Article by Stephen Harvey
The rap scene in Stoke on Trent has apparently been a little quiet of late with Hip hop seeming to be the main casualty at the moment, which is unfortunate given the quality of some of its home grown talents in the area. I believe hip hop has lots to add to both local radio and the local music scene as a whole,and the actsI have seen play live shows have on the most part been welcomed by music fans.
Matt Kesic or ‘Kez’ from Blurton is one of the artists that I believe has something new to offer musically. I was sent (well I asked for one actually) a copy of his new demo album ‘breakout’ after first hearing a track on the playlist of Stoke Bands Network website.
The album starts with my favourite track of the demo ‘Around The Clock’ with its fantastic funk riff in the background and a rap style delivered with both a local accent and the potteries own take on wit and word play. There is no fake accent in there, or indeed the overdone bass-line style that dominates the charts at the moment, which is a good thing. My love of old skool rap is no secret in the area, and as such, I am instantly drawn into simple riffs and good story telling, which I am glad to say is in abundance in these tracks. My favourite line has got to be “you think its thick, cus it’s not posh and it’s written in the cursive” which puts me in mind of another other local anti-hero and rapper Parradox, who incidently Matt told me that is his favourite local artists, and is indeed a great man to listen to, in my humble opinion.
Kez has recognised that he has a completely different audience to play to than Docksey, and as such, he talks about the things that he knows about and that are personal to him and his generation. This is sadly where a lot of the younger generation of artists fall short I feel. They fail to recognise the difference between being influenced by an artist and copying their style. Kez has the maturity in his writing to make it his own and this is what makes him different than all the other rappers sending me their tracks.
The closest comparison I could make to people who are not familiar with hip hop or Kez would be to rappers like Eminem and Mike Skinner. These are rappers that draw you into their own world by the use of their language. Sometimes the individual dialects or content can be un-familiar at times, but the use of clever wordplay and emotional content gets you over this small lapse in what you’re accustomed to listening to and that is their strength. Kez has this ability, and I would recommend that you take a listen and judge for yourself. The only difficulty I can see for him at the moment is finding the chance to play live at one of the bigger local venues, but hopefully we can help him along with our support.