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Crimes Against Creation James Butterworth , July 22nd, 2020 08:46

Six albums in, could Crimes Against Creation prove to be the breakthrough for North London's Coops, wonders James Butterworth

“I stay busy on my grind, what can I say, I got lizzy on my mind”, raps Coops on the opener to his latest project Crimes Against Creation. He’s not wrong. Aged 28 years old, this is Coops’ sixth full-length project, and his third on label High Focus Records. He has also supported Nas as the O2 Arena (his first live performance) and won Choice FM’s Breakthrough Competition in 2013. His latest release is an impressive affair that sees Coops putting his own stamp on beats more reminiscent of 90s golden era hip-hop than current drill or road rap.

There’s a sense of darkness that runs through this release. Nowhere is that more apparent than on ‘Piss Poor’, where Coops recounts tales of drug dealing over an ominous bassline, haunting bell chimes and distant trumpet sounds. It echoes the work of hardcore New York rappers like Big L or Mobb Deep, famed for their gritty lyrical content and ice-cold beats.

‘Bring the Fire’ is another example, a melancholy xylophone riff playing host to Coops’ bars – “feds spying through the keyhole, just trying to catch a brother with the reload, kids dying over bruised egos.” On ‘Laws of Nature’ he raps, “realness, I’m supplying it, and that’s what they’re buying it, no denying it.” Coops positions himself as a sort of street storyteller, depicting scenes of crime and violence with no punches pulled.

Soulful piano riffs appear on ‘Crimes Against Creation’, where he expresses his frustration and lack of trust in politicians and calls for people to speak out on behalf of future generations. The mood lightens more on ‘Profile’, Coops reflecting on a budding relationship over a languorous guitar melody.

Coops’ musical experience shines through on Crimes Against Creation. There’s an effortless quality to his flow; spitting his multisyllabic, intricate bars perfectly in time with the beat he sounds completely at ease. In this sense he shares similarities with Nas, and he also shares the same ear for moody, atmospheric instrumentals. Coops has steadily been gaining notoriety and attention so far and Crimes Against Creation should be the winning formula to propel him to greater heights.