Christopher ‘Cr Blacks’ Ross – Reality Through My Words
Having already brought you Cr Blacks’s videos for ‘Hustle’ and ‘My Thoughts’, Trentsetters now have a link to the whole mixtape. The North London rapper has released his long-awaited debut mixtape ‘Reality Through My Words’ which dropped yesterday as a free download exclusively on SB.TV. Reality Through My Words sees CR draw assistance from vocalists Jamilah and Haych, over production from the likes of Bruvahood Beats, Ragz Originale, Elz and DA.
Looking at the track list for Reality Through My Words there are some titles that can be misleading; ‘Hustle’, ‘I Want It All’, ‘Soul Survivor’. Without the cliché connotations of an Ace Hood or Meek Mill rap song, these are more emotive accounts of the hurdles Cr Blacks has had to overcome in his own life. It’s clear that Cr Blacks has drawn influences from some of US and UK hip hop’s biggest names such as Kendrick Lamar and Wretch 32. Like Wretch it is hard to pigeonhole CR to just one style of music. As the UK music industry keeps downsizing, as we’ve seen this week with HMV possibly going into administration, having this ability to adapt is vital skill-set.
Whilst touching on a range of personal themes from the strains of being a university student to relationship woes, he brings you along his journey and provides an experience which documents struggles that are relatable and inclusive of everyone. The self-proclaimed “new Che Guevara”, as Cr Blacks refers to himself on numerous occasions on the tape, is intent on becoming the voice of an often lost generation. It confirms his justifiable discontent of the moral decay in todays society, and while social issues such as the riots may seem impossible to comprehend or even condone, the fact that Mr. Blacks attempts to address them underlines his undeniable value for his generation.
It is the work of producers Footsteps and HighFrequency that breed the two standout tracks for me; ‘Suede Jones Flow’ and ‘The Life’, respectively. These are both tracks that I hope to see visuals released for in the near future. With contributions from ItsNate on the latter, we see a versatility from Cr Blacks that we rarely get from urban UK acts. With this versatility we see him experiment with a range different rap patterns over contrasting beat sounds throughout the course of the 13 tracks.
Instantly the flow on ‘Suede Jones Flow’ over producer Footsteps distorted synths catch my ear, then as it switches to a more mellifluous sound at the bridge CR slows down to match. This was one of the more uptempo tracks on the tape, one which I can see having a big impact at live performances.
The smooth instrumental of ‘The Life’, the chilled hook, the feature from ItsNate. It all fits together. HighFrequency threw everything at the duo and together they created a monster of a song. The idea of this song is based around “the thoughts of my generation”. All the focal points of everyday life for our generation “clouded by sex and money getting”.
This much-anticipated mixtape has finally been released and we hope that 2013 can be the breakout year that sees the start of a long, prosperous career for Cr Blacks.
Lakeem Greaves (@iamLAKZ)