Rewd Adams & The Last Skeptik – How Not To Make A Living | Album Review

Rewd Adams might not be a household name yet, but the south London rapper, previously known as Skandal has quietly been one to watch out for; most notably since the release of his 2011 album, Rewd Awakening. His latest project, How Not To Make A Living, links him with producer The Last Skeptik, merging Skeptik’s eclectic interests [having worked and DJ’d with the likes of Sway and JehstDamon Albarn and the mighty Wu-Tang Clan] with Rewd’s mix of light-hearted banter and honest social commentary.

Launching us in with “Nukey” both production and lyrical content are confident introductions, with Rewd showing us his ability to tell a story, exuding cocky verses over a head banging, rock influenced, Public Enemy style backdrop all in one.

Keeping up the tempo, he switches up the flow and content onto the more personal ode to a loved one with “Everything’s Okay”, then back to the hard hitting “Bring It Back” – and though bearing similarities to “Nukey,” the tight and dynamic production exceeds Rewd’s occasionally typical rap rhymes; a factor that detracts in places throughout the album.

A complete contrast to this, however, comes in the form of the project;s first collaboration; this time with London vocalist Mai Khalil providing the hook and chorus on “So Soulful,” with a beat reminiscent of a dreamy R&B throwback, steady drum beat and horn stabs and all – a laid back track with the rapper flowing comfortably over it’s backdrop.

Clearly influenced by New York rap, Rewd’s clever use of skits neatly sets up tracks throughout. Attacking the state of the economy among other frustrations, tracks like “Red Letter” boast a sarcastic approach to being broke, whilst “J.O.B” pokes the middle finger to being unhappy in a 9-5 job when his passion lies in music despite the lack of monetary rewards; sentiments relatable to most creative types across the board, I’m sure.

Despite the occasional ‘obvious’ lyrical content of an unsigned artist [not wanting to make mainstream music, being better than the rappers in the mainstream area, etc – in particular on “Monster Things” featuring rappers Little Dee, Stylah, Ramson Badbonez and Awate], when speaking of what we can only assume to be true scenarios – such as his job situation and relationship – you can’t deny Rewd’s ability to command the beat, clear delivery and use of thoughtful and clever lyrics.

The Last Skeptik’s production doesn’t fail, offering up everything you could ask for with a variety of tempos with with breaks, samples and live instruments, boasting tight studio production.

Positioning this album against the majority of commercial ‘hip hop’ dominating charts at present, which often comes with little thought behind wordplay and lyricism, this is a welcome offering from Rewd Adams whose “I don’t give a fuck’ attitude and unwillingness to compromise his art will be appreciated by many hip hop heads.

Rewd Adams & The Last Skeptik – How Not To Make A Living
Released: July 2, 2012
Label: Bread & Butter / Grindstone
Buy: iTunes UK / iTunes US / Bandcamp

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