Mr Drastick The Gladiators Anthem Review

Released 2008.  

BBC Review

This is symbolic of the second-rate attitude Drastik sees fit to run with.

Alex Forster 2008

Like many of his contemporaries in the largely commercially fruitless UK hip hop game, Mr Drastik's first longplayer is imbued with a gladiatorial spirit; an oft-seen combination of admirable f**k the majors attitude and the resignation to a career of independent graft bereft of mainstream recognition. The half-Ghanian, North London M.C may feel he's been slept on whilst other 'indie' MCs have felt some shine (Sway, L.Man), though on the strength of The Gladiators Anthem, Drastik should have released a couple more volumes of his first mixtape (2005's The Gladiatorial Passion Vol 1) and stepped up his game before releasing a debut album.

Broken Man's Dream and Paranoid Music justify the lack of industry faith in UK hip hop: Plodding production and lame choruses flogging ‘real-life’ issues that are at this very moment being professed more creatively by a dozen Channel U botherer's.

Indicative of the bankruptcy in originality is the irony of the Chemo-produced Victorious; where Drastik rides a beat that bites DJ Premier, aka Premo's, production on KRS One's MCs Act Like They Don't Know. This is symbolic of the second-rate attitude Drastik sees fit to run with.

Respite comes on I Don’t Wanna See, Stuck and She Gotta Find A Love: Chemo involves some soulful production and tiresome, call/response choruses are dropped for melodic hooks. Walking in The Rain shows encouraging scope and Drastik spits with a glimpse of wit and flare - ''I'm too hot, I have to walk in the rain, how else am I gonna cool down, even the sun can't handle me'' - though at track 11, it's too little too late.

In December it will be twenty years since the release of of NWA's Straight Outta Compton; rap music that was humorous, potently political and could wreck any dancefloor; Drastik manages none of the three.

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