As a third of South London’s infamous TPS Fam, Big Toast has been a familiar face on the British Hip Hop scene for several years. A regular at open mics, shows and festivals across the country, his highly technical rhymes have gained him a reputation as a hugely skilled MC. With a handful of TPS releases behind him as well as collaborations with various other artists, last year he dropped a solo effort, Crusts, simply because he had a load of unreleased tracks doing nothing on his hard-drive.
Available as a free download, Crusts got a lot of positive feedback, so immediately after releasing it Toast set about starting a second edition. Crusts 2 raised the bar from the previous release with a more polished sound and stronger individual tracks.
States-side, some hiphop fans may be a little disorientated at first, by Big Toast’s distinctively British style/voice. However, chances are if you like one song of his, you’ll probably dig the entire album. It has killer beats mixed in with pulsating electronic, synth and brass loops and a distinctive lyrical flow.
Furthermore the album boasts a host of producers, which include;The Strange Neighbour, Jack Diggs, Hermit the Slob, Shroomz, Oliver Sudden and Toast himself, as well as vocal contributions come from The Strange Neighbour, Jack Diggs, Just P, Gramma K and Oliver Sudden.
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Crusts 2 is in no way static, with the soaring anthem “4 Of The Illest” featuring the excellent The Strange Neighbour, Just P & Gramma K. To the club bangers “Mini Cheddars” and “Big Drinking” featuring Jack Diggs, as well as my personal favorites, the rhythmic and brassy “Ip Man” produced by The Strange Neighbour and the acid jazz mix of “Summertime Drinking,” featuring and produced by Oliver Sudden.
I love the energy and wit Big Toast brings to the production on a whole. His collaborations and featured artists are also great, and of course his rhyme and accent make his sound so much more unique than the ghetto-fabulous stereotype.
All of it firmly falls into the hard hitting rap/hiphop category that you can definitely dance to. Big Toast has a Brit flow that is fast, yet you can still understand him. He raps about your typical day-to-day living things, delivering some profound messages in the process and never gets lost in the usual, hypothetical gansta’s paradise.
European hip hop is typically judged as pretty bad in the USA. I doubt this will be the case with Big Toast. Crusts 2 is a very strong album from a very promising artist, who’s great rapping flow all but surpasses his pretty thick accent. The album intro gets you from the start. In other words, Crusts 2 starts with a bang and ends with one.
Americans typically eat up this kind of music, so if Big Toast aims to nail that market, he should be tearing up the indie charts pretty soon.
Crusts 2 is available now on a ‘name your price’ basis from www.tpsfam.bandcamp.com or free from www.datpiff.com/Big-Toast-TPS-Crusts-2-mixtape.376240.html
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