Tinchy Stryder: Catch 22 Review

Affectionately dubbed ‘the prince of grime,’ Ghanaian-born Grime artist Tinchy Stryder has recently been catapulted into the mainstream music world. Fast becoming a favourite with commercial pop fans after signing with Island Records, perhaps some of the grit and hunger has been compromised in favour of a more radio-friendly sound.

Catch 22 is not a bad album, just maybe a little too focused on the fairer sex and his rapid ascent to fame. Having already spawned a number of chart and club favourites, the release marks the acceptance of Grime as a viable artform in the UK music scene. Tinchy’s signature blend of infectious hooks and typical Grime production has helped bring the genre to the masses, although perhaps at the expensive of some artistic integrity.

The album is an enjoyable listen, which radiates positivity and fun. Whilst it is hardly an innovative concept, Tinchy’s light-hearted lyrics can’t help but make you smile. Highlights include the Ruff Sqwad assisted ‘Tryna Be Me’ (produced by Rapid and Dirty Danger) and the bonus track, Tinchy’s interpretation of ‘Express Urself’ (produced by Chase & Status). The introspective ‘Preview’ (produced by Fraser T. Smith) is also well worth a listen.

Whilst it is hardy a pioneering project, Catch 22 marks a positive step for the UK Grime movement. Tinchy’s unique hitmaking formula throughout the release, which serves as an introduction to the talented young artist. Hopefully, as he develops and matures, his sophomore project will provide some of the depth that was lacking in Catch 22, which as we are reminded is just a preview after all. Overall, a good album but perhaps a little too sugar coated for the Grime scene.

On a scale of one to five, one being awful and five being a classic, Catch 22 scores a 3.5.

Catch 22 is out Monday (17th August 2009).

Diddy’s Last Train to Paris Preview

Those who are anticipating the release of hip hop giant Diddy’s forthcoming ‘Last Train to Paris,’ will be pleased to know that he has released a mixtape to give an insight into what fans can expect.

‘Last Train to Paris’ is set to drop in the fourth quarter of 2009, with a release date currently set for November 24th. The album, which is Diddy’s fifth studio offering, will feature his new group Dirty Money and will reportedly be accompanied by a short film.

Diddy has referred to the project as an, “electro hip hip soul funk album.” the concept of the release is the journey that must be taken to find true love, documenting a man’s transition from London to Paris in search of his sweetheart.

The ‘Lectro Black: Last Train to Paris, ‘ mixtape with Felix Da Housecat, is available for download from the link below.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Felix_Da_Housecat/track/Lectro_Black_-_Last_Train_to_Paris_Mixtape

Although Diddy has never exactly been known for his lyrics or creativity, this album seems to demonstrate a more artistic side of the mogul. I thought I’d never say this, but I actually am checking for this album; if nothing else, it certainly is intriguing.