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Rival - Lord Rivz [Review]

Rival has to be one of the most hard-working MCs in the Grime scene. He's not happy with flinging out a mixtape every six months or so plus the odd video, he does much more. This year has been filled with EPs, free downloads and videos throughout. Here's the latest bit of material from the East Londoner in the form or Lord Rivz. OUAG-TV's Luke Champion reviews the release.

Rival sets his stall out from the off with the Intro track for the new release Lord Rivz. Dark and sinister production from Nytz underscores a testament from Rival out lining why he is not out of place amongst the likes of Manga, Ghetts, Dot Rotten and Sharky Major on the E.P.

Rival Feat. Dot Rotten - Just A Dream

What follows the intro are a couple of weaker tracks, a collaboration with Lioness that is an admirable attempt at a story tune, eloquently narrated by Logan Sama. It’s refreshing to see any grime artist trying something a little different and I think Rival should be commended for this. However, the song failed to draw me in and left me itching for the skip button rather that eagerly awaiting the outcome of the story. Coupled with a kind of back handed love song, Heartache which samples the famous Killers song When You Were Young, the two tracks definitely give a subtle nod to the mainstream. An intention which is definitely echoed in the track Rivals Rush where he tells us “most are happy with a spot on Logan, me I’m trying to go further than a few veterans”.

All that remains to be said for the remainder of the EP from here on in is serious, mature production and first class grime. Rival addresses the darker side of his life and what has influenced his style up to now in Talk That, a banger that absolutely has to be played loud!

Young Kye steps up the plate in 3 Steps which also features Sharky Major. Both Rival and Young Kye go toe to toe with the veterans on the release and help to cement the current progression of the so called “New Wave” into recognised recording artists. Manga pops up with typical flare and character on the lighter hearted track Don’t Follow Fashion before the fantastic Save Me wraps up proceedings. Ghetts and Rival spit deep, introspective lyrics over the mature and bass laden Skeamz production. The song feels like a seminal moment for Rival and a real step into his maturity to a proper artist. This alone should help the EP appeal to a broader listenership which I certainly don’t see as a bad thing.

All in all, top grime music with bags of character and individuality to help Lord Rivz stand out from the crowd. Lord Rivz is out on the 21st November from iTunes, Amazon, plus more.

Review by Luke Champion