Leeds hasn’t been the most fertile ground for hip hop heads in recent years, but HiFi has made another positive step with an event lined up for Friday 15th of July, as the much-loved funk and soul venue opens its doors to MCs Lee Scott and Danny Lover.
A representative of UK hip hop movement High Focus, Lee Scott is also known as the man behind the superb Blah Records, which has played host to the likes of Mcabre Brothers, Children of the Damned, Mr. Wrong, Reklews and Hock Tu Down. A witty and often bizarre lyricist, Scott works around the jazz-touched tones that have made High Focus such a distinctive player in UK hip hop, and carries a similarly world-weary tongue to contemporaries like Edward Scissortongue and Mr Key, albeit with a touch more bravado. Equally able to deploy lines with a snarling dark humour or premeditated bluntness, Lee is a compelling orator with no interest in pulling punches, and will expect a fired up crowd when he picks up the mic in HiFi.
A releasee on Scott’s label last year with the album “My Best Friends Keep Dying”, Danny Lover has joined the Blah crew with a sterling first release, thanks to an album which pits his emotional, pensive rapping against echoing guitars and downtempo beats. Borrowing from soulful samples, the album is a moody journey through Lover’s grayscale reflections, with an altogether more transatlantic sound than his label boss’ High Focus pals. What he’ll serve up live remains to be seen, but the talented Stratford resident rapper doesn’t ever go in half-heartedly.
HiFi will have the pleasure of welcoming the duo to Leeds for what could well be one of the best hip hop shows that the city has seen for some time; let’s hope that this means the city’s hip hop resurgence is underway.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of Elements & The Doomed Regular