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Stig Of The Dump
Mood Swings Ash Akhtar , October 15th, 2010 04:39

"I hated being an outsider as a little kid, but now as an adult I hate nothing more than fitting in," comes the rap on 'Hater', thus concisely summing up the fundamental sentiment that drives the conviction of Stevie Dickhead's Stig Of The Dump. Part self, part alter ego, Stig comes filled with negative self-esteem issues, and a host of wry responses. Fuelled by hate, drugs and cheap alcohol, he's like a British Eminem with less muscle tone, and an internal affiliation with Islamic MC, Brother Ali, but without the religion.

Brash, bold and frequently honest, Stig's opening salvo comes from the mouth of aggressive American stand-up, Doug Stanhope. Simply titled ' What He Said', Stanhope declares that regular moderation should be replaced by singular excess (i.e. binge drinking), before bluntly stating that "People are fucking morons," and closing on this truism. To put it simply, if the listener does not agree with this two minutes of spoken word monologue, then they are unlikely to enjoy the content of Mood Swings.

For those that can get along with the concept that (generally speaking) people are indeed morons, then what follows is mostly an enjoyable ride through the mind of an intelligent, frustrated and talented rapper. Though the album becomes somewhat protracted with the inclusion of three unnecessary bonus tracks (including an awful thrashed out version of the otherwise excellent 'Hater'), Mood Swings is a solid body of work that will speak to the disenchanted and disenfranchised of Britain in the way that an American MC cannot.

The album is predominantly produced by Manchester's Pete Cannon. Cannon, who has also produced beats for Dr Syntax, Foreign Beggars, and Kyza, is probably on his way to being one of the UK's rising hip-hop producer stars, and his work on Mood Swings is hard and heavy to match Stig's flow, yet -with the exception of 'I got game' - it is also sparse enough to not intrude on the heady lyricism. And when providing beats for an MC like Stig, sparse is the form for them to take. A special mention should go to the youthful DJ Manipulate who provides cuts, orbits, and crab scratches in the breaks with a panache similar to that of Prime Cuts or Mr Thing.

Guest production comes from Jehst on 'Who's That Muddy Funkster', and features a skanking reggae guitar offset by a descending, rolling riff while Stig delivers double-time verses that include some especially choice language. His tone here bears a similarity to that of Orifice Vulgatron in venomous flow.

It's impossible to say if the self-styled 'Homeless Microphonist' is truly a down-and-out surviving only on the dole and money earned from blazing live shows, but the verbal evidence supplied is convincing. Growing up as an 'army brat', Stig's confessed to having moved around a lot - probably enough to thrive off exclusion - making the protagonist on display here both a lyrically adept and verbose victim of his professed upbringing in the North ("I'm from the home of brown ale and shit weather, where people think getting pissed is big, and is clever.")

Stig Of The Dump is a brilliant lyricist, an angry man, or - in his own words: "A rapping Rik Waller with less hair and more stubble." He's an incisive, bitter comedian ready to thrown down with the best MCs and he will, in all likelihood, come out on top. The 'sexiest fat man in showbiz' is singing; anyone willing to listen should lend him their ears, but at the risk of getting them back bruised and ringing.

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