Playlist of the Week: Wordsmiths

It’s worryingly easy sometimes with hip-hop to completely lose track of the sheer breadth of lyricism which is involved. We all used to marvel at the way KRS-One, GZA or Eminem could just carry on spitting, but there’s so much more beneath the surface. I’m not necessarily talking about conscious hip-hop, but some rhymers maintain a much closer relationship to poetry than others.

This playlist is almost entirely free of big hitters. What it does contain is a collection of rappers who would be equally at home with no beat backing them. Rapping is, after all, poetry, and its freeform, malleable structure can often be forgotten. When was the last time you heard a string of lines so intricate and complex that you had to listen back a few times just to get the full sense of them? Well, you’ll have to do that a lot here, sorry if I ruined your day.

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