Foreign Beggars - Seven Figure Swagger (Dented Records)

Laura Bruneau | Sunday, 13 December 2009

Foreign Beggars - Seven Figure Swagger (Dented Records)

Not to be outdone by their American counterparts, Foreign Beggars have finished off a year characterized by outstanding hip-hop releases from across the pond by gifting us with the perfect Christmas stocking ripper. Mixing grime, garage and some dirty dubstep bass this is a beast of a release, more satisfying than Christmas dinner and drinking the booze that your little cousin leaves out for Santa.

'Seven Figure Swagger' fronts with rude boy attitude and arrogance that compliments Foreign Beggars' sense of humour and connection to their London identity. Drawing on the capital's huge Caribbean community, the lead track focuses on body shaking bass with hints of dancehall, recognising the beauty of simplicity and the importance of connecting to people through music.

Creating the underground sound of sweaty, crowded, low-ceilinged clubs, Foreign Beggars use 'Don't Dhoow It' to speak their minds on the realities of the music business they've found themselves caught up in. Less rough but with a biting menace to the low tones, the vocals pop precisely and pack a punch. Lyrical surgeons, there is not a syllable out of place on this track.

Far more stripped down to basics than 'Seven Figure Swagger, there is a clinical exactingness in 'Don't Dhoow It' that is only broken by the vinyl crackle that retains the humanising imperfection of their style. Remixes of both tracks introduce dancier elements that create subtle shifts in emphasis and highlight unexpected pleasures.

Rating: 4.5/5