UK trapper and drill rapper SL has dropped a new album, titled 'Different Dude'. The rapper has dropped a handful of bangers for the UK scene since he blew up, and now it was time to see whether or not a full length project from this unique UK voice could make an impact on the scene.
The production on here is solid, it doesn't stand out too much but it definitely bangs, such as 'Need More' which has a banging drill beat and some decent lines (although not much stands out lyrically) as he talks on his desire for money and trapping with his gang. It was pretty mid until the last flow switch where his whole demeanour just became so mean - it didn't make it a standout track but it definitely made it more interesting than it was. There's a few meh beats on here too, such as 'Who Knows' which had an instrumental that isn't bad but just fails to make an impact as SL reflects on his come up into the street life. The hook is pretty nice and the verses are alright and it doesn't stand out an a whole like a few songs on here but it's an OK song overall. The key elements include drill or trap beats with booming 808s and piano's and/or guitar's accompanying them, such as on 'Different Dude' which has this banging guitar-trap beat as SL paints a picture of his life surrounded by drugs, his gang, music, guns, girls etc. with some decent lyrics. It's a decent start to the album, like a lot of tracks here though it'll sound alright without actually making an impact or dragging you back to it. It's not the best produced album of the year but the production is good enough.
SL's lyrics vary, he isn't a top tier lyricist but sometimes he's decent and has hard bars throughout, such as on 'Felt Tips', "I hate seeing n*****, Ku Klux Klan", "Mum said son, "Don't shit where you sleep" // So we went them sides and we shat", as he talks on the street life, shanking opps and girls over this heavy drill beat and strings with keys in the back which add to great effect. It has a really good hook and beat that pops out more than any other - the whole thing is a banger and lyrically it's the most engaging and entertaining track. The other half of the time he's quite mediocre with his lyrics and does nothing to stand out, such as on 'Now & Then' which is performed over this nice guitar based trap beat which is about trapping and drugs. The hook is nice with some great melodies, the verses are solid and the beat enjoyable so it's yet another good song on here. His flow is pretty one dimensional, although it's still decent, and it's pretty basic yet still smooth - it's still something he could definitely improve on. His delivery sounds like he's putting in no effort but that laid back, almost too relaxed delivery kind of works for his style.
The features on here are good, and we get some great guest hooks as well such as Nafe Smallz on 'Super High' which is nothing new for him over this beat full of life with a more cold synth bass to compliment it as he talks on attacking opps and sex with girls with some decent bars. The hook is great as I said, SL's slightly melodic flow makes the verse more bright than usual and the whole track is just entertaining. Unknown T drops a verse too and goes hard on on it as usual on 'Excuse Me' over this banging drill beat with nice keys as SL talks on the trap life with hard bars all throughout, "I was on the block tryna make my cash // You were at home playing computers // Look, n***** know where I'm from // Croydon blocks won't take intruders // Young boy used to rob mans phone". It's a banger as the chemistry between them is great and on display - a very enjoyable song with great rapping. There's a decent amount of features for the size of the tracklist, and they're all delivered well and work well with SL.
Content wise it touches mainly on the street life surrounded by gangs, opps, drugs and the feds, such as on 'Trenches' which describes where he's come from and his life of trapping over these light keys, strings and synths with heavy 808s which are nothing too special. Ayo Britain's hook see's some unique vocals and it sounded decent to be honest as this whole song is enjoyable with nice flows as it goes over so smooth. He also talks on content revolved around girls (mainly sex) on here too, such as 'Quarantine Freestyle' as he talks on getting head from his girl as well as the usual topics of the trap life, the police and attacking his opps. The piano based trap beat is decent, and it's a great track with flow switches that keep this long, lone verse interesting over this nice beat and it's such an easy and casual listen. 'Bye Bye' talks on a girl SL's getting close to but it doesn't really work out over this nice guitar based beat and metallic atmosphere. SL's lyrically meh again but it's a solid enough track to finish things off - though it doesn't stand out as much as the highs on here. It's not the most unique content or explored with too much depth - but it's cohesive and does give an insight into his life.
To conclude, this is a good project - it's pretty one dimensional and doesn't exactly stand out but for what it is it's definitely good. The verses are solid, the delivery is nice and the beats and hooks are great making it an enjoyable listen, though it's not the most replayable as it all blends into one - but it's a casual listen which works as SL delivered something good enough. It's consistent, there isn't exactly a bad song on here and I'm eager to see what comes next from him - he needs a new direction or slight adjustment before the style gets worn.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Felt Tips, Trenches, Quarantine Freestyle, Now & Then, Excuse Me, Super High
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Need More
OVERALL RATING: Solid 7/10