The Foreign Beggars crew have been real popular for a few years now, having dropped a very strong debut album in 'Asylum Speakers' and built a reputation for their energetic live shows. There's recently been a couple of heavy EP's dropping and the collective's various members always seem to be featuring on other people's stuff. It's no surprise then that much of the scene has been looking forward to the group's second album. The good news is, the new material's as good as previous gems and demonstrates a growth in all aspects, from production to vocals.
The most obvious difference between the new and previous LP is the production, handled almost entirely by Dag Nabbit. The quality is extremely high and every beat is well developed, delivering a consistent but varied bunch of vibes. Overall, the sounds seem a lot darker whilst there also seems to be more use of synthesized and electronic sounds. Whatever's being used to create the noises, it's clear by the end of the last track that Nabbit is one of the scene's most capable producers, and deserves a lot of respect for his work on this release.
As for the vocals of the tracks, you'll find that Orifice Vulgatron and Metropolis are in as fine a form as they ever have been, both constantly dropping verses in their trademark styles which are soaked in strong character and really shows up the mundane nature in most of their contemporaries. Vulgatron's efforts are extremely energetic affairs and are always packed with utter dedication to their delivery which calls for rewind after rewind. Metropolis's microphone duties are a little more laid back, but his deep yet very expressive voice always seems to suit the beat well and both styles compliment each other nicely.
The first album was well known for its many guest features and this time it's no different. On 'In It For A Minute' and 'Confessions Of A…', listeners are treated to one of the most enjoyable female rappers the UK has to offer in Graziella. Dudley Perkins contributes to 'Confessions Of A…' too, whilst DJ Vadim helps out on 'Black Hole Prophecies', OhNo on 'Slow Broiled Ilk' and Dubbledge on 'Hot Plate', amongst others. Each collaboration suits the surrounding material and feels like a natural coming together of talents as opposed to a forced event.
There's very little filler on the release but to single out several highlights, there's the interesting social commentary of 'Slo-Speed', the great sample driven 'On A Winter's Day', the electronic jungle that is 'Backdraft', 'Reach Out' featuring Dr. Syntax over a soulful and summery loop and 'The Coming' featuring Moschops, Dr. Syntax and Skrein. That one's a poignant final track which feels symbolic of what's going on at the top of the UK hiphop ladder. If there was ever any doubt as to who was the most artistic and creative UK hiphop collective, this release will silence it. Out on Dented Records mid October, it looks like the UK scene is coming out of it's coma.