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Young Fathers Won The 2014 Mercury Prize Award… And It Is Easy to Hear Why

Young Fathers: Edinburgh Via Nigeria

Young Fathers: Edinburgh Via Nigeria

If you have never heard of the Scottish hip hop band  Young Fathers, I hadn’t before their winning the Mercury Prize last week,  you are in for a big time treat.

Alloysious Massaquoi,  Kayus Bankole and ‘G’ Hastings came together in 2008 and called themselves a psychedelic hip hop band, putting you in mind of that cali hip hop movement, but all the jagged beats and ragged rhythms, dark backing tracks and slowed down layers of sound are more like Tricky fronting FKA twigs.

According to Wikipedia “Alloysious Massaquoi is originally from Liberia. Kayus Bankole has Nigerian parents. ‘G’ Hastings is from the Drylaw “scheme” in north Edinburgh.[16] Massaquoi moved to Edinburgh aged 4 and Bankole was born in Edinburgh but spent several years living in Maryland as well as Nigeria before moving back to the city of his birth in his teens. The trio has developed a reputation for making a unique blend of music utilising diverse influences which reflect their background,”

OK, but “Low” is as smart a piece of pop music as you’ll hear in 2014, a haunting hip hop hell hole:”Take my humanity end up like a mannequin thinking like a charlatan was easy now its challenging” is not untypical of their stonewalled exiled in scotland vision.

Their current album is the somewhat excellent Dead, an acquired taste where everything seems to be thrown against track after track and drips and slips off, difficult, beautiful, dark new r&b without the dick swinging. Equally excellently, it doesn’t sound like anything else out there.

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