Challenger –  Daniel Jackson (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

It is nice to know that in this world were a lot of rap and hip-hop has been dumbed down to mumbling bedroom wannabes talking in street tough cliches over the same off the shelf meandering beats that occasionally you can still stumble across something which reminds you of the golden age. Challenger swaggers like an old school hip-hop classic but is nothing if not forward looking, talking in the language of today and adding a real street edge and dark anticipation through the choice and flow of words.  It is sharp, punchy and for a change revels in its own lyricism, something which seems to have ironically been lost from the genres which arose from a cappella street poetry.

And whilst it is easy to see where it comes from, it is the fusing of those ideas, of hip-hop grooves, rap narrative, trip-hop non-conformity and more into a new form, a staccato delivery and a futuristic vibe…glitch-hop perhaps…that shows which direction Daniel Jackson is looking. Reference the past but build a future and that is something that is evident in Challenger. As a famous man once said, the future is unwritten, so why not try to leave your own signature on that empty page.

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