Ben Spurr is the man behind SPR10. Amazingly he only decided to get on the mic and make this project ten months ago! His motivation being the fact that in the Hip Hop he listened to he felt he heard poor rhymes and could do better himself. What he has achieved is quite amazing, producing a heartfelt expression of his thoughts and feelings.
SPR10 has a varied past having been located in areas such as Dewsbury and Stoke, and now being located in Lincolnshire. You may recognise the name from some writings he has done for the massive ukhh.com. So what we have here is and honest and realistic seven track demo which opens with, as you might expect, This Is… (Intro). This is a short simple intro with a purely piano backing and a spoken introduction from SPR10 stating that this is his passion, his dream, his art and truth.
01. This Is… (Intro)
02. Remember The Name
03. Absent Adulterer
05. Just Messin (Learn your Lesson)
06. One World, One Heaven
07. Twisted Truth
Remember The Name follows sharply on and interestingly utilises the same piano riff as the intro in the production, creating a sense of immediate continuity and the feeling that this CD’s play list has been worked out. Starting off quite upbeat synth pads kick in before the vocals. This is SPR10’s verbal introduction to what he is all about. To ram home the message the chorus utilises some distorted guitar.
Next up is Absent Adulterer, another track which makes use of synth chords. The track follows the story of SPR10’s girl who disappears and then returns with another bloke in tow. The chorus features additional vocals from Lucy Green. Thankyou again features a female vocal hook, this time from Kirsty Young. For me this is where the demo gets going as SPR10 drops many lines which all end in the same rhyming sound.
Just Messin (Learn Your Lesson) is a change in vibes and slows the pace down for a story of his relationship with his girl and the steps he takes to keep her on her toes and to prevent her from taking the piss with his feelings and money. If the two parties treat each other right then there will be no need for any cheating, will there?
Heavier production on One World, One Heaven makes for a very accomplished track which pays dues to some of the big names in Hip Hop who have obviously influenced SPR10. As the track moves on SPR10 takes the chance to also explain how cats like Elvis and Grunge artists have also added to his inspiration. The song is deep on another level as despite musical or cultural differences we are all going to the same heaven.
The final track opens with some cuts which are unique to this track. Twisted Truth ups the pace a touch again and sees SPR10 take on the role of a parent or someone that kids are meant to look up to and then in a humorous way goes on to describe all the funny words of advice they have, which in all reality are bollocks.
Production is divided between two producers Chris Barrow and Charlie ‘Koch’ Kinloch. For me Koch has the better sound, sounding more gimey and sampled, whereas Chris’s beats are cleaner and more keyboard generated.
The whole release has been done on a budget with artwork for the CD done by SPR10 himself and the artisty design gives it a different look to other CDs out there at the moment. Overall this is a demo well worth checking. SPR10’s flows are pretty standard rhyming couplets with little in terms of mad flows and so some of the delivery can sound a bit dated now. But despite this, SPR10 can catch the beat and delivers his raps in a clear intelligible manner. His northern location shines through e revels in being quite distinctive to much of the London centric Hip Hop we get to hear.