Timothy Russell, better known by his stage name Raiza, is an English rapper. He released his first mixtape in 2011.His first album “Amusement” was released independently in 2012 and was Experimental/Rock. In 2010, Raiza released track after track on the internet gaining him many supporters and fans. He used this as his inspiration to start recording his debut album “Young & Reckless” which is due July 15th. The sound that defined the 90’s is what now defines Raiza’s music. As a one-man band, Raiza is a producer, performer, musician and songwriter.
Clever, funny, insightful, thought-provoking and entertaining, “Young & Reckless” truly has everything. Once you get over the Brit accent, which is always a shocker for hiphop fans on the other side of the pond, you’ll love Raiza’s flow, tone and delivery style. He definitely has the potential to be up there with the best of them.
The album gravitates around the ever-present stereotypical themes of most rap albums, but it’s from an insightful and emotive perspective. Though like most rappers, Raiza claims to be invincible with a zealous sexual appetite, he still manages to demonstrate vulnerability in his music. He raps about family issues, girls, sex, drugs and social status effortlessly.
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This isn’t a fourteen-track album driven by one or two hip tracks only, the whole album is a picturesque story in living color. Crisp in production, lyrically rich and unspoiled even by the verses of explicit language, “Young & Reckless” shows off Raiza as a phenomenal storyteller and this album sounds more like an autobiography than a simple body of music.
If an album deserves a great rating, this is one of those occasions. Notwithstanding the fact that Raiza is a U.K. rapper he manages to transcend into the USA rap genre through stylistic rhythm, beautiful cadence and witty lyricism, successfully weaving competent story-lines into his narrative. Every song shines brilliantly, featuring an insight into phases of Raiza’s life and lifestyle, through skits and dialogue which bring realism to the verses.
The production throughout “Young & Reckless” is brilliant in the way that it evolves throughout the songs, notably in “Kushville (ft.Ytech)” which moves from a fairly slow beat into a beautiful yet driven sequence. Furthermore, the manic masterpiece “Psycho (ft. Kuniva & Curtis Young)”, or even “Family Issues”, “Hell’s Symphony (ft. Ytech, Chozen1, Hybrid & English)” and “As The World Turns” also documents this brilliance. I could progress by describing the distinction of each of the songs, but the album truly speaks for itself.
Raiza is a talented artist who through his verses, portrays a vivid imagery of his stories. The concepts he uses are also relatable to a variety of people. The themes dealing in experiences and relationships with girls, friends, family and foe are pretty much common ground for all of us.
The structure of “Young & Reckless” is also cohesive, making it a complete and compelling hip-hop album and a possible indie classic for the near future.
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