Since making his mark on the UK rap scene with the release of Legoman – Where’s My Brick? in 2010, G FrSH has been one of the most consistent rappers in terms of quality and quantity the UK has had to offer. Growing up G FrSH spent his years juxtaposing between living on a council estate in South London to receiving a coveted scholarship to an acclaimed private school, eventually getting a degree in Economics. This determination to work hard more than translates when it comes to his music, and is proven in his second and third EP’s Purgatory (2012) and Legoman II (2013) which demonstrate his business ambition and street education. However although widely known for hard hitting flows filled with punch lines and masculine bars, his recent EP Alfie has taken a largely different route in expression and style.
Based on the 1966 film starring Michael Caine and the 2004 film with Jude Law, Alfie is an 11 track conceptual EP which deals with G FrSH’s reflections upon his own relationships and interactions with women. As a result the self-analysing aspect of the EP is very honest and indeed unique; given the fact most rappers take a far more indifferent stance on their relationships with women. What is quite cool as well is how the EP in a way espouses the character of Alfie, with its largely mature, elegant sound that provides a mental picture of a suit wearing, whiskey sipping gentleman reflecting upon his womanising ways. The EP opens up with a track called ‘Right This Time’, which drops into a garage like beat followed by a calm and soothing hook. The lyrics in the first verse deal with G FrSH’s motives in approaching women “I came for the baddest b*tches with the aim of having them all, then I came time and time again came for more and got bored”. The second verse confronts the same topic but from a vulnerable women’s perspective, “no plan for her life just a plan for the night, feeling kind of low so she trying get high”, exposing the conflicting reasons why both men and women look for sex.
Next up is ‘Too Long’, the keyboards in this track provide a fast pace and the lyrics give an insight into how no strings attached relationships aren’t what they seem and in this case G FrSH breaks some hearts. “Now you’re sitting on insta trying turn likes into love, looking at Beyonce and Jigga thinking how that couldn’t been us”. ‘Giving It To You’ witnesses the first feature of the EP with Tanika Bailey singing and is produced by fellow Disturbing London signee Sonny Reeves, who produced most of the EP. Dealing with the same theme as ‘Too Long’ showing the negatives of when women become emotionally attached to what men often perceive as an otherwise physical endeavour. Collaborating with Star. One and featuring singer Thabbo makes ‘Mystify’ one of the best tracks of the EP, the chilled progressive beat mixes well with G FrSH’s self-assured lyrics and delivery.
The EP is Hip Hop at its core but the musical influences on the project are varied, tracks like ‘Darlin’ have more of trap beat sort of feel, it’s a good song but the beat just isn’t for me. Whereas ‘Let’s Drink’ with Sonny Reeves once again on the vocals and production has more of a UK R&B sound. The track begins with G FrSH saying “Lets drink, lets f*ck and never fall in love” in a high, almost optimistic pitch and ends with “lets drink, lets f*ck oh sh*t we fell in love”, this time distorted in a unenthusiastic low pitch. This base heavy beauty of a track is all about“Grey Goose, Rose, clothes all over my hallway”.
For us here at HTF ‘Hardest Part’ was defiantly our favourite song of the EP, and easily one of the songs of the year. The track deals with the common male problem of liking a girl that already has a man, but the hardest part is G FrSH’s realisation that he can’t provide anything this girl hasn’t already got. This track has everything, a smooth base heavy beat, precise hard hitting bars from G FrSH, a nice little melody from Sonny and the sickest hook which will get you moving no matter what you’re doing, I’m still waiting to be blessed to hear this tune in a club. Then almost as equally as good in my opinion is ‘Falling High’, released earlier this year the track was instantly recognised as a banger. It beautifully opens up with Sonny singing over piano, and then drops into a chilled but serious beat. In this track G FrSH gives us an insight into his thoughts on his life’s work, inspired by him being so intoxicated with his musical dreams that he can’t figure out if his falling or flying.
Showing a more softer side to his relationships with women, the track ‘Sometimes‘ see’s G FrSH collaborate with Disturbing London owner Tinie Tempah. G FrSH’s opens up on the track on a positive tip matching the first half of this 8 minute long beat, then it switches to a much more serious and even darker sound with the instrumental and Tinie Tempah’s verse. It comes across as if G FrSH’s verse deals with that new feeling that comes with a new girl whereas Tinie’s verse confronts thinking back at a relationship that’s now a thing of the past. ‘Close My Eyes’ is a very reflective and sentimental track in terms of lyrics, delivery and instrumental. Produced by DRSY, this a track to sit back and chill out to and listen to a man open up on a range of relatable topics from his relationship with his family, to love and being selfish. The last song of Alfie is ‘Take Me Back’, featuring emotive vocals from singer Laura Wolfie. Once again G FrSH deals with another common topic for most people, trying to find that hope we all once had when we were younger, in terms of relationships and aspirations.
Alfie is a good look on all fronts, rather than rapping about rapping or material objects, G FrSh’s bars are personnel, honest and thought provoking, which create an all-round better relationship with the listener. Many men will relate with G FrSH’s bars, whilst some women will gain a better understanding to what they perceive to be men’s animalistic approach to sex. The fact that these bars are accompanied by some of the best production quality I’ve ever heard from a UK artist is more than better, to which Sonny Reeves can be mostly thanked for. Alfie is a unique creation in that is has the potential to be both widely popular within the UK mainstream and underground scenes, whilst remaining artistically creative and original. It’s this fine balance that makes Alfie easily G FrSH’s finest work to date and one of the best releases to come out of the UK in a long while. We here at HTF recommend this EP to anyone and it is available to buy from iTunes here.