Hip-hop was built on the shoulders of giants. The first rappers rhymed over the chopped-up beats from all manner of music, and a culture was born around this grassroots approach. As the years passed, there became a lineage among artists. Voices like Ice-T and Schoolly D bequeathed N.W.A, just as acts like UGK and Outkast inspired Big K.R.I.T., creating an indirectly traceable series of tracks and albums that formed subgenres and trends in the art form.
London based rapper Da Flyy Hooligan’s latest album, S.C.U.M. deftly portrays a musical lineage of its own, through tributes to classic acts like M.O.P., Inspectah Deck and Hooligan’s friend and collaborator, Sean Price. Released through 22 Entertainment on October 27 and featuring Hus Kingpin and Westside Gunn, S.C.U.M., which stands for “Supreme Cut Untouched Magnificence,” is a 40-minute jaunt through Hooligan’s reverence for the craft.
Formerly known as Iron Braydz, Da Flyy Hooligan enlists fellow UK producer Agor for the length of the tape. In contrast to the grime sound that often typifies UK hip-hop, S.C.U.M. is supremely old-school, pairing soulful samples with clean drumlines that give Hooligan a platform to flex.
Part of DFH’s persona revolves around just how capable he is on top of a beat. “I’m spectacular, hit repeat you’re loving this vernacular/ Dracula, aiming for the jugular/ SoundCloud popping like an ’86 Beretta,” he raps on “Asantihini,” with the vigor of a battle rapper. Hooligan’s punchy vocals across the album add to his finesse, and Agor’s handle over tempos and beat switches puts each cut right in Hooligan’s comfort zone.
Intricacies like mixing in a sample from blaxploitation film Willie Dynamite on “Gold Bars,” leads Agor’s auditory backdrop to play closer to a Curren$y or classic Wu-Tang record than anything explicitly from the U.K., just as DFH’s flow is reminiscent of the gangly, New York presences of Raekwon or KRS-One. Including a tribute to and verse from friend and mentor Sean Price, S.C.U.M. packages Da Flyy Hooligan’s respect for the gritty, underground rap scene into an impressive showcase of streetwise bars and tightly structured production.
Purchase S.C.U.M. from 22 Entertainment on Bandcamp today.