BIG CONSPIRACY (J HUS)

RELEASED 24TH JANUARY 2020

Favourite track: Play Play

It was genuinely a challenge to pick my favourite track from this varied album that has some of the best production I’ve heard recently.  

East London rapper, J Hus, has become one of the most recognisable names in the UK rap scene known for his success in 2017 with the album Common Sense. His charm along with the musical influences of Dancehall, Afrobeat and Grime have made his music incredibly popular and listenable. His latest release Big Conspiracy is a 14-track album featuring a good couple of artists.

Image credit: The Guardian

The first track ‘Big Conspiracy’ features icèe tgm and opens with some guitar that keeps stopping and starting with a melody. The beat is slow when it does come in and the vocal ad-libs make it quite an RnB backing but the verse vocals bring it back to a UK rap sound. The female vocals soften the tune and give it that needed variety. icèe tgm features on ‘Helicopter’ too which is still quite a slow song but the backing has a haunting quality but the beat is really good and the subtle instrumentals in the background, some bass and electric guitar, definitely make it one you can move to. I like the beat in ‘Fight For Your Right’ as he talks about how he is “destiny’s child every day I survive” and how his life is full of spontaneous events that he can’t prepare for. ‘Triumph’ is one of the more talked-about tunes. The production on this one combines an upbeat, soft xylophone and then Afrobeat percussion along with the warped guitar makes for a really listenable tune.  

Burna Boy very noticeably features on ‘Play Play’ which has an amazing Afrobeat and steel-drum backing that transports you to an island but then features some spacey FX. It’s playful and catchy. I really like this one and you can move to this so easily. ‘Cucumber’ opens with an atmospheric muted sound as he raps slow until a very UK rap beat comes in as he talks about the how his “gangster aura drew her closer to me” as this becomes his love song of the album. Koffee features on the explosive tune ‘Repeat’ which was another famous track from this album. I LOVE this one and her voice. ‘Fortune Teller’ has that hard attack with a heavy bass and synths in the background putting the whole thing on edge. It’s another one you find yourself moving to.

‘Reckless’ opens with a muted but hard beat that then builds into a louder and more crisp one alongside the plucking of some string instruments. I like the melody in the background as he raps about how he’s gonna hex his enemies – the memes online now make a lot more sense…daily offender, crazy eastender came from him originally. I love the chaotic brass and strings in ‘No Denying’ – it’s so cinematic. The beat and warped bass makes for an interesting addition to the track and overall the track is great. ‘Must Be’ opens with vocals stating “you’re guilty by association” and then it was instantly recognisable with the chorus. ‘One and Only’ (ft. Ella Mai) opens with some piano and tremolo strings in minor and both vocals complement each other well. I like the production of ‘Love, Peace and Prosperity’ – it’s interesting, quirky and creative. The FX are modern but the melody is quite 90s RnB. The final track ‘Deeper Than Rap’ opens with grand piano as he reflects on his choices, people he knows and gets REAL about a lot of things. A track worth listening to for the lyrics alone.  

As with most UK rap albums, it’s good for a car ride, gym or prees.