The Sleepless Empowerment of Young Fathers

Hip-hop and electronic music have gone hand-in-hand for several years, yielding some of the most innovative songs in both respected genres. As musicians seek new ways to change the production of music, genres are blended together vigorously in a mixer of infinite combinations. Young Fathers, a Scottish group dedicated to the hip