attitude.

Now we have a full album, which is still short, but definitely hits and bangs as hard as it can. It can be repetitive at times, but isn’t that the nature of tribal music?  I’m also digging the clean production value on this one as opposed to the first two tapes; the clean sound lends itself to a brand new experience…for me, at least.

I’m also really enjoying “Get Up.” It’s the kind of song where I picture a party with a lot of people jumping, cup in hand. And I think “No Way” would definitely have started the party, just the group chant “No Way” over and over gets my blood pumping. It makes me want to lift 30 pound weights, damn it!! On a different note, “War” reminds of someone holding a gun with blood trickling down their hands.

If there’s any type of image that can help explain the album, it’s farmers protecting their homes, raising their families and chickens, while hiding a barrage of weapons. Once wartime hits their modest little town, imagine the farmers, Young Fathers, going guns ablaze, and returning home for some whisky. Oh, and they celebrate by performing Hip-Hop music.

There is no doubt an air of mystery surrounding this group but that of course adds to the intrigue. They have a sound that can appeal to Top 40 fans, but also can be adventurous enough for those who love to find new music. Maybe sooner or later, they’ll be working with Pharrell and conjure something unimaginable, but for now…

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