Thoughout the years, rap has evolved from a simple act of spoken word to some of the more lacking of creative prose in today’s hip hop scene. From the eighties we’ve seen the rap genre begin to grow outside of the stereotypical beats by collaborating with some of greatest rock pioneers who’ve graced the planet such as Rick Rubin with The Beastie Boys and Aerosmith and Run DMC. Sadly, these collaborations have slowed down significantly since then. For quite a while we’ve been left with a void of equal parts rap and equal parts rock, a pinch of pop and 100% pure poetic flow. Well, that long wait is finally over with the release of London, UK’s own iTCH’s debut full length album The Deep End, slated for release on March 25 on Red Bull Records.
iTCH (aka Johnathan Fox) has been spreading his poetry from across the pond for a while now with his now defunct band The King Blues. Six months prior to what would become the riots of London in 2011, iTCH found himself more of a prophet than a songwriter when in the track “We’re Fucking Angry” he declared, “this is class war, this is class war, it’s what we wear our hoods and our masks for.” Due to that lyric, iTCH and The King Blues would find every mention of the group redacted from the website ran by The Daily Mail. Only eight months after the riots occurred, The King Blues would then become no more. Now with four albums with his seven year tenure in the band under his belt, in 2013 it came time for iTCH to pick up the pieces where the band had left off and start fresh. Throughout 2013 he would drop his first solo EPs Manifesto Part 1: How to Fucking Rule at Life and Manifesto Part 2: We’re All in the Gutter to a very well received public. 2014 has come and it is time for us to start swimming in The Deep End.
Now there is really something different about iTCH. When I have listened to artists of the similar genre before there seems to be no emotion behind the lyrics. No story to tell. That is one of the biggest elements that defines iTCH as a pure poet. I haven’t been much of a rap fan, yet iTCH has changed my perspective. Having kept the soul behind the spoken word roots (Being The Punk Poet means keeping the soul in the lyrics), he brings a classic flavor to a style that needed a facelift. The album gains elements from multiple genres with a Southern California punk style covering every track. If given the chance, I am for sure that iTCH will take off globally after the world gets a hold of the new album.
The album starts off with the lead single entitled “Life Is Poetry” Ft John Feldmann (lead singer Goldfinger/A&R for Red Bull Records) which actually started off as a spoken word track. The lyrics feel like he’s sending a message that sometimes you can have a pretty fucked up experience or you might be on top of the world but “life flows like the prose from the poet’s pen” so in the end your life is its own poem. Towards the end comes out with this open diary of sorts to the fans who have stuck with him throughout of who he and who he wants to be. The track really serves as a great introduction to iTCH’s style with the collaboration.
I don’t know why this tends to happen to me, but unfortunately my favorite tracks tend to be the shortest on the album. Again, this is no exception. “Sun Goes Down” is an up tempo electro rock/rap track that if sent to top 40 radio stations will be a smash hit. It’s a track that defines the club scene and the ultimate party night. For many of us who consider themselves night owls, this one is for you. Yet, be fair warned… you might want to stop drinking if everyone looks good at three AM.
Overall, iTCH has nailed it with every song on the album. Not losing his true punk style with every song delivering a deep meaning. The album has something for all music and poetry lovers without a doubt. Finally, the iTCH for amazing tunes has been scratched![hr color=”light-grey” width=”100″ border_width=”50″ ]
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