Bakar - Badkid
When I saw "London" and "somewhat hip hop" I got chills down my spine. This usually means some kind of Grime album that the UK want so desperately to be the answer to American Hip Hop (it is not). However this album is a bit different that what you would expect. The first track instead of feeling like UK hip hop more accurately feels like Bloc Party. You will get early Bloc Party vibes throughout this album as the indie guitar is paired with a hip hop-ish delivery. It gives this album a real feeling of lightness like it can almost go anywhere at anytime. Nothing is bogged down by genre or expectations and that gives Bakar freedom to take risks. This album is full of them, songs like "Handful" that bounce between an indie bop into this longing plea for love. There is a punk sensibility to Badkid that really gives it something special. Instead of being a pure sad boi like a lot of rappers are sliding towards these days, Bakar feels far more interested in discovering new sounds to play with and experiment in. "4am" is this experimental dance track that truly is wild. It moves through house and electronic but then Bakar's vocal gives it a decidedly more youthful feel. The songs here are also quick little hits with only one of them moving past the three minute mark. The whole album runs under 30 minutes but it feels even quicker. The pace is just blistering once He picks up his guitar in the opening seconds.
The phrase "white lines" is uttered multiple times on the record, making you think Bakar may be a fan of the ol sno capped mountains. "Ctrl Alt Del" is one of the places we hear this, but the song also dives into the loneliness that being online can sometimes induce. One of the most wonderful parts of this record is it finally is a breath of fresh air in the indie genre. For so long now it seems like indie rock was just out of ideas, re-hashing the same old shit over and over again. Badkid smashes that and gives the genre a whole new venue to play in, or maybe it is just Bakar transcending it all. "All In" closes with this wall of sound that blends so many different influences it's almost staggering. Badkid does all the right things to become an instant classic and I think the world is ready for music like this. Let's see if they are.
8.0 out of 10