It’s fair to say that UK Hip Hop has been a little quiet as of late. The dust has long settled on Young Fathers’ explosive mercury prize nominated debut album and this last month has brought us absolutely nothing (Professor Green doesn’t count). Nothing apart from Ipswich-born rapper DELS’ latest offering, that is. ‘Petals Have Fallen’ has come at the perfect time and it’s pretty good too. Combining thoughtful stream-of-consciousness poeticisms with weird, dark and occasionally off beat production (much of which comes from long-term collaborator KWES), DELS makes for an interesting listen.

His voice is appealingly lazy, almost conversational and his lyrics effortless. ‘My boys are arguing like politicians/this house of commons is full of endless contradictions’ he raps in the lilting third track that’s peppered with Nintendo bleeps and the odd schoolboy chant. There is the occasional too-simple line (“Religion clashing with science/I feel to seek to the truth”), but when it’s buried amongst brilliantly layered instrumentation and lyrical sincerity, it comes across as more appealing than naïve, and it’s often skewed with wit: “Some say I’m anxious / I just think I need to eat cheese less.”

‘Petals Have Fallen’ presents itself as a rich second effort from DELS and it could well be the answer to a much-needed upheaval in UK Hip Hop. Whoever thought it would come from Ipswich?


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