Reviewed by Nanci Rawsthorne
“You’re going to have to accept change like a homeless man”
Picture this… imagine if a young lad from Leicester was making hip-hop tracks in New York in the 1990s. It’s a strange concept to envisage but listening to CompreHend might make it a little easier to visualise. With confident and meaningful lyrics, expressive energy, and beats that don’t sound overly reliant on the electronic, the music of CompreHend is reminiscent of something rarely found in UK rap.
Recently featured on the ‘Live, Local and Loud’ podcast, local Leicester rapper CompreHend talked about coming up from the bottom and, as he put it, simply “winging it”. Comparing this to where he is now – being featured on Spotify playlists, gigging across the country, and collaborating with UK hip-hop and drum and bass greats such as Skinnyman and Limited Budget – shows that the rapper has some serious ambition and talent behind him.
One of CompreHend’s biggest singles, Politricks, remains an anthem of the modern-day despite being two years old. With his timely rapping about politics, CompreHend uses his intellectual penmanship to remind us of the issues we face as a society.
Politricks joins other politically charged tracks by CompreHend such as Rat Race and Broken, solidifying the hip-hop artist’s place at the centre of purposeful UK rap.
In his track Thankful, CompreHend says: “I’m on this musical path and I’m trying to do something useful with that.” He is trying and succeeding to add value to his music in a way that transcends just the flow and the beat. Particularly in Politricks – as he raps about such tough topics as poverty, immigration, and global warming – it is clear that CompreHend is using his talent and love for music to encourage societal change.
It will certainly be exciting to see what else CompreHend releases in the future as Leicester’s most exciting on the rap scene. It will also be interesting to see how the progressive rapper continues to be an influence and a voice for his youthful audience.
Confident in the message he projects in Politricks, CompreHend is a force to be reckoned with as he injects the UK rap scene with an energy we see very rarely. With the mainstream of UK rap being more focused on the grime subgenre, CompreHend offers a welcome change to this with his soulful beats and impressive songwriting.
Politricks itself is full of clever rapping and intellectual wordplay without falling into the common trap of his peers of being overwhelming or excessive. The song is meaningful and inspiring and, aside from the lyrics, has a killer beat behind it produced by Naji Wavey.
If you’re angry about the world like a lot of us are right now and are looking for someone to put your feelings into words with a banging track behind it, CompreHend is your go-to guy.
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