Melvillous has returned to bring us an 8 track project, born out of having ‘No choice’ but to make it, and make it big. Having been an MC for a serious stretch already, notably 15 years, or more, Melvillous’ first release was his ‘Local’ EP, In 2017. Packed with dirty, dark bass lines and cleverly constructed bars, with some seriously wavey hooks, every track has definite replay-ability. This project ought to stamp him firmly on the map, and is definitely my kind of Grime.
Having been noted previously, for his unapologetic religious beliefs, Melvillous sheds a little more insight into his spirituality on this project, as well as sharing more about his own, personal history with road. By the end we have a deeper understanding of the conflict between the two, and how the battle between walking a clean, hard road, and walking a (seemingly) easier, dirty one, can create a push-pull inside the mind of some of today’s yout, especially with only these two options being available to a large proportion of today’s disenfranchised, working-class generation. We are left in no doubt as to which one Melvillous has decided to tread.
The quality of the production is top drawer, and the entire project is a vibe from front to back. The hooks especially will be stuck in your head for days, and its clear from this whole project, that Melvillous has an abundance of creativity and stacks of potential, we should definitely be hearing more from him.
Track 1. Intro, Prod. Komenz
The introduction to this project is heavy and dark, befitting its subject. Komenz starts the project with only a haunting, melodic, heavy organ-like synth and the occasional thunder clap, alongside the sounds of rain, where Melvillous lays out why he left the road (he caught a case), why it broke his heart (all his G’s vanished when this happened) and why this rap ting must fly; ‘I ain’t giving up, I ain’t giving in, I been built to win/I ain’t perfect, I’m undeserving, my heart was filled with sin/You turned my life around, purpose I have found, I have more to give/This world is dark, I know times are hard, but there must be more than this’. A brooding, introspective and serious intro, similar to those of yester_year, the direction of the project is clearly laid out, readying the listener for what comes next. A happy return to a structure almost lost, a little taste of what you’re about to receive, rather unlike most intros of today, which are really mostly just freestyles, still.
Track 2. Dank, Prod. Komenz
This track hits hard when it kicks in. Started with a muffled, underwater quality, Komenz adds a dirty heavy bass line, a dark and brooding melody, hard, hard kicks and lightly patterned snares and hi hats. It’s ridiculously gritty, and the beat alone could hold it up. The hook starts from the off ‘This flow’s dank, come like dank, if I’m on a tune it’s gotta be dank/This flow’s dank, come like dank, if I’m on a tune it’s gotta be dank/This flow’s dank, come like dank, if I’m on a tune it’s gotta be dank/Come to the shows and the crowd they skank, and it feels like packs of the loudest dank’...he’s not wrong! The message of the track being that Melvillous is bringing that 100 energy, determined to make it. The riddim is wavey as, and I cannot stop rapping it!
Track 3. Hungry, Prod. Komenz
This tune goes in a slightly different direction, still. With a familiar dark, heavy bass line, and light patterned drums, the melody follows the bass line pattern in a much grittier, higher pitched manner, which adds an eerie punch to the track. The slightly off-key feel, adds weight to the subject - being so hungry for this ting, a man’s practically starving. Komenz’s production literally makes you feel off beat yourself, like somethings not sitting right, as we’re hit with the powerful bars; ‘Pass me the pen, barking again, ringing off alarms in the ends/Man tried patting me then, all laughing and joking, Brudda who’s laughing again?/Them man there, there’s no talking to them, fam it gets dark in the den/I’m a nice guy, but I change up quick when I’m hungry, and brudda I’m starving again’ followed by a heavy, dark, repetitive, extremely catchy hook ‘Hungry, hungry, hungry, hungry, hungry, hungry, hungry, Brudda I’m starving again’. We are left in no doubt by the end of this track that Melvillous wants this ting bad, like the title of the project says ‘No choice’, man’s sure to get it.
Track 4. Feel No Pain, Prod. Komenz
Komenz’s production on this one has a calmer feel to it. Starting with just a muted synth melody, vocal synth accents and a couple of clicks, the bass line comes in, slightly deeper, with a heavy but sparse kick, and light snares and hi hats, panned for fullness. Melvillous uses this riddim to display a different side of his musical ability, where he sings the hook; ‘I gave you everything I had, and what I got to show for it/Pretty little thing in my ear saying go for it/I been down so long I don’t feel no pain/And I been cut so deep, I don’t bleed the same, now’. Melvillous shares that no one should get too close to him, due to how much he’s been through, he’s damaged, and he’s colder for it. The production fits the melancholy tone of the riddim perfectly, and once again, the hook swims around in your head for days, an excellent track.
