Speech Debelle – The Key (Big Dada)
South London’s Speech Debelle is, having been defined by her very name, a shocking, brutal and beautiful lyricist. With The Key, she manages to blend with innocence and ease the bravura that plagues male-dominant hip-hop with jazzy freewheeling and the lightest of musical atmospheres. Gently, she pokes at the showmanship of peers, but never at the expense of her point – “Ovastanding is the key!”
Clarinet lines melt into one another (it’s most satisfying to hear the clack of the keys and pads) while string bass and rock-hard kick make for a surprisingly breezy arrangement, but it’s Debelle’s charming messages and knack for a turn of phrase that will linger longest. The whole thing has the air of Charlie Brown being given a talking-to by a hooded good Samaritan, but obviously much better than that sounds. Constant intrigue and, above all, fun.
Find out more about Speech Debelle here – The Key is released via Big Dada on March 9th.