Yes. He's back. The MC who reinvents himself every time he enters the studio again… This time Context is tapping in to some of his own originality, alongside plenty of the current favourite formats.
The bassline remix of 'Is It' is a perfect example of this. The Londoner female 'is it?' replies to the club worthy, but not remotely conscious rap over a dance infusing, big fish, little fish, cardboard box beat…
With 'Dub Hop' – I can see what he was going for. But maybe he should have kept going until he got somewhere? The bitterness is my own disappointment at the lack of intellect in these first two tracks; especially since we were first drawn to Context by his ability to balance integrity with originality.
'There Goes The Time' however, is a step in the right direction, although I can grasp no real meaning from the track, the lingual ability and rap flow is immediately applaudable.
The remix of 'Frantic' makes me think of Mobb Deep's 'Hell On Earth' before the bassline, and ‘erm, lyrics kick in. 'Phone goes…' beep beep – where use of the phone message sound effect pretty much kicks it for me.
To put this all in a mainstream context… this is Context's best work yet. It's catchy, confident, current and easy to digest. This release will guarantee him further love and coverage. He's already been gracing American TV, BBC mainstream Radio and presenting live shows… So yes, if he's in it for clubs and crack, I'd say he's got it in the bag.
But to put it in a real hip hop context, he is loosing his conscious hip hop audience, his rep as one of the few new age intellectual rappers and any possibility of doing something positive and influential with his music.
I wonder if him and his fellow Radio 1 buddies have boycotted Israel, bothered to understand the history, or care one bit about the humanitarian crisis that is shaking our every days?
Prove me wrong Gentlemen.