Release date 31/07/20
Reviewed by Nanci Rawsthorne
Strizzy Strauss injects his music with honesty, bravery and self-expression. This is especially true in the emotional and impactful lyrics of the MC’s debut album Trust the Process. From candid words about his upbringing and his lifestyle in Who Am I to inspirational messages in Follow Your Dreams, Strizzy Strauss is a refreshingly positive voice in the hip hop genre – not relying on derogatory and inflammatory lyrics to provoke his audience.
Hailing from Leicester but with late 80s East Coast vibes, Strizzy Strauss is a force to be reckoned with on the hip hop scene. His honesty in his music is what makes him truly special. As he says in the song Hard Times: “the words I speak are real.” And this couldn’t be more true. He raps about things that have real meaning – both to him and his audience. In Offspring, Strizzy Strauss raps about his family and his children – something that most modern rappers would be too inauthentic to write about.
The production on the album Trust the Process is of tremendous quality right the way through. With jazz and lo-fi hip hop influences, the beats are unique and allow Strauss to tell his story and lay his soul right out on the track.
The production is reminiscent of late, great Japanese producer Nujabes, whose atmospheric hip hop and jazz mixes are timeless and influential – as is Strizzy Strauss. Strizzy Strauss also reminds me of the tremendous music of the hip hop musician Loyle Carner with his intensely truthful rapping over low-key beats. If you’re a fan of Carner, I can’t recommend Strizzy Strauss highly enough.
Gems is one of the best songs on the album. Styled as an intimate conversation with Strauss giving advice to a friend, the track shines as a piece of true originality. Strizzy Strauss enlightens us with lessons about patience and trust that he’s learnt on his life journey with a low-key piano and horn beat holding up his ever-important words.
Strizzy Strauss’ most exciting track is Hieroglyfics. This was the quickest I’ve added a song to my playlist in a while. As he says, he truly does let the “vibe take a hold of (him)” as his bars flow brilliantly, creating the ideal track to sing and vibe along to. I can imagine getting very excited to hear this track playing at a party.
The album is terrifically easy to listen to with soft jazzy instrumentals underlying the blunt humanity in his lyrics.
Often, the relatability in his lyrics hit hard, establishing a truly emotional listening experience.
Strizzy Strauss makes music for people that care, about music and about life, with every bar shining with brutal honesty and true humanity. He is a real breath of fresh air in a genre that is drowning in the mindless concept of flexing wealth.
If you would like to share this review, please help us by using the share buttons below instead of a screen print – thanks!