Leave Em –  A-Math (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

It may sound a strange thing to say but there is something quintessentially urban about Leave Em. Yes, I know all such music in this broad genre, rap, hip-hop and the like all have their roots in an urban and inner city experience, but A-Math seems to capture the essence of that more effectively than anything I have heard in a long time. Not just in the lyrics themselves, that age old desire to break free and strike out for a new life, but in the whole tone. The music seems to brood and bustle along, like the sound of the city itself, somehow both soothing yet edgy, familiar yet otherworldly.

The video helps drive this idea home, night-time city scapes and rivers of taillights flash past consolidating just how much this music and the city itself seem to be interwoven. What makes Leave Em stand out though, ironically enough, is its understated approach, its restraint, its subtlety. Where as many rappers are fixated on looking great, being the star of the show, opting for self-aggrandisement and swagger, Leave Em feels more like just one small story, like hundreds of others happening across the city that night, a scenario that this isn’t just about the city, but an integral part of the city itself, one small piece in its ever shifting jigsaw. And A-Math is the perfect story teller.

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