16's Slaughter is made up of 16 verses only. And he makes the most of them, considering each track displays a different spitting style. ‘Bandana On The Right Side’ reminds me of the theory that although Britain ‘stole’ America’s old school hip hop. New school hip hop has stolen the raw British soul. And in this track, A Dot has stolen it back.
Manchester’s nineteen year old Rapper A-Dot has always steered clear of the whole fake hardman, fake Crip way of spitting. From the tender age of seven, he always found all genres of music as an instant form of soul healing. Three years ago, after years of listening to Wu-Tang’s, 36 Chambers, Nas’s Illmatic and Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt; these old school forms of inspiration and his own young imagination met on fair terms, with A Dot approaching the mike with nothing to lose but time…
Like most nineteen year olds, A-Dot still hasn’t totally found himself, his unique style, his unique flow. He’s confident, and sprints eagerly ahead on one leg. But it’d evident that his efforts to differ each track, which, albeit is an awesome way of keeping the audience on his heels; makes him appear too open to be original. Although each track should show us a different side, it shouldn’t demonstrate and entirely different style and flow. Rappers need to be able to demonstrate a variety of attitudes, while making sure they sugar and crunch up tracks in their personal way. Only experience will put A-Dot deep enough in his own comfort zone to keep one leg in while he roams around the rest of the world.
But there’s a definite positive. The brother’s will to mould into each track illustrates his open minded ability. And in a time where most rappers stop learning once they start selling, it’s a vital quality to hold on to. ‘Magic’ is my evidence on this one. Using a late 80’s cheese sample my mum loves, A Dot is saying, yeh I haven’t set on a style yet, but look how I can rock a track you would have refused to believe could work. Yeh, it is cheesy. But its guurrrd…
‘Murda Capital’ is echoing something I’ve heard from the past five London artists I’ve reviewed. Here is something you all know. But guess what. This is my version. And this track is the closest he gets to being a secure young man, making it a class track. ‘Our Father’ follows as something special. Again, well known theme, switched up version, A Dot makes it work. Failure to flow is not an option for this guy. So who cares is the flow is different every time?
Then, you have to hand it to him. Both collaborations with Dboy are some of my favourite tracks of the winter. ‘Empty Without You’ is a love song to hip hop. Brilliant bluesy tones. Sharp, confident spitting. It’s one of those tracks it would be criminal not to have on some kind of motion picture soundtrack. Seriously. I’ll make the film guys. This track deserves it. ‘Empty Dreams’ at first seems like a typical Channel U attempt at emotion. But when the Linkin Park sample kicks in, you can’t knock it. Everything is right. The double, triple bass drum flow. The rapping which fits so well with the rest of the track, if there was an MC flow exam syllabus, this track would be on it.
Wherever you listen to these two tracks, you will tune out of your surroundings into a whole other zone. Try wear them out, I dare you. What more can I say A-Dot? We’re expecting nothing but A Stars in the future.