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Potter Payper
Real Back In Style Denzil Bell , May 12th, 2023 08:56

Finally releasing his debut album after a decade in the game, Potter Payper gives it everything, finds Denzil Bell

Potter Payper has been releasing music steadily for 10 years, most notably his Training Day series (a reference to the classic Denzel Washington film). The first was released a decade ago in 2013, number two dropped in 2016 and the trilogy was complete in 2020 with Training Day 3, which featured perhaps his most infamous and moving track, ‘Purpose’.

Growing up in the council flats of Dagenham with his parents (a father originally from Algeria and a mother of Irish descent) in and out of the prison system, Potter Payper had a tough start to life, getting caught up in county lines from a young age. He’s poured all of that into Real Back In Style, as well as more mainstream leaning material.

Standouts here are the tranquil ‘Corner Boy’, the boom-bap hip hop (Harry Fraud produced) ‘Track Flocaine’ and the introspective ode to his musical success, ‘Actuality’. Over the project, he gives a neat balance of real road raps and cleaner sounding hip hop tracks like ‘Quite Befitting’, which contains moving violin strings, soul hitting piano keys and warm saxophone shrills, allowing him the space to rap about his tough come up in the streets. ‘A Million’ is almost a companion piece to this track, where he speaks on all the things he would do if he had a million pounds, such as: putting all his friends on, having to watch his back from snakes and burying the rest in the ground for future days.

Consistent tropes that we see threaded through the tape are pain, drug dealing and getting money by any means necessary. Although many of these topics are limited to few in society, the protests we have experienced over the last six months have shown us, that all of us are going through it in one way or another. All in all, Potter Payper lives up to the title of his debut album, officially putting the real rappers back in style.