Serving up prime slabs of heavyweight beats and tasty rhymes is West London MC Doc Brown. He initially burst on the scene with the remix of Gary Jules’ Mad World and released his debut LP The Document last year. This time he returns with 16 tracks which add to the Citizen Smith franchise.
The album is kicked into life with a short recording of some live call and response before Doc Brown steps off the stage and is stepped to by a hater, before the large Superstar Movements which takes a sideways look at the nature of celebrity and how he has learned to conduct himself. A rocking beat with sweet samples makes for a great summery track.
01. Just Another Citizen
02. Suerstar Movement
03. What Else Can We Do? Ft. Luc Skyz
04. Nothing To Lose
05. Smash That
06. Wake Up ft. Mr Thing
07. Summer Breeze ft. Mr Drastick
08. My 1st Show ft. Lowkey
09. Kane FM Freestyle (Live)
10. To My Health
11. Baby ft. Mr Ti2bs
12. Stand By Me ft. Mr Ti2bs & Stylah
13. The One ft. Yungun
15. Bragg Vs Brown (Live on BBC R4)
Pianos and sirens as well as gunshots and a speech from Doc open What Else Can I Do. It is a piano and guitar led up tempo bumper with a big snare which also features the talents of Luc Skyz who happens to be Doc Brown’s younger brother. This is the intelligent insights we expect from such an accomplished wordsmith as he dissects the way society portrays the youth and how this constant degradation leads to thoughts and demonstrations of frustration and rebellion.
Doc Brown will set the streets alight with the track from which the title is taken – Nothing To Lose. Here classical violins and a skippy beat make the backing for Doc’s display of verbal dexterity as he flips out the syllables in fast succession and enquires ‘is this my time to shine’. Smash That follows and is a track which we are accustomed to hearing from Doc. Nutty P has produced a thumping beat with some Oliver Twist type sampling which is ready to shake any party. This is where Doc takes apart anyone who is stepping to him as he proves he is part of one of the tightest crews so you’d have to have something wrong with you if you questioned Doc’s work ethic. There is some nice well worked out breath busting lyrics on this.
Mr Thing is brought in on Wake Up which starts with an alarm clock going off and Barry White telling Doc to wake up as he sets off on a story telling rap where he describes a one night stand which goes all Pete Tong and he gets to grip with the girl he has in his bed from the night before. Baby J and Mr Drastick combine for a late summer track Summer Breeze in which the MCs draw pictures of street life if you keep your eyes peeled.
Doc and Lowkey reminisce as they remember the first times they stepped up on a stage in My 1st Show. Lowkey says how he had to battle for his name for his first time out at Deal Real. Doc remembers when he stepped up at the Mudlumz Apricot Jam. A live segment from a radio show is flung into the mix with Kane FM Freestyle where Doc demonstrates his ability to flip it off the dome.
The album continues with To My Health where Doc Brown is joined by fellow Poisonous Poets producer DJ Snips for soul sampling, highly chopped, raucous, riot inducing four minutes. Mr Ti2bs appears on a couple of the tracks, the minimalistic Baby and Stand By Me which also features Stylah for a well produced smooth set of biographies and sentiments of camaraderie.
One of the high points of the LP is Gone produced by Budgie, a relatively mid to uptempo track in which Doc says how he has moved on from people he used to know who were couch potatoes and explores the need for individualism and what is needed to get out there and go for yourself.
The LP rounds off with a recording from BBC Radio 4 about language and its development. What Doc Brown has delivered on this release is a seamless natural blend of good time vibes, introspective stories and street anthems. Make sure you check it out.