the beigeness – kate tempest

This ones got a gift with words. She’s known as a poet first and hip hop artist second. The two albums I’ve heard from Kate Tempest are way more than either of those descriptions do justice.

This track does something special as it equates furiousness with optimism and is damning of the current state of things while being understanding of how it came to this.

Tempest has an edge on her contemporaries when she writes lines like ‘Who’s bad? Said the kiddy in the Jacko hat, to the kiddy in the Rooney shirt dragging back. The curtains in the room in her daddy’s flat, a young girl heard the truth in an alley-cat’ she’s eschewing cool for recognisable. She doesn’t play the bling game or pose as cool. Her ends are just as Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away as they are #UKGrime.

There’s hope in the everyday ‘All your idols were just like you, Nothing’s beyond you, do what you want to do if you feel that it wants you to’ and there’s fury at the status quo ‘We’re kissing the coshes that cripple us, Enjoying the Beigeness’

The sparse instrumentation is forced along by a funky bass chop, a break beat and some small scale guitar squall. I’ve seen her do this live with no accompaniment. Just as powerful.

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