2010 was a busy year for Lethal Dialect. The Blanchardstown emcee established himself as a force in the DFI battle league -finishing the year with a perfect 2-0 record- all the while setting aside enough time to craft his debut album LD50. The record is set to the hit the shelves today and Rap Ireland has got the first review.
You can sense from the moment you press play that LD50 is something wholly original. It’s an album loaded with razor sharp lyricism, compelling story telling and raw Hiphop beats. A lot of Irish Hiphop releases suffer from a lack of focus – a tendency to favour quantity over quality. Thankfully, this is a pitfall Lethal Dialect avoids. What you are instead left with is a succinct, tightly knit, concept driven LP, which stands up against any rap album this country has produced.
LD flows with ease over a stellar selection of beats. The gritty, brooding production stylings of G.I and Jonnyboy providing the perfect backdrop for Dialect’s cutting lyricism. Album opener ‘The Beginning’ sets the tone for what is to follow before seamlessly transitioning into the superb ‘Metamorphose’ which showcases his ability to breakdown complex subject matter in verse. Lead single “Cold and Calculated” brings a raw energy and intensity that is almost unmatched. Dialect trades bars with fellow Blanch emcee Tommy Hand on the excellent, grimy sounding ‘Hold You Down’. Hand, the only guest featured on this album, throws down one of its most memorable verses, stringing together some utterly insane rhyme schemes.
Lethal Dialect’s greatest strength however, is in his ability to tell a story. The LP’s standout track ‘The International’ is an extraordinarily detailed conspiracy narrative with some serious replay value. The album’s final two songs show his versatility as an emcee and a willingness to take on different themes. The haunting ‘Do You Believe’ is as good an Irish Hiphop track as you are likely to hear.
LD50 is uncompromising. It’s an album which is fully aware of what it is. There’s no eye to producing a crossover hit here. This is a Dublin rap record, and a really good one at that. Lethal Dialect has set the bar high for domestic releases in 2011.