Giggs was one of the U.K’s first artists to bring gangster rap and road life to prominence through music. He has occupied a strange space in that scene recently, with many of his shows having to be announced secretly through social media to avoid being shut down by the police. His name most definitely rings bells among avid music fans and amongst concerned and confused parents at the same time. This latest offering, Landlord features the rapper at the best of his abilities, basking in the ever expanding scene around him.
Much of the album’s production is suitably dark. Giggs’ lyrical content and husky voice perfectely melds with the different beats on Landlord. He’s been making albums for almost 10 years now so it’s not surprising that he knows what mood he wants to set and how to do so. ‘Intro’ and ‘The Blow Back’, featuring Stormzy and Dubz, both set a menacing tone that is expanded on throughout the album.
The features on the album are never shoehorned in. No artist manages to steal the spotlight from Giggs on any track but that’s not for lack of trying. Lyrically, the most entertaining track is ‘Lyrical Combat’, unsurprisingly. Giggs’ flow sounds most energised and Casisdead and Dubz both have playful verses, delivered with such conviction that demands attention.
However, there are plenty of different styles on display on the Landlord. ‘The Best’ echoes the U.K’s hip hop scene with production that wouldn’t sound out of place on a High Focus project. ‘Just Swervin’ embodies the Giggs’ distinctive sound as he flows on the laidback beat with witty verses that reflect his harsh realities. He never complains about his surroundings or circumstances but documents them through vivid storytelling and imagery.
There are a couple of tracks that have some obvious radio playability but you get the impression that nothing was added to the album in the hopes to make it a commercial success. Mainstream success clearly isn’t at the top of Giggs’ to do list but massively consistent offerings like this album should make it unavoidable, at least to the level that some of the darker material will allow. Hopefully, Landlord will at least do enough to rescue to his shows from unlawful stoppages. Giggs deserves that at least.