A music blog from Ireland.
Started writing this post last night. Then decided to give it a better shot with a clear head in the morning. Now I know what ‘don’t sleep’ means. Problem is, writing about Irish hip hop at the moment is like navigating through rabbit warrens with swiss cheese for a map.
It’s The Representatives by Costello featuring rapper and producer GI.
The Representatives stands side-by-side with Costello’s previous video release Young Apprentice and is a high-contrast account of city life and insights into the way of getting by in Dublin. Where the first vid was shot on the slumlike steps and stairwells of Ballymun, here the pros swing in to balance out the cons and we’re treated to the brighter northside. This is the newest of Joe Doonan‘s music videos and was directed by Lethal Dialect (seen here with Costello in the menswear shop), shot on Moore Street, a colourful pedestrian atrium for shoppers full of market stalls selling confectionary and veg, lined on either side by shiny plastic shops, an urban bazaar of curiosities. Love the little girl’s breakout smile.
Most of the diehard Irish hip hop fans are already firmly familiar with this track and its compadres on the Illosophical album which has been streaming from Bandcamp for the past few weeks. As with Lethal Dialect, Costello is profoundly influenced by the US rapper Nas but where lyricism is pivotal to LD’s work, it’s clear to hear that Costello’s most resounding quality is a nimble-tongued rapid flow that throws the weight of his words through the bars. His vocal style is very distinctive when set off by collaborations which probably explains the high number of guest spots on Illosophical but, having seen him bounce off Lethal Dialect as part of the Ones To Watch set back in January, there’s no question that it works. Expect plenty more.
Oh and…GI? Watch out for him. Not just madly skilled in rapping and production, there’s a stone-cold stare of Mesmer in his video presence too.
Illosophical launches at Junior Spesh @ Twisted Pepper this Thursday 15 March with GI, Lethal Dialect, vocalist Willa Lee, guitarist Garry O’Brien and the mighty DJ Moschops. Doors 10pm and admission is €7.