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RUP – Rup On Zebra (CD, Zebra Traffic)

Posted: May 25th, 2007, by JGRAM

I once played a variety of Rup tracks to a music publisher that looks like Danny Devito to the result of much ambivalence and disdain – had the guy liked them, that would have been the time to worry.

Shortening his name from originally Rup The Cunt and released on Brighton’s Zebra Traffic label, Rup is a genuinely talented wordsmith tapping into circa: now culture with his references in ways I have not previously seen or heard. There remains a real stigma about being a white boy rapper, and for the most part it is a very insincere form of “flattery” but when there is such substance to the whole package, it becomes a more than relevant entity in itself. This is the record Mike Skinner can only dream about accomplishing.

Rup’s debut record is more a compilation of cuts with various producers, many of which have previously seen the light of day as compilation appearances and singles. As a result a slight lack of coherence represents as a successfully diverse selection is served.

Early on subtle Jello Biafra samples on the first few cuts display where the record is coming from and a different kind of knowledge is executed, one very rarely expounded on a hip-hop release. Later when Rup describes himself as “heavy as The Melvins” there is much evidence of an indie/punk background being combined with DIY rap. Within one minute of the record Rup has told you that he “comes on rougher than wanking with sandpaper”, which is something I doubt you’ll hear any other rapper, either end of the spectrum saying. Upon hearing this proclamation the listener will either laugh or groan as it establishes the vibe and humour of proceedings and generally whether this CD is going to hated or loved.

The references and language within the delivery is of a context so wonderfully British, there is a true freshness in the mere reality of its sincerity and an aversion to just being a down streetwise wigger. With further lines such as “I drop lines like David James drops crosses” this is stuff only our generation should appreciation and decode. By the third track (“Timequake”) the composition and arrangements are to die for, switching from thumping bass driven numbers, to string samples, which as a track is subsequently followed by “Step” with tracking straight out of the John Carpenter sound book. When the record arrives at “King Cnut” (previously released as a twelve inch on Hear Today Records) there is little in the way to stop the momentum. The pace of the record reaches a pinnacle with “Rollin” and its truly sick bass loop. And before the album is quits there is still time for a return to Rup’s past with the telling and downbeat “Wilderness Kids” created with the masterful TM Juke (which previously featured on potent “Maps From The Wilderness” record by TM Juke).

Words fail me in my attempts to do justice to how stunning and refreshing this record sounds.

Thesaurus moment: charismatic.

Rup
Zebra Traffic



JGRAM

JGram, friend of the stars, chartered accountant and pie enthusiast, likes nothing better than KICKING YOUR SKINNY ASS by way of a carefully-timed half-nelson followed by the CLOTHES LINE! OW! So never, never cross him. His dog Snowy is equally rockhard and will bite your lim bs off in the blink of an eye. And then paw your eyes out for blinking when he's biting you.

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