2ndVerse certainly tell it like it is. One of the great things about rap music is that it looks you in the eye, shoots from the hip and draws first, firing off salvos of reality, truth bullets packet with explosive honesty. And Legend holds nothing back as it kicks off. And if rap, hip-hop and all its various sub-genres are based around dexterous and poetic use of language then this certainly ticks a lot of boxes on that score. It’s an interesting switch really, other genres are happy to create intricate music and just through the lyrics on the top without much thought, here the music is just a simple device to keep things moving forward and it is the mesh and flow of the words which is the focal point here.
And as if 2nd Verse didn’t get the job done they also have a couple of tricks up their sleeve. Firstly in stark contrast to the street swagger of the lyrical delivery, they weave in some spoken word samples whose clipped, retro, public service announcement style in perfect imbalance. But their best trick is securing the services of master battle rapper Daylyt whose presence adds no end of kudos to the proceedings.
Revelling in the past is all very well and good but the best music, or at least the most original, seems to be made as people move things forward. It’s all about evolution, it’s about forward-thinking, it is the way the world turns. Legend is the sound of the world turning and music moving into pastures new. Here they pull together various urban strands, lazy beats, slow hip-hop rhythms, cool rap flows, strange and glitchy electro-groove musical motifs and even a few sultry R&B tones and smooth, late night smokey vibes.
It’s a track that tips its hat to the past whilst shaping the future and it does really feel like something new, a bold step forward, a post-urban style that pushes beyond the rules and regulations. Ignores the fickle finger of fashion and has no time for musical guardians and narrow-minded pedants telling it what hip-hop, pop, rap, trap, electronic music or any other genre should be about. Welcome to the post genre world!
It is an addictive combination of hypnotic vocal delivery and trippy accessibility which really moves the ball forward, breaks out of the comfort zones and offers a new take on an old sound. It is the perfect eulogy for the streets, the hustle, the hassle, the grime and the game, it plays to stereotypical images but it drips with dark reality. If ever rap music spoke of the lives and aspirations of the young urban experience, this is where it is said most eloquently in raps own, new first language.