By the time you read this, E Tizz's new release 'What I Gotta Say' would have charted in UK iTunes' Top 30, possibly even higher.
He'll also have just got back from gigging in Canada alongside fellow Hip-hop artist, S.O.
Even more encouraging is the fact that he's achieved the chart position off the back of the year 2011, significant (possibly even notorious) for being the year of the legal free download.
It's too early to draw any firm conclusions, but one inference seems to be that - given the right project – people are quite happy to pay for their music.
And - as it usual for a big event on the UK scene - it was time to pass the album on to UKGospel.com's self-styled resident reviewer, Henry Yanney, for his take on the UK Urban scene's first major release of the year...
E Tizz - What I Gotta Say - Review
With many rumoured projects looking set to appear in
the next few months, up first with a much anticipated
EP is the Forerunnaz' E-Tizz, a rapper who, in his
previous outing ‘Sound of My Soul’, thoroughly
impressed many with his straight to the heart verses
and musical richness.
Two years since that very release and the London
rapper returns with his 'official' debut album which hopes to once again belt out both the gospel as well as a healthy dose of musical excellence.
Acknowledging the length of time it has been since his last release, ‘Out Killing’ the opening track, finds Tizz addressing one of the reasons for his absence (in addition to becoming a father) - referring to the killing of the flesh (instead of any other type of metaphorical meaning for killing)..
Well Crafted Beats
Rhyming confidently on a heavily produced instrumental, E Tizz injects a familiarised formula of motivational verses and autotuned choruses to maximise on the strong beats on offer.
'What I Gotta Say' benefits not only from E Tizz's easy on the ear, concise flow, but also from a variety of well crafted beats, the majority of them cooked up by G.P.
Whilst a more familiar pattern is later establiahed, ‘Hero’ featuring singer Rocstarr brings together a variety of synths, hi hats and melodies to create a powerful anthem declaring Jesus as the true hero of the world.
As with many of today's UK rappers, the protagonist offers up uptempo, joyous records which will reside with fans of upbeat, feel good gospel.
Lead single ‘Clap Clap’ puts to good use a strong hook provided by singer Jai, with Tizz whipping up a solid verse, which aims to inspire listeners to get up and give praise.
The two-part track 'You Already Know' is crammed with a line-up composed of Jahaziel, Tru2DaName and GP who all deliver confident, bold verses, aided by two different-yet-powerful instrumentals, one 80s Hip Hop style break and another drum led procession.
Hip-Hop, Pop and Reggae and a Feel-Good Vibe...
Whilst the Hip-Hop and Pop blueprints are followed on a number of tracks (see ‘Light Up’ and ‘I'm Tellin 'Em All’) one of Tizz's more standout singles is the Reggae inspired ‘Mr DJ’ where he and Jahaziel verbally sway back and forth with an easy, feel good vibe on offer.
Whilst the formula of heavyweight productions and auto enhanced choruses results in numerous solid results, at times the results are often left with a mass of overcooked pop records which sound cheesy at times.
The title track ‘What I Gotta Say’ featuring Guvna B is unashamedly radio friendly, but its 90s bubblegum pop feel to it is sickly sweet - even for ears trained to that genre.
Rest assured however, E Tizz manages to steer clear of fully nosediving into a sea of mediocre pop tunes and instead has conjured up a thoroughly impressive debut filled with introspective rhetoric, excellent cameos and a clutch of finely tuned instrumentals.
Solid, Polished Project...
Even though Tizz handles the vocals on the 13 track project with ease, support from the likes of Guvna B, T.P., Forerunnerz (E Tizz himself, plus Tru 2 DaName and Jahaziel) and US Gospel rapper KJ-52 adds a welcome boost to the musings of the young rhymer.
‘What I Gotta Say’ may not reach the fine balance of beats and bars which his earlier release ‘Sound of My Soul’ achieved, but rather stands up as a solid, polished project which strikes most of the right musical notes to make it a future favourite of the UK's Urban Gospel massive.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Also on the web:Forerunnaz website - forerunnaz.comGP on Twitter - Twitter.com/DvineMuzicGPRocStarr website - Rocstarrmusic.comJai on Facebook - Facebook.com/jaimusicTru2DaName website - Tru2daname.comGuvna B website - GuvnaB.comT.P on Facebook - Facebook.com/tpmusicKJ-52 website - KJ52.com