You get nothing from Darren in a career/hobby that spans 30 years (odd banger aside) and then in the space of 3 years you get not one, but TWO full studio albums!
I reviewed the first Trauma album – The God Given Image – a few weeks back and I was glowing in my subjective (remember that) opinion of it and at the time of writing that review, I had Acceptable Citizens in my possession and was in the early stages of listening.
Since then, with the lockdown in place and the albums release on 2nd April I’ve taken the time to listen and savour this album. After all, it’s what Trauma himself wants us to do, and having done just that I’ve been treated to easily the best Hip Hop album I’ve heard this year, (Sorry Conway/Alchemist) and most definitely the best Rap album to ever come out of Bedford Borough!
As with his last effort Trauma is assisted by The PassionHIFI and if we are to believe them when they say this is the last hurrah, I don’t think I’ve witnessed a swan song this good since…… (insert legendary finale here)
The intro uses a sample of school children from the past discussing what the year 2000 will be like and it’s a clever bit of foreshadowing over a cracking beat. This sample is revisited later to equal effect in the outro of 93 F’s.
Opening with the title track, Trauma wastes little time laying down his viewpoint,atop a mellow beat with a subtle vocal sample he lays it all out…..
“ thinking of a way to appeal to all of the generations/tryna get into their heads so I can educate ‘em/today the outrage is where the centre stage is/dynamics of opinion is forever changing/blue faces/there ain’t nothing you can tell a racist/very similar war with the inherent haters/they wanna dissect your passion for some entertainment/compromise their own intelligence to our amazement/
The flow is effortless, the message is clear and this is only the beginning of the album!
The End see the Bedford MC/Family Man storytelling over an intricate track, it tells the tale of an all too typical “youth” caught up in the life and the way he flows gives the song a life of its own. The ending (no pun) and the pace at which Trauma builds the story to its conclusion is (insert superlative of choice here)
I could literally go on like this about every track.
At each turn we’re taken on a ride that covers pretty much every angle in great depth whilst managing to keep you engaged and entertained.
Whether it’s the anguish of a loved ones struggle with mental health (SHARE YOUR PAIN), age, (AGE), over inflated sense of importance (SAL), or revenge (REVENGE) this Bedford MC manages to deliver in a way that’s intricate and clever.
93 F’s a particular standout, Trauma literally tells us to “FUCK EVERYTHING” and it’s done in a way that’ll have you reaching for rewind.
Then there’s the music! Passion and Trauma serve up beats underpinned by remarkable Jessie/Walter esq chemistry. It’s BoomBap for the ages. The biggest accolade I can pay it is I could hear so many “Golden Age” MC’s over these tracks (Redman, Raekwon and GZA) and they would sound like they were made for them.
Listen to ‘So Free’……..Just listen!
There isn’t a misstep on the entire project, it’s flawless.
Whatever I haven’t said here l, the album will tell you. You can’t go out on a better creative high than this so……