Is there a sickness contaminating the city of London? If so, Hip Hop trio OthaSoul are looking to provide The Remedy through their latest project of the same name. Louis VI (formerly Jungle VIP), Dozer Carter & DMobbs have continued their growth following their 2014 debut EP, Real Talks, which established them as an act to look out for. The public were first introduced to work from The Remedy via the singles ‘The Sickness’ & ‘Sweet Bite’, and now have the whole body of work to appreciate.
The Remedy begins with a thought-provoking soliloquy from Louis VI, who wonderfully exhibits his background in poetry when setting the scene for the next thirteen tracks. The jazz sample used as part of the Dozer Carter production excellently helps to raise the curtain and invite listeners to see things from the group’s perspective. The early parts of the project are driven by the soulful, Dilla-esque production provided by DMobbs, as Louis VI & Dozer Carter discuss the affliction that they believe is disturbing their home town.
As has become customary when listening to OthaSoul, the group have the ability to restore that feeling of definitive Hip Hop, and this is most evident on ‘Elevate’. As soon as the bass line (delivered by Dozer Carter) hits, you are transported to New York City in the 1990s, with the hook assisted by vocal samples adding to the classic atmosphere. The same can be said for ‘Let It Breathe’, a track that incorporates the project’s first feature supplied by Knytro. The bouncy beat coupled with the old school vibe conveyed on the chorus makes for an entertaining listen.
Other notable features – as well as frequent collaborator, Jelani Blackman, who appears twice throughout the project – are the likes of Poppy Ajudha and Tom Misch. The former adds a beautifully performed verse to ‘The Sickness’, demonstrating her jazz-inspired vocals over the jazz-inspired production, while the latter steps out from behind the boards to give a further example of his own vocal capabilities on ‘Changing Me’.
Among all the verses delivered throughout the project, it can be argued that the OthaSoul rappers save their best ‘til last, as they conclude exceptionally on ‘Cured?’. The gentle instrumental allows the two emcees to fully express their thoughts through clever lyricism and hard-hitting truths, offering a fitting end to a stimulating record.
It is evident that OthaSoul have worked tirelessly on the musicality of the project, with interludes and skits supplementing the overall concept, which is clear and well thought out. The impeccable production makes for a cohesive, consistent and engaging listen, and one of the standout projects from the UK this year. If there is a sickness infecting the city of London, OthaSoul are doing their upmost to produce the remedy.