A long time in the making, Nottingham based Last Sons hit hard with their debut record Chekhov’s Gun.
It was a little over two years ago I went to see New York prog rapper, Uncommon Nasa, play a rare show on my home turf in London. With him were emcee Duke01 and turntablist Furious P. Avoiding the noise of the venue on a wet and cold evening we squeezed into my modest sized Ford for what, between us, has affectionately become known as ‘Car Interview‘. By far one of the most fun podcast interviews I’ve ever recorded.
I’d known Uncommon Nasa online for years by this time and was vaguely familiar with Duke01 and Furious P, who perform as Last Sons, through their collective collaborative 2014 EP ‘Steroid Stereo‘.
Furious P and Duke01 are Last Sons
Crammed into the back of my car the boys from Nottingham enthused about the album they were working on which would be titled ‘Chekhov’s Gun’. The album has been produced by Uncommon Nasa and released through his label, Uncommon Records, it’s taken a long time, but Last Sons’ debut album has finally dropped with a bang.
– Standout Track –
Uncommon Nasa’s distinctive progressive production style is immediately evident. Looped beats with an industrial flavour provide a booming backing to Duke01’s smooth vocal delivery. The emcee’s rhyme schemes glide easily over unconventional patterns forming a compelling dynamic between the two. Cuts come from the skilled hands of Furious P whose purpose is best defined as the glue that binds everything together.
Nasa’s production isn’t always conventionally accessible. Indeed this is a large part of his appeal. As an artist he’s synonymous with pushing boundaries and finding rhythm in unique ways. His influence is very much in evidence throughout the eleven tracks of this record.
However, there are rounded edges to be found on this album. Tracks like ‘Champions’ (featuring Guillotine Crowns & Barrie McLain), ‘Phoney Plaguestation’ and my standout ‘Morphine’ (Featuring vocals by Uncommon Nasa) have an edge, but exhibit an accessibility that will appeal to a broader audience.
The record blends old-school sensibilities – in no small part provided by the cuts – with unconventional production values from Uncommon Nasa. Duke’s lyrics don’t linger on any specific agenda. There are truths to be found, social observations and occasional pop-culture references. Each adds an important ingredient, and the result is an accomplished end product.
It’s been a long wait for ‘Chekhov’s Gun’, but it’s definitely been worth it. Hip-Hop heads and casual rap fans alike will find something to love in an album worthy of repeat listens.
You will find ‘Chekhov’s Gun’ on most streaming platforms, online stores and via the Uncommon Records bandcamp page where you’ll also find a link to physical copies, including orange vinyl.