Did you know that the Ruby Kid’s grandfather’s surname was Rubenstein and he changed it to from its Jewish sounding heritage to a more accepting English one? Of course not, and what relevance does this have to his depute EP, ‘Maps’? Absolutely everything and nothing.
Lets put things into context, maybe; just maybe, the Ruby part of his name may have something to do with it. By acknowledging the extent in which immigrant communities have to assimilate to their ‘host’ country just to be accepted and almost in certainly thrusting them to the bottom of social class system. So this explains the everything part.
Which inevitably leads us to the nothing part and since Rubenstein rhymes with Einstein; if Einstein was to write lyrics this is exactly the type of music the Ruby Kid makes. He writes with complicated metaphors of enthusing an anarchist, socialist, working-class revolution, you know the average the hip-hop stuff. Admittedly, this is not easy listening and guess for those who like digestible bite size lyrics, make sure you have a dictionary at hand.
The defining track of this EP (and the Ruby Kid’s general distrust of the world) is ‘Ends/Means’ which raises the question of value we place on money. Maps falls neatly into the current zeitgeist of student protests and whose apathy to alls things that matter to them was abruptly awaken with the massacre of our education system. He addresses this, not in an obvious, ‘I am going to make a song to denounce my government’s raising tuition fees and how upset this makes me’; but one that subtly address our five-day working week, pressures placed on students and their relationship to capitalism.
Although, this EP is purely about his politics, there are moments where he shows us his vulnerability in his poem, ‘The Unreal City’ and sarcasm in ‘Hoxton Bounce’. It is not bad effort for someone’s first EP, there are moments where production seems to be unfinished and his choice in singers is questionable.
‘Maps’ is an aptly named EP and as a listener you definitely experience journey; let say it is a more quirky Northern Line journey than the boring (randomly stopping) District Line one.
By: Janine Francois
01. All Hands On Deck 05:17
02. The Key 04:12
03. Hoxton Bounce 02:17
04. Growing Up Is A Euphemism For Knowing Your Place 03:57
05. Morning-After Snow 03:54
06. Maps 02:42
07. Ends/Means 03:53
08. Poems of Place I: The Unreal City 05:18
09. Poems of Place II: The Imagined Village 05:58