track of the week ~ 'it's on now' ~ young g

Name: Young G
Genre: Hip-Hop//Rap
For Fans Of: George The Poet, The Streets, Kendrick Lamar 
Location: Belfast

Northern Ireland is a nation not known for our hip-hop. In recent years, however, an emergence led by the likes of Bomb City 7, the awesome Bee Mick See and (arguably) Jun Tzu has seen flashes of talent begin to emerge ~ even if a 'rap scene' remains a work in progress.

Attempting to push that progress onto the next level is Young G, an underground rapper with an impressive CV. For although G, (real name Gershom Kaoma) is a new name to the greater Belfast music scene, the young rapper has steadily honed his craft through a series of demo's and mixtapes over the years. His last band, a hugely understated three piece called 'The Project Sound', released some of my favorite tracks of 2012, but sadly faded away without a Belfast show.

Choosing to build his career outside of the capital city has been a meticulous process for Kaoma, but one that holds his debut solo release, 'It's On Now', in a unique position; experience, but without the weight of expectation. This is a song bursting with originality and a strong, clear voice at the mic ~ a very hard balancing act. In the past, Young G has tackled issues as varied as first love ('L.A.E' ~ 'Love Addictive Ecstasy'), civil rights ('Colour') and the all important difference between knowledge and wisdom. Here we see a rapper ready to leave the underground, ready to step up.

"We're coming for the crown now, we heading to the sky, we can barely touch the ground"

There's an almost Gallagher-esque 'Getting out of the city' mentality to Young G's songwriting here, and it remains smothered in optimism throughout.

Musically, there's more than one nod to Mike Skinner's Birmingham-based garage beats here. 'It's On Now' sounds like a hidden track from 'Original Pirate Material', complete with rising string section, syncopated drum beats and soulful backing vocals just loud enough to get a word in edge-ways.

It's the second half of this song though, which really see's Young G at his full, expressive best. Slowing things down ever so slightly, the change in pace allows him the chance to really let rip.

"A few people just don't know what trust is, it all goes on the way they interpret it, the mind's state say's it's all about the Benjamin's, I want to paint every picture like a silhouette" 

It's gems like that which will give Young G a real chance. 

This is a rapper prepared to name check Kurt Cobain, compare each rhyming couplet to a bullet and preaches the importance of being yourself. All this, on a debut single.

Now gearing up for the release of his debut solo-EP/Mixtape 'Method To The Madness', Young G is a name worth remembering.

Taylor Johnson

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