PTSD (D-BLOCK EUROPE)

RELEASED 27TH SEPTEMBER 2019

Favourite track: Pretty Little Nike Airs

This album features a LOT of songs that look at sex, women and drugs. For some people, the lyrics will be repetitive but the backing music is definitely worth listening to, especially the subtle stunning guitar and synth melodies.

I had already heard some of D-Block Europe’s music (‘Kitchen Kings’, ‘Buss It Down’, ‘Kettle Pouring’) and was keen to see what the new album PTSD, from these two South London rappers, would sound like. There are also quite a few collaborations with known UK rappers such as AJ Tracey, Dave, Krept & Konan and M Huncho so I was definitely excited to listen to this one. The cover art is black and white displaying a man with all these mini scenarios making up parts of his hair and what I believe to be fragments of Arabic writing on his forehead. It’s a bold cover and whilst it appears chaotic, it’s also got a neo-classical feel to it almost like the head is a bust. The album is definitely packed full of tunes with a crazy 28 songs included.

Image credit: NME

‘(Intro skit)’ is an audio of a female psychiatrist describing PTSD in people it then moves to a man who continues to talk about trauma and how people cope using substances and that can lead to worse scenarios. There is then a dramatic booming heartbeat and hospital machine sound to end the track signifying a loss of life. The first proper track is ‘Intro’ and has a strong beat with electric guitar and hi-hats whilst they rap about how taking drugs puts them into the frame of mind to have sex with women and not really be engaged at all. ‘Darling’ has a nice hard beat which slows down and then comes back. The rap over this has a good flow and is addressed to a female they’re trying to calm down. I like the soft synths in the background and flute sound to contrast with the beat. The next song immediately claims it’s “not a love song but a fuck song” that just talks about well, ‘Home P*ssy’. I like the piano in the background with the beat and claps. It’s a decent backing to a song that is more melancholic that initially seems. If I’m being honest it seems like he’s in his feelings and is realising he wants one more than others but, it’s “not a love song” remember.

I really like the echo-y piano melody in the background of ‘Thug’ and when the beat comes in, it’s actually such a well put together song. This one is about heartbreak and sex as he wonders if it was ever love. More piano is present in ‘Adore Me’ which has a HARD beat that stops and starts to emphasise the words. I have to say honestly the only thing these two talk about in majority of the songs is “eating pussy” and I’m like wow ok does the P in PTSD stand for “pussy” or like? Dave features in the next track ‘Playing For Keeps’ which has a haunting sound to it with a hard beat again and vocal ad-libs. I am a big fan of Dave’s lyrical skill and sound so I was loving his bit. ‘Outside’ has a nice guitar melody giving it that chill vibe which is then disrupted by the vocal ad-libs and harder synths but it’s not as memorable as the other tunes. The audio at the start of ‘Number 29’ gives the track a bit more story and it’s a nice touch. I love the production of this one, it’s got a quirky underground sound to it and a STRONG beat accompanied by a good flow.

Synths and build-up are used in ‘Bando On The Satnav’ which is catchy but again, not my favourite. To be honest, it’s another song about “pussy” and I’m still wondering what the message of this is. I don’t really get this song. ‘Repentance’ (ft. Jack Boy) has a good backing track with subtle piano and a fast-paced beat. At least the theme of this song is a little different. ‘Ain’t Chanelle’ has a STRONG beat but the lyrics throw some serious shade looool as he “fucking hate this bitch” who seems materialistic by the way they describe it but he doesn’t paint an innocent image of himself either. Who knows? Maybe it’s justified and maybe it’s not. Lil Baby features on ‘Nookie’ which has a Wild West FX sound and a great harp/guitar sound throughout. This song is much better in terms of variety and tune. I was glad to see AJ Tracey featured on ‘Heart Safe’ which has a typical beat but a NICE synth backing which makes it interesting. I’m wondering if AJ Tracey rapped on this at all because I can’t hear his voice in it (sad react). Yxng Bane features on ‘Pretty Little Nike Airs’ and this song has a GREAT backing. It’s powerful and you find yourself moving to this one without any question about it. This one is my fav for sure.

‘Different’ has a good instrumental build-up and a nice beat that compliments the flow but I swear I’ve heard that “all this water on my wrist I could go fishing” line before. Maybe with AJ Tracey. The introduction to ‘Paid The Price’ is a beautiful guitar melody that has such a deep melancholic sound to it and works gorgeously with the bass and beat. The one is decent can’t lie. ‘Thoughts’ (ft. Krept & Konan) is listenable and the feature changes up the sound of the vocals and deepens it significantly, adding a nice variety. K-Trap features on ‘The Bag’ which has a quirky introduction as he raps about money and jealousy then needing drugs to cope with it all. I like the soft tune melody in ‘Last Night In Barcelona’ but the song is kind of monotonous and doesn’t sound dissimilar from the average UK rap song put under some chill. ‘Whole Summer’ has a nice instrumental opening and then a lovely guitar (I think) melody as it features Chip. It’s the melody in the back that elevates this song for me.  

‘Birth Sign’ is another repetitive song about the same shit and I’m like whyyyy? It’s not that memorable compared to the ones with the good melodies. ‘Back To Back’ features M Huncho so I was hoping it was gonna be better. M Huncho brings his sound to it straight away and his flow owns the track. The guitar is nice in the background but that’s about it. ‘No cap 2’ has a nice synth wave sound to open it and then a Drake-style subtle beat in the background that fades in and out with the waves. Not bad especially when the flute-like synths come in adding a bit of tune to it. ‘Cartier Frames’ has a lot of noise in the background which creates a tension and then the hard beat with snare lifts the tune. I like the addition of this because it now adds something different to the album. Yxng Bane again features on ‘808’ which has a very quiet subtle beat but the lyrics are the usual. At this point I’m wondering why they didn’t talk about other stuff because that is the only thing I’m gonna remember about this album. Maybe that’s what they want, I don’t know.

Pure RnB vibes on ‘Love’ with cool FX to make it quirky to accompany the rapping. I do like the guitar and beat though. I think it’s a catchy song and one of the better ones. D-Block Europe play with you in the way that they drop some average repetitive songs and then throw in really good tunes to make you keep listening and giving them a chance. ‘Outro’ has decent backing music and a good bass but that’s all I would say.

Good for a pree’s or a car ride as there are loads of tracks to get through.