Paul White - Rapping With Paul White (One Handed Music)

Harking back to the glory days of hip hop, Rapping With Paul White is a cracker!

Released Sep 20th, 2011 via One Handed Music / By Adam Corner
Paul White - Rapping With Paul White (One Handed Music) In the leafy canopy of micro-genres constantly sprouting from the electronic music tree, its easy to forget that there are actually only a few big roots propping the whole thing up. For all that acts like Flying Lotus have made genuine steps forward, and emerging talents like Hudson Mohawke are innovating faster than journalists can say ‘sound of 2011’, its good old fashioned hip hop that powers their sonic experiments. Paul White is someone who can stand toe-to-toe with producers like these, but on his first full-length ‘vocal’ album, it is clear just how heavily the new breed of producers are leaning on the hip hop template laid down decades ago. Rapping with Paul White is a fantastic hip hop album: pure and simple.

Paul White has assembled a crack squad of underground guest MCs that includes UK legend Jehst and a couple of tracks from Guilty Simpson. The rappers are well chosen – Danny Brown’s ode to the joys of the beast with two heads on 'One of Life’s Pleasures' sounds like Andre 3000 on scorching form, and it’s a genuine pleasure to hear Jehst’s dusty tones once again floating over a space-cadet beat on 'Indigo Glow'. But the rappers are really not the star of the show here – whether its playful bhangra samples on 'Run Shit' or smoky kicks ‘n’ snares on 'Trust', the production quality is insanely high.

In a funny kind of way, the fact that this album is so instantly recognisable as hip hop (rather than floating between a thousand other reference points, like so much electronic music now does) makes it stand out. Even the title – Rapping with Paul White – seems to hark back to the glory days of hip hop: the beats and the rhymes are what matters. Perhaps we have reached the point where smashing genres into a million pieces and gluing them back together again in a different shape has become the norm, rather than the exception. If we have, then Paul White is innovating by going back to the tried and tested hip hop formula – and making it sound utterly fresh again.