Mr 13 – The Beginning Of The End [Review]
Keen followers of the UK scene may well recognise the name Mr 13 aka Firts as one half of the team behind the Two Skinny Guys And A Camera video series and radio show, alongside DJ Bones, but may not know that he is also an up-and-coming MC in his own right too. Fresh off the back of his recent debut win against Joe Snow in the Dont Flop battle league, Firts drops his new EP The Beginning Of The End on free download. Black Budget decided to investigate.
Opener VIP sets the tone nicely, with producer 7th Dan dropping a haunting soulful loop over some classic boom-bap drums while Mr 13 introduces us to his raw breathy delivery with a nice set of rhymes bemoaning the materialistic nature of society, the second verse in particular hitting home. Hot on its heels comes Lyrical Supremacy, on which Firts incessantly drops line after line of aggressive battle-raps over a militant JMT-style beat courtesy of Morph Beats.
The pace changes up for the third cut on the EP, Nobody Said, which is the strongest track so far, Firts adopting a more relaxed and melodic delivery over a pretty Suspense beat as he drops rhymes about the struggle to make it as a new artist in the music biz, pointing out that “heart isn’t something you can measure on Wikipedia”. A special mention needs to go out to the female singer on this track, April, as well, who complements it very well.
The next two tracks, The Life We Live and Stuck Between are quite similar, both in terms of the subject matter Mr 13 rhymes about and the melancholy but soulful beats, but Stuck Between is my personal highlight of the EP, Firts complementing Charlie Mac’s anthemic backdrop well with another heart-felt set of lyrics.
Green rounds the EP off, with more hard-edged aggressive raps over a menacing 7th Dan beat which is an interesting mix of modern sounding drums and Wu-esque samples.
There are a few negatives to the EP: the mastering and some of the vocal mixing sounds inconsistent, occasionally Mr13‘s flow does veer slightly off-beat, and I would have liked to hear more variety in the subject matter, but overall Firts shows us that he has enough about him to give it a shot in the game, if you give him a chance, and when the music’s free, why wouldn’t you?
Reviewed by: Baron Samedi