Mr Busalot – Test Screening of The Story Of Mr Busalot (Jamendo)
It’s not often that Jamendo turns up something that really counts as odd. Despite the neverending attempts of a legion of bedroom producers to stand out from the crowd by virtue of creating ever more obscure and unlistenable beats it’s rare that a release actually leaves me raising an eyebrow. And it’s even rarer when it actually makes me laugh. And it’s an out and out miracle when that release also happens to be an English Hip-Hop one. In fact, not just that, but it’s from South East London which just happens to be my little corner of the metropolis, which not only obliges me to review it but also obliges Mr Busalot’s efforts to be half decent given his Londoner status. And mercifully my faith in the inherent superiority of anything from SE London goes unchallenged for the short duration of this entertainingly at ease with itself album.
Mr Busalot (a.k.a Ihaven’tgotaclue) is an alter ego with a past. The premise of the whole album is the reincarnation/possession of the Rapper by Busalot, late British porn star with a penchant for prolific ejaculation. Not, I admit, particularly big or clever as these things go but it’s different and if you’re purile enough it can raise a snigger (although as a serious muso I, of course, would never display such sentiment). It could have gone horribly wrong from there of course, in fact in many hands it would have but there’s a certain type who can take a cheap gimmick and add some wit and charm to it. In fact if you thought of Kool Keith doing his Doctor Octagon bit on seeing the premise of this album then you’ll know that sleaze doesn’t have to be sleezy, or rather it does, but it can be sleezy with style. Style helped here I suspect by the South London accent which lends itself well to lightness without feeling obliged to follow down the path of deadly serious US Rap.
Anyway, musically it’s solid as you’d expect from something that I’m being nice about. The beats aren’t quite inspired enough to carry off any extended periods of instrumentalism even if they do try to but in a Trip-Hoppy sort of a way they’re comfortable enough not to offend the ear. Occasional forays into more ambient lounge stylings are slightly out of place but generally forgivable. And once the vocals kick in the final product works better than some of its composite parts would suggest. The MC, Mr Busalot, manages some solid delivery and has enough personality to him to merit attention and the lyrics, whilst not exactly deep and profound (what else would you expect?) can, as I said earlier, raise a smile and it’s always delivered in a straight but unserious enough manner to fit in with the humour.
So, worth a listen and a download, especially given how short the whole thing is (just under 20 minutes) and even if some of the more involved attempts at production are skipped over in favour of the lyrical segments there’s still enough to be enjoyed.
And it’s from South East London, so it’s probably better than you are.