It’s always exciting when new artists rise up on the UK music scene and Activist from South London is a hard working young guy who has drawn on the tough experiences of his life and turned them into lyrical poetry.
Activist has a 16 track digital album, Year of the Antagonist, which he has created with producer LZ available for download at https://activist.bandcamp.com/ (Warning – explicit lyrics)
All of the tracks are moody, atmospheric hip-hop/rap tracks where Acti and LZ have collaborated with quality artists, bringing a very professional and polished feel to the album. The lyrics are often based on human struggles, and are at times necessarily confronting and explicit.
Following the intro, the track ‘Messed Up Life’ features the talented Geno Bliss from North Carolina, USA. This is a quality production that was initiated after Geno and his management team at Dark Crown Records saw Activist’s ‘Closure’ video on YouTube. This track was originally written and recorded by Geno, but Acti has made his own version with new lyrics and a new beat. The lyrics are about how messed up life can seem with mothers giving birth way too young, friends killing friends for a price, material things being more important than friendships, and Acti’s underlying theme is how everybody gets sucked into the bad cycles of life and perpetuate the problem rather than trying to break the cycle.
The third track is called ‘Save Me from Myself’ featuring Aled Williams and is about a man who has fallen on hard times and needs somebody to give him a break before he breaks down and loses control completely.
‘The team’ ft CMF is an explicit track about realising who your friends are, who is on your side, and who you can and can’t trust in the tangled web of life’s relationships in an inner city environment.
‘Something in the Air’ features Dom P and is a poignant story about brothers where one of them gets attacked and stabbed on a trip to the shops.
‘Felt Like This’ featuring Shannon B draws on the theme tune to quirky Australian TV series ‘Round the Twist’. Shannon is a gifted vocalist who really brings this song to life.
‘Closure’ features the vocals of accomplished singer Lifford Shillingford (Lifford was the vocalist with Artful Dodger on ‘Please Don’t Turn Me On’). The lyrics convey the story of a broken relationship where the girl cannot seem to let go and the guy has to bring some finality to the affair.
‘Breathing Under Water’ featuring Siobhan May is about somebody having a really bad day who feels really caged in by his lack of fortune and doesn’t know where to turn.
Many of the tracks also have YouTube videos to accompany them which have been very well put together and directed. Activist pays a lot of attention to the details of each storyboard and this shows in the quality of the videos. It is clear that Activist strives to make each performance as professional as possible, he draws on personal experience to write gritty lyrics about real life, and although much of his subject matter features the negative aspects of inner city life, you get the overall feeling that he is hopeful about his future security. Activist is a shining example of how somebody can survive a challenging young life and come through as a winner.
He continues to go from strength to strength having recently secured a clothing deal with Obnoxious Kid Clothing and support from KTM TV.
Picks of the album are ‘Closure’ and ‘Messed Up Life’.