Updated: Dec 12, 2020
Young T & Bugsey are a British duo from Nottingham, who realistically have just released banger after banger with no bad songs inbetween - so when I saw they were dropping a project titled 'Plead The 5th' I was intrigued to see whether or not they were going to fall into the category of artists who couldn't drop a decent album despite all the great songs they have. For sure they had the ability to make a whole album of party songs and not let it get tiresome, mainly due to the fact each song has a different style and sound yet is still designed to turn up. The pair speak on the usual content associated with party music such as girls, flexing and drugs while sticking to the sound of the UK rap scene but also bringing the style of their routes (such as Nigeria & Jamaica) into the equation - reminiscent of J Hus. The production on this album is again party vibed full of drums but features a lot of dancehall and afroswing instrumentals which really works to the duos advantages. Lyrically both of them are very basic and slightly generic, especially when it comes to their flexing and their flow is decent and smooth, but nothing crazy. The attraction of their music is in the delivery really, they take quite a melodic approach and that really works for their hooks because the choruses on this thing are so catchy and so easy to dance to. The features on this album are all good, while some are amazing and steal the show others are good yet fail to make a huge impact on the track - none are absoultely horrible.
The project opens with 'School Trip' showcasing the bouncy 808s and light feeling to the song as the duo spend the track flexing (which becomes a usual trait in this project). It's definitely an enjoyable track, and a replayable one at that and it sounds slightly different to what they usually do. 'Dreadlocks' features a guitar based production with 808s that doesn't do too much for me. The hook is catchy but the verses just kind of drag on this one - plus the punchlines are basic and the bars generic here. 'Madonna' is a very catchy song, with an irresistible hook as the pair talk on music, drugs and flexing which is fit for the party vibe they're going for. Young T's verse was great, the bars were basic but the delivery and cadence make it stand out on this album over the light drums and bouncy beat which sounds great. One of the singles leading up to this album was 'Don't Rush', and it was a song I had on repeat ever since it dropped. It has funny punchlines and enjoyable lyrics from all the rappers involved, for example Young T when he says, "Buy another when my pockets fat like Heather". The beat again creates a party vibe, it's really catchy and Headie One brings a solid verse with great one liners and an entertaining flow and cadence to create a very enjoyable track. 'Throw Me A Text' is another highlight on this album with it's quick African drum pattern giving the song a very African style while the rappers rap about a girl. It's nothing new content wise, but it's a different style and feel to it overall which is something they're regularly doing and at this point of the album have kept things from getting stale and kept it interesting. 'Stand Up Man' has a unique beat featuring drums and a hard piano which is OK, but I'm not huge on the hard piano sound. It's not as catchy or enjoyable as the previous tracks but it's still a decent song.
'More Than Me' again has this classic party beat and gives off a bit of an old school feel. It's hard to comment on the songs without saying the same thing because they all serve the same purpose and again this one is great but not as good as the very best on this album. The most recent single released before this project was 'Bully Beef' and once again was a great track. The melody of the beat partnered by the quick 808s was superb, and it was Bugsey's verse which was standout here mainly due to his spot on delivery. The track is more laid back but still has a vibe to it, while the feature in Fredo was nice as he added to the track by slotting in well with his great flow. Unfortunately the track 'Top Boy' is a bit of a step down from the previous songs. The beat is made of a hard piano with light, bouncy synths which is decent but not a top tier beat on this project. Morrison's feature had a hard delivery, but it didn't sound right over this beat and lyrically he was basic. Despite that, his flow and cadence were good enough to mean I didn't hate the feature - I just didn't love it. 'Energy' is a more gentle track, with slow piano keys and a really sensitive delivery from the duo which makes it stand out because it's so different from anything else on this project. I really enjoy this track as well, sonically, it sounds great.
The penultimate track on this album 'Plead The 5th' is just a no from me and the easiest skip on the album. The title track is boring, the beat consists of a deep guitar, 808s and a hard piano which I don't hate, but I don't love. It's what they do over this beat which I dislike, because the delivery is lifeless while the hook is boring, generic and the verses are a snooze making this one a skip. The finale to this project is one which was huge in the UK titled 'Strike A Pose'. It's deep bass makes this beat hard, while the hook is catchy and the first verse shows off the chemistry that Young T and Bugsey have together. However, it was the feature from Aitch will stole the show by his smooth flow, perfect delivery, funny yet hard one liners and his accent just makes everything he raps over that ten times better.
To conclude this album, as I've said many times, it's an absolute vibe. It's filled with banger after banger - and while it isn't special in terms of substance or lyrics, it's turn up music and it serves its purpose well. It's an album I will definitely be listening to over Summer because it suits the hot weather so well. I look forward to the future projects from the duo because their ability to make a good song and their chemistry in unmatched.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Madonna, Don't Rush, Throw Me A Text, More Than Me, Bully Beef, Energy, Strike A Pose
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Plead The 5th
OVERALL RATING: Solid 7.5/10
*REVISED SCORE: Review may not match favourite tracks and overall rating because I've since re-listened and changed my score.*