Review of BVA’s ‘Be Very Aware’ Album [Review] [@BVA3]
A wide variety of lyrical concepts coupled with equally varied instrumentals and well placed guest verses.
Nothing to see here.
Hailing from the UK’s “West Country”, Hip Hop artist BVA isn’t your general British rapper. Priding himself on making music “for himself’ more than anyone else, BVA’s unique style has seen his career continually progress as both an individual and as a collaborative artist.
His collaborative efforts with UK hip hop collectives “The Four Owls”, “Brothers Of The Stone” and “The 3 Amigos” has seen the talented artist perform on tracks with various Hip Hop legends including KRS One, and even saw him shortlisted for Wordplay Magazine‘s album of the year.
BVA is no stranger to the stage either, having performed a considerable number of high profile music festivals, including; Outlook Festival and Glastonbury Festival, it is safe to that he is a credible artist with a strong musical resume and his latest album, Be Very Aware, comes with a considerably high expectation.
The brand new release from the West Country native comes fresh off the back off an intensive promo campaign from leading UK Hip Hop record label, High Focus Records. It features numerous collaborations with fellow label mates, including; Fliptrix, Verb T and Rag N Bone Man, along with many others.
This latest offering from BVA is his first attempt at a solo album and comes with high anticipation from the huge following of High Focus Records. Be Very Aware boasts full production from in house producers and brothers, Illinformed and Leaf Dog, who always promise an un-tainted ‘boom bap’ sound.
BVA’s Be Very Aware album is said to take the listener on a “journey through the world of BVA” aiming to relate to most audiences while encapsulating a wide array of emotional highs and lows, by, covering numerous topics which vary from, the affects of extra curricular activities, to, maintaining a positive attitude through good and bad periods.
With the initial music video lifted from the album gaining over 20k hits in around three weeks, it is fair to assume that this project is going to be a highly talked about release and one I enjoy reviewing. On to the review!
The first thing I noticed when listening to Be Very Aware, by BVA, was the raw and direct style of emceeing that he seems to pride himself with, instantly I knew this is a person who knows himself as an artist. His untainted flow and unfiltered lyrics are prevalent through out the release, painting a vivid picture of BVA’s outlook on the world while, giving an insight into life in the UK.
As far as vibe and musical orientation go, this album is one that is firmly planted in the classical hip hop category. Benefiting from a strong selection of consistently fitting instrumentals paired with a raw and honest style of rhyming, this latest offering from BVA will most certainly impress even the more selective of hip hop fans.
While Be Very Aware has a long list of relatively high profile guest vocalists it is not a release that is what I would say is ‘flooded’ with features. Throughout listening to the album I get the impression that each guest verse was carefully selected with a specific track in mind.
Another refreshing aspect of BVA‘s Be Very Aware album is the fact that it doesn’t feature any overly synthesized ‘wash’ tracks about being “in the club” and “popping bottles”. I know it sounds a tad oppressive to say but I personally feel that it shows BVA has stuck to his mantra of making music for himself and that he hasn’t buckled to the pressure of today’s ‘hip pop’ culture.
Some of my favourite tracks from BVA’s latest offering, in no particular order, are; This Love Is Love, Its a Mad World, Insomnileptic and Weapon Of Choice. My reasons for choosing the mentioned tracks vary individually but as a collective I feel that they stand out from the rest and demonstrate Hip Hop’s vast diversity.
On This Love Is Love I simply love the lyrical content of the track. A lot of the issues raised in the song I strongly agree with, plus I love the contrast between the laid back instrumental and BVA’s direct rapping style.
Personally I feel that Its a Mad World is a perfect example of numerous artists combining styles to make a collaborative track. Featuring Fliptrix, Cracker Jon and Sammy B-Side, the song has a lot to offer with all artists bringing their a-game and a beat that brings it all together like gravy on a Sunday roast.
Weapon Of Choice is a song that has everything – a gripping instrumental, a strong concept which is executed superbly, and finally, a few talented artists. Featuring Dirty Dike and Kashmere, this is another track that boasts a strong line up of guest verses which all work together and the eerily gripping instrumental will force you to nod your head.
Being someone who has an extremely random sleeping pattern (its 5am and I am wide awake writing a review), I find Insomnileptic a highly relatable track that has a unique concept. I feel that with this song BVA paints a clear picture of a person with a messed up sleeping pattern in a sub conscious state while utilizing a hypnotizing instrumental.
As an overall album I honestly cannot find fault with BVA’s debut solo album, Be Very Aware. If you put me into a corner, put a gun to my head and told me to tell you the negative’s, I would have to say shoot.
I personally believe that BVA has hit the metaphorical nail slap bang on the head with this one. Everything from the selection of instrumentals and guest verses, to, the execution of concepts and delivery of lyrics, are spot on. To conclude, If you are genuinely a fan of Hip Hop I strongly advise you go and buy this album, it will not disappoint.