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Issue 1093

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Review

Iron Braydz: Verbal sWARdz EP (Unorthostract)

Iron Braydz CD cover pic

8

6.1

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UK release date 14.04.2014

Raised in Harlesden, London, Iron Braydz is considered one of the UKâs most skilled hip hop MCâs. Drawing on his influences of Wu Tang, Immortal Technique, dead prez, Public Enemy & Nas, many of whom he has subsequently performed with either in the studio or on stage, he has also established a foothold in the international arena.

Whether as part of DJ Roninâs All Elements clik, receiving endorsements from legends such as DJ Marley Marl, or working with Sav Killz, Hasan Salaam, M1,Guilty Simpson and Sean Price, Braydz has earned his reputation as one of the most gifted lyricists to emerge from British shores.

His impact within the British & European independent hip hop community has grown from largely self produced releases, "Devil May Cry" (2010) and "Holla @ Braydz" (2012), and he brought different flavours into the mix courtesy of producers such as Lewis Parker, Chemo and a range of new beatsmiths. Recently he has become a recognized face on the live circuit, performing and as event host - joining up with old sparring partners Melanin 9, Cyrus Malachi and Phoenix da Icefire, to become the latest member of Triple Darkness. He also featured with Mystro and Genesis Elijah in Ohio rapper Copywriteâs video âRoyal Flush,â and is set to make a cameo appearance in the upcoming independent film âNight Bus.â

Director Simon Baker, who picked up several awards at Cannes for his Paralympic series, and produced the documentary âAllstarsâ, suggested the role, having heard the track âGrey Skiesâ taken from the "Holla @ Braydz" Mixtape. The 10-track EP âVerbal sWARdz,â is the first of a series of releases due to drop this year. Largely self produced, with contributions from Ringz of Saturn, Agor and Daniel Taylor, and top class features from Prince Po (Organised Konfusion), Kyza, Skriblah, Sean Price (Boot Camp Clik), Detroit rap veteran Phat Kat and Triple Darknessâ Ray Vendetta, Cyrus Malachi and Solar Black (aka Phoenix da Icefire). There's a special appearance from Kiss FMâs DJ Shortee Blitz too.

The standout for me is "Millenium" ft classy US artist Prince Po, ably produced by Daniel Taylor. Set to a musical backdrop of a blaxploitation style 70s gritty soundtrack, complete with ethereal flute and a moody vibe, the blend of US and UK rapperâs vocals have a unique chemistry. The lyrical content grabs the attention and the production is sublte and unfussy, which could be said of the entire record really. Nice job on his own label. An artist equally at home in Brent or Brooklyn, the EP represents a snapshot of Iron Braydz now and of things to come, while having his extended international family rub shoulders over 10 prime cuts. A very impressive release indeed.
Words SIMON REDLEY

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