WORDS BY: Ben Broyd
There is something so incredibly special about Knucks, and his brand new album ‘ALPHA PLACE’ not only backs this up but has propelled the London-based rapper into the conversation as one of the best artists currently in the country. Leading the line as one of the most promising artists in the UK scene’s next generation, ‘ALPHA PLACE’ showcases what Knucks does so incredibly well – being a storyteller. The album begins with the title track in which Knucks explains: “This is the first song I recorded for the tape. Introducing the block I’m from, and things that remind me of my youth in Kilburn.” The title track ensures that the listener is well informed of Knucks’ upbringing as he delicately paints the picture of life growing up in Kilburn, accompanied by a piano-led beat that depicts a period during his formative years that were comprised of misdemeanours and sets the tone incredibly well for the rest of the album.
Knucks’ ability to set the scene through his music is undoubtedly one of his biggest strengths, and certainly, why he is currently achieving great success as there is such a personal approach to his music, it really feels as though he is almost talking directly to each respective listener. It is so important when breaking into the music industry to have substance and meaning behind your music, and Knucks has this in abundance, evident through the likes of ‘Three Musketeers’, a song that sees Knucks reminisce over his childhood friends and their compelling friendships, and the troubles they faced growing up. Meanwhile, in ‘Leon the Professional’, Knucks details a powerful story about a hitman that captivated everyone in the local area, with the title inspired by Patrice Ledoux’s 1994 film, detailing Knucks’ appreciation for culture and his ability to intertwine it into his music that makes him such a special artist.
“ALPHA PLACE” also contains some seriously impressive features, with the likes of Stormzy, Sainte, Youngs Teflon and others all collaborating on the album, merely fuelling the concept that Knucks is well on his way to becoming the next big thing in the UK with a strong array of artists lining up to work with the rapper. Sometimes features on albums can overpower and take the shine away from the respective artists album, but this is not the case whatsoever on “ALPHA PLACE“, the features add a brilliant element to the album, but there is more than enough Knucks to allow him and his musical nous to flourish in its own right.
‘Los Pollos Hermanos’ brings the album to the close, and also shows a different side to Knucks, there is a slight comedic approach to the song, sampling conversations from the groundbreaking series ‘Breaking Bad’, once more accompanied by a smooth-sounding Jazz beat. It is the perfect ending to what has to go down as another exceptional album from the incredible Knucks.