I could have waited until our next UK Hip Hop Month to review Je Suis Crabbi, but with lines like "I'm Crabbi by name, and Crabbi by nature/It's not that I don't like ya, it's just that I hate ya!" how could I resist?
Relatively new on the scene (or at least the Americas), Graham Crabb a/k/a Je Suis Crabbi is a self-proclaimed "bitter and twisted musician/gobshite." Allow me to be your resident anglophile and explain to the Yanks reading that a "gobshite" is a loudmouth, and that certainly fits Crabbi. He's not so much rapping as screaming his lyrics at the microphone, and he's as rude as a soccer hooligan after a few too many pints. The aptly titled "Big Mouth Wanker" pretty much sums up his lifestyle and viewpoint:
"Got a BMW, I'm pullin my way around
you thunderc#%t c@%kwumbles driving in my town
Honking, flashing, loving the beat
I give middle fingers lessons, my aggression's a disease
I double park, a double bad attitude
I'm right f#%$ing rude; I'll push in the queue in front of you"
Crabb is so over-the-top with his vitriol that it comes across as parody, but the press release invites serious comparisons to The Streets and Sleaford Mods among others, so I have to believe we're meant to take this at face value. He could give the most profane American emcees a run for their money too, not to mention the most homophobic, on singularly angry tracks like "Uptalk."
"Nobody how this stuff came about
Said the top linguistics professor at the University of F@%$ing Layabouts
So any of you out there looking for a change of career
Be a linguistics professor, and just play it by ear
Don't need to know s@%t, nah, just blag it
Tell 'em to skedaddle, f@$k off, and wag it
And then bug off to play golf all day with the other professors
They're all f@%#ing layabouts, boozers, crossdressers"
In between all of the angry "soapbox soliloquys" there is a method to Crabb's madness. The crass shite coming out of his gob is a rant against political correctness and "reality TV plankton," and he's self-aware of his abusive polemics and has the outro of his song ask him "Do you need to swear so much?" Crabb: "Course I do. I'm a c#%t!!" I can appreciate the bawdy humour of it all, and yet I think even Crabbi Je Suis will admit it's not a "rap" so much as a Lewis Black rant with a British accent over a self-produced post-hardcore dubstep beat. Therein are the two real downfalls of Je Suis Crabbi - it's not a rap, and as dubstep goes, it's not the best dub I've ever heard either. It's not bollocks, but it's not great. Tracks like "Pouring Perfume on a Pig" are amusing by both name and content in the here and now, but they're not the kind of music you'd play in the car for your mates or for yourself. It's the literal definition of a vanity project, but since he's giving it out for free on his own website, cheers.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10
Originally posted: July 21, 2015