Reviews

Haleek Maul
Errol

(Lex Records)

7/10

Brooklyn-born, Barbados-raised rapper Haleek Maul released his debut EP when he was just 16 years old. Oxyconteen impressed many a critic back in 2012 with its haunted, ambient hip-hop and found its way onto several publications’ albums of the year lists. But the acclaim may have come too soon for Maul, who somewhat faded from view for the remainder of the decade. He now returns with Errol, a mature and inward-looking debut LP that sees the rapper deal with loss while searching for hope.

Throughout the record, Maul’s nimbleness between musical styles is notable. On first listen, it’s hard to ignore the horrorcore intensity of lead single ‘Glass Ceiling’ and the sinister chimes of ‘Glitching’. With repeat plays, however, flickers of ear-catching instrumentation, such as the shimmering whirs on ‘DWGWY’, bring greater depth to the soul searching.

Made after the passing of his grandfather, Maul uses the album to reflect on himself as well as the motives of those around him. When music industry types manipulate him on ‘Pretty Colours’, he hopes he can remember where I’m from and shrug it off.” On this track and elsewhere, Maul shares his self-doubt and bouts of paranoia amidst a weed-induced haze; from time to time, on songs like ‘Lucid’, he arrives at precious moments of calm.

Frustratingly, album closer ‘Feelings’ seems a bit too neat in its positivity considering Maul’s toil throughout the rest of the record. But on the whole, Errol is a rich debut full of ideas that underline the rapper’s continued promise.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.