IYDK: Skripture – Top

The prolific, genre-hopping, flow-titan known as Skripture is going hard lately. Following up last year’s whopping triple album drop that saw him in producer-mode churning out Beat Em Up volumes 1 to 3 (a diverse collection of cypher-ready hip hop instrumentals), his return to the booth in 2021 has already seen him in multiple guises.

With a multifaceted slew of singles and 2 EPs already surfacing by the summer, ranging from the soulful hip hop of the Journey EP to the grimier/UK rap stylings on the Do It EP, it’s genuinely a surprise that Skripture is still capable of reeling off surprises. Cue Top. The most recent outing from the lyricist and one of his best.

From opener ‘All That’ its apparent that we’re treading uncharted ground. Something about the way the instrumental hits feels loosely reminiscent of what you’d imagine Mick Jenkins would sound like if he came up in London instead of Chicago and tried to pen ‘Jazz’ with the heavy grime influence of the capital. This fusion of hard flows to deftly produced alternative hip hop soundscapes is something that continues as the project unfolds.

Continuing his career-long trend of distancing himself from predictable rappers, Top showcases the latest iteration of Skripture’s unique approach to beat-making and vocals. Production driven lyricism over the course of 5 tracks phrases real life situations with a mellow but unrelenting bravado. Title track and first single ‘Top’ blends warm, wavy synths with rapid verbals into one of those rare tunes that’s both suitable for club and a 4am wind-down sesh. ‘Opposite’ continues the vibe with added funk. By the time the midway point is passed and the warm surge of ‘Hear’ kicks in and creates sonic space for more positive, self-affirming lyricism, it would require a particularly dedicated hater to deny that Skripture has done something a bit exceptional with his latest work.

Finishing an EP that has mostly focused on the self, closing track ‘Blind’ provides a final curveball and, still through a personal lens, focuses on race issues with a positively defiant tone. Equal measures oppositional and uplifting with a soulful hook and a beat that’s pure sunshine. Gold.

For the uninitiated to the church of Skripture… Bump this EP, then go rinse his discography. From the quick masterclass in grime on 2018’s Walk It Out to his work with trans-atlantic super group THE SCORE, the guy has kept things eclectic since day and managed to maintain a mad work rate without sacrificing quality. Support Top HERE.

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