Track 5. Rocket Man, Prod. Komenz
This track starts with a muted bass line and a mission control/space sample, starting very quietly, and slowly building to become louder and clearer, much like a take off, hats off to Komenz for that. The base becomes dirtier and we get a really heavy kick snare pattern, with panned hi hats, and a doubled up vocal on the punchy hook for fullness; ‘Rocket man, rocket man, rocket man, rocket man/Up in space, God’s the plug, I’m the mains, Socket man/Up in space I’m the rocket man, Up in space I’m the rocket man, Up in space I’m the rocket man, Up in space I’m the rocket man/Rocket man, rocket man, rocket man, rocket man/Up in space, God’s the plug, I’m the mains, Socket man‘. Here Melvillous gives a nod to his religious beliefs, and describes how has decided to walk a clean path to go clear, how he is going to do right by his bredrin, and that he will no longer do road to get there. This is a place which Melvillous sees as out of this world, hence the title of the track, but he also shares how he nearly got pulled back to the wrong path. We understand that the just path he’s chosen to take, makes him feel as though he has ‘No Choice’ but to make this ting happen, because he wants to make sure everyone eats.
Track 6. Alright, Cool, Prod. Komenz
Komenz’s style on this riddim catches your attention straight from the off, starting with a hard kick, and a low, low heavybass line, Melvillous comes in with the hook, alongside a pulsing melody that follows the tone of his voice, and the hook flawlessly; ‘Ain’t really strapped in a while that’s right, I was feeling trapped for a while that’s cool/Ain’t really strapped in a while that’s right, I was feeling trapped for a while that’s cool/Ain’t really strapped in a while that’s right, I was feeling trapped for a while that’s cool/Ain’t really strapped in a while that’s right, I was feeling trapped for a while that’s cool‘. With punctuated snares and hit hats patterned over the top, Melvillous lets us know that he had all his Brudda’s backs, but when it all came on top for him, his G’s were nowhere to be seen; ‘It was 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Man, I was on my own, they ran/If it was me, I’d be tryna elevate man, man I wouldn’t even hesitate man/But truthfully, the things I would do for them,nah they might not do for me/Things ain’t how they used to be, I’m not shocked, it ain’t news to me/said there’s no pint losing sleep, like’. By the end of the track, we’re again left in no doubt as to the fact that Melvillous has ‘No Choice’ left, but to make it.
Track 7. Outro, Prod. Komenz
Komenz again goes back to an earlier structure in music, for this outro, gently framing Melvillous quiet voice, where he simply talks and explains his past and current position, his dreams, aspiration and plans, with just a very simple and heavy, muted gong-like bass line, and continuous rain behind him. Melvillous explains that he now has ‘No Choice’, he literally has ‘jumped out the plane, with no parachute, I jumped out the plane in the hope that I’d be able to fly, praying that I’d be able to fly, that this music thing would just help me sprout some kind of wings, and that I won’t come crashing down. Music’s powerful man, very powerful.’ With the soft backdrop and these very serious words, anyone who has ever tried music as a way through life, is sure to feel this on so many levels. Deep.
Track 8. Do Right Now, Prod. Bhattman
Coming with a different style for the bonus track, Bhattman starts this riddim with a pitchbent, off key synth and piano chords, and light drums then as Melvillous comes in, half singing, we get a hard kick, deep, but empty bass line and light skippy hi hats. During the track, Melvillous lays out that he refuses to changes any part of himself, and how being religious should not prevent him from making it, as ‘most fans ain’t killers’, ‘That’s why I stay up in the kitchen, tryna cook up something different/Never been the type to play victim, bring your favourite MC, I’ll spin him/Then invite him back to my studio/That’s my type of church we don’t sing hymns’. A great choice for the bonus track, as it both stands alone in its production style, but harks bag to the theme of the whole project in its subject, as Melvillous shares; ‘I never wanted this more, than I do right now’.
The whole project is excellently put together, the production fits the tone and style of each and every riddim, the intelligently laid out bars that encapsulate the whole theme, and the vibey, catchy hooks. A wavey project for your headtops from start to finish, Melvillous deserves to make it, so cop the ting now, for real, give the Brudda wings.