Bawo, a rising talent hailing from West London, has just released his seven-song project Legitimate Cause, showcasing his versatility, meticulous beat production and slick wordplay. It’s no surprise to find out that the talented rapper has supported North West rapper Knucks on his UK tour and performed alongside Kojey Radical at The Great Escape Festival. The West London rapper’s ‘‘grimy-garagey-hip-hoppy” sound has been described in the past as “connecting the dots between grime, garage, rap and soul”. Legitimate Cause shows the level of artistry Bawo is at but also the talented wordsmith behind it, so let’s get into the project.    

‘Phase.1’, has Bawo’s self-introspection at the forefront, with the opening piano chords adding to the intimacy and vulnerable feeling of this track. It is almost like he’s processing his feelings whilst talking us through them, giving listeners an inward look into his mind. The beat transitions into a more melodic and upbeat sound for ‘Same Team ft Reek0’ with the catchy lyrics ‘you ain’t gotta act like I ain’t on your team’ undoubtedly becoming stuck in your head. ‘Turn & Face’, the third song on the project, sees him having to face responsibilities outside of music over a melodic, ricochet-sounding beat, which also incorporates one of the Migos signature ad-libs.   

The second half of the project has the rapper expressing his feelings after leaving a past situation on songs ‘Not Just Yet’ and ‘Figured Out’. ‘You used to look me in the eye now you’re gazing at the floor’.Bawo also recently dropped an accompanying music video for ‘Not Just Yet’, which captures the deafening silence between him and his love interest emotionally.   

‘Grace Is Calling ft Oscar #Worldpeace, Ayeisha Raquel’ is about the West London rapper finally giving himself the grace to accept the abundance of favours coming his way. He’s seeing ‘the favours come in tenfold’, with the addition of Ayeisha’s beautiful vocals that come in on the chorus and sing with him. The closing song ‘Stay Close’, starts with a voicemail as he lets listeners know how dedicated he is to his journey and won’t let any background noise distract him from it. Legitimate Cause is a solid project that shows the different layers of Bawo, whilst also displaying his talented wordplay and cold-beat production. I look forward to hearing way more from him in the future. 

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Nicole Lewis