Skrapz delivered essential gangster rap listening with ‘Different Cloth’

SKRAPZ DIFFERENT CLOTH REVIEW – On Different Cloth, Skrapz validates the claim of being ‘the one and only’ with a classic debut album that blends street music, chillingly honest lyrics and clever production throughout.

Skrapz proves that among rappers in the UK, particularly those who specialise in gangster rap, he is in fact cut from a Different Cloth. Some have to fabricate their stories to make their tracks sound good, Skrapz doesn’t seem to have that problem and for fans of said music, that’s a huge difference-maker.

Within seconds of the ‘Intro’, there is an ode to Anthony Joshua, who walked-out to ‘Not Like Me’ for his mega-fight with Wladmir Klitchsko, immediately reminding of how Skrapz has come with a somewhat limited body of work. A few lowkey mixtapes and huge anthems is what came before this, enough to elevate him to upper echelons of UK rap.

Skrapz introduces this album with a bang, immediately alluding to what follows with gems like “I’ve been in the streets from a teen selling food like the shops never ever gave receipts to the fiends/ just to keep my myself safe I keep machines in my jeans, I’ve lost count of the amount times I’ve had to flea from the scene.”

In the world of gangster rap, the harder you sound, the better the product, but if you have to lie to reach that harder space, the product is somewhat voided. Skrapz delicately finds that balance on his debut album, striking a delicate balance between realism and lyricism, almost as if he came straight from straight from a blacked-out dinger to the studio before recording this album.

On ‘Facts’, we’re treated to that simple-style of hook that has become synonymous with Skrapz, a feat that dates as far back as Skrapz is Back Volume 1, with tracks like ‘Waiting’ and ‘Shouldn’t be Alone’ and later efforts like his cover of Foxy Brown – ‘Get You Home’.  With debut albums, you might see artists enter new spaces and push limits, which is fine, but so is seriously improving what you’re already good at, which is what Skrapz opted with for the majority of this project.

‘Facts’ sees Monique Lawz sing a minimal but intensely catchy and four-bar hook that compliments the gritty raps sandwiched in-between, featuring more chilling lyrics throughout. ‘Can’t Give the Game Up’ sees another familiar hook from Skrapz, with his spoken-word hook allowing for a smooth transition between the chorus and hard bars, like this sequence of lyrical gems: “there in the slow lane, I’m in my own lane/ and I don’t get pussy-whipped, I whip cocaine/ I’ve been staying off the gram, weighing up the grams, bumping into fans, I’ve lost count the amount of pictures that I’ve taken with the burner hidden in my pants”.

As well as improve on his strengths, Skrapz also enters new spaces on ‘Different Cloth’, as you wouldn’t typically expect a trap-sounding hook or RnB-infused anthem from him, but that’s what you get in ‘Facts’ and ‘In da Morning (feat Donae’o). There is also a rare collaboration between Skrapz and a huge UK rap-star not called Nines or Giggs, with a video anticipated for the flamboyant ‘High Spec’ track with Chip (as well as an inevitable collaboration with Nina on ‘In da Streets’).

Different Cloth is a bold name for your first album, but Skrapz justifies this and then some, getting better at what we’ve come to know him for with a few new twists, proving he one of the very best providers of gangster rap in the UK.