TRAUMA – The God Given Image
Ageism is a real issue in Rap Music. The narrative that once you hit a certain point on the calendar you’re too old to rap is one that’s trotted out frequently by “Johnny come lately” fans and artists alike.
The era that is prevalent in your formative years is bound to be the one you most fondly associated with but in no other genre is there a ‘age gap’ like there is in rap.
The theory doesn’t really hold any weight when you consider how many veterans drop stone cold classics late career and equally how many great releases I’ve heard from newer artists this century.
If you were to dismiss The God Given Image based purely on the fact Trauma is “30 years in the game, 1 LP” then your viewpoint would be considered…. well childish, and you’d also miss out on a fine example of straight up Hip Hop Lyricism over sample heavy beats (my era btw)
Originally released in 2017 on Evil Twin Records, TGGI kicks off with an intro where Trauma lets you know soul is at the heart of this LP and PassionHiFi duly obliges with a beat that is infused with it. From the subtly vocal sample to the gorgeous drums it’s clear from the off these two are in unison when it comes to making music. Trauma’s opening verse leaves you in no doubt that he’s a born lyricist with a fascinating story to tell.
“Organic/ my thoughts active /the raw passion the more savage premium or average/Venus Mike on the road trip/the olders call it dopeness the youngers call it oh shit /for me it’s where my soul lives/
Dope as fuck!!
Trauma handles a huge chunk of the production on the album whilst bringing only a few notable guests for the ride and The God Given Image is all the more enriched for it.
After the intro Trauma let’s us know he’s ‘Finally Here’ over a self produced beat of near perfection topped off with some excellent cuts from Richy Spitz – who also produces the stellar Tell Me – and he follows this with Feeling Good produced by The PassionHiFi.
Anybody wondering about Trauma’s pulling power should be under no illusion as he manages to pull in UK Hip Hop Royalty Si Philli and one time partner Dotz for the excellent ‘We Had It” as well as Flo whose vocals really suit the production on ‘Never Had You’.
The subject matter, as you’d expect from a grown man, covers all manner of topics ranging from family, the state of the music business and Trauma’s own lyrical prowess. The album is cohesive and entertaining whilst never being preachy. The overall feel of the album is definitely that of a true Hip Hop album and it refuses to pander to current tastes and trends, instead staying true to the tried and tested ethos of Beats, Rhymes and Life.
Executive Produced by Passion HiFi, who also handles the mixing and mastering, God Given Image is in many ways a masterpiece and the fact it saw the light of day at all is testimony to the sheer force of will and hard work Trauma and Passion put in over the 2 years it took to craft this album.
It’s not without a few minor mishaps, The “Bedford accent” takes some getting used to and may be considered “strange” to those unfamiliar with it and I’m sure the “youngers” will find it boring but none of that detracts from the fact the God Given Image is a solid, well rapped, well produced and well put together body of work.
With the release of his 2nd (and final) album imminent GGI is the perfect appetiser for the main course*.
#TST rating 4.3/5
*I have an advance copy I’m about to listen to so expect a review shortly!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 21st March 2020
*These reviews are my SUBJECTIVE opinion. They are not influenced by the artists or producers in anyway and simply how I feel about the body of work.