Loyle Carner is undoubtedly the future of UK hip-hop. ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ was a highlight of 2015. ‘Isle of Arran’ a highlight of 2016. How will his debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ do in 2017? Well so far he is ‘overwhelmed by the response’ to his latest release. ‘Isle of Arran’ even featured on Radio 1 which is a massive step for the very much up and coming British MC.
He has come of age in Croydon, where the grime scene is resurgent at this time. Carner is not an MC as such, his flow is more languorous and his topics more personal. He speaks of more important things such as family, friends, love, pain, doubt and loyalty than most 20 something year old up and coming British MC’s.
If Carner is trying to make his mark with this album, he seems to be doing well. It takes guts to be called ‘you shmoo’ by your mum in your debut album. Loyle seems to be carving his own path in UK Hip-Hop. Some say he isn’t UK Hip Hops future, but is leading the way right now.
Many older fans will be familiar with many songs in this album. ‘Florence‘, ‘No CD’ and ‘Stars and Shards’ have all been released previously in various singles. While some may view this as a negative aspect to the album, it provides much needed familiarity for the artists debut.
‘The Isle of Arran’ opens the album with a gospel choir that runs behind Loyle’s effortless flow and some pugnacious verse about father figures. This mood is carried on in ‘The Seamstress’, which deals with the problems of alcohol abuse and the impressive ‘Mrs C’ which is written for a friend whose mother had cancer. The compelling ‘Sun of Jean’ features a piano piece from his late dad and a poem from his mum.
‘No CD’ brings it back to the 90’s where music was appreciated in its physical form (‘We got some old Jay Zs / Couple ODBs’). ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ is his biggest hit to date and like ‘Damselfly’ has a mellow, jazzy backing to it. ‘No Worries’ features fantastic guest verses from Jehst, a big UK rap icon, and also Rebel Kleff.
If this is where UK Hip Hop is heading, I will definitely be looking forward to whats coming and also hoping that Loyle will be leading this movement.
Listen to the Album here