*2018 Album of the Year*
The hip-hop scene in London have their new ambassadors. Billy Dukes, a duo consisting of producer extraordinaire Intalekt and talented wordsmith GeeFree, have been making waves this year for their captivating singles “Sid Vicious“, “It’s Over” and “Chill” in the lead up to their incredible debut album The Intervention. It’s not often I hear a hip-hop album that captures London’s vibe and creative flair so poignantly. What the duo have done effortlessly is create a sound that is both soulful, gritty, abstract and experimental. Intalekt’s production on this project in downright flawless throughout, as he showcases his talents through sonic diversity.
On “Pledge Allegiance” the soothing subtle guitar arpeggios and synths create an atmospheric aura that also vibrates throughout most of the project. “Sid Vicious” and “SIO” featuring DIPS have a darker tone to them, with the latter having one of my favourite hooks on the entire project. The ethereal tone of “Lords” is brought by Marie Dahlstrom’s gorgeous vocal performance. “The Michael Ealy Effect” has Bootsy Collins-level funk to it. Another clear highlight on the album that I can listen to on repeat for hours. The soul on “Spirits” with Afronaut Zu is flawless. The angelic beat is complimented by gorgeous vocals and lyrics about otherworldly spirituality. “Forgive Me” features stunning vocals from Dani Sofiya as well as a beautiful jazzy soundscape, though it is complemented by personal lyrics from GeeFree, who tried to figure out how to deal be helpful to others while doing things for himself, while trying to figure out how to deal with change in his own life.
Lyrically, GeeFree tackles various other topics throughout this brilliant body of work. He speaks on his personal upbringing, finding his own path, love and regret. With clever wordplay and slick references that just add character to the project, GeeFree and Intalekt are able to create an animated, captivating project that just feels so raw and smooth. This is unquestionably one of the best albums/EPs of the year, and a truly proud moment for the London music scene. Massive shoutout to the guys for delivering such incredible, forward thinking music to us.
Billy Dukes will be performing The Courtyard 40 Pitfield St, London N1 6EU on July 5th, for The Intervention Launch Live and is organised by Emerald Live. Details below.
You can listen to Billy Dukes’ incredible debut project The Intervention below via Soundcloud, and make sure you support this project in any way you can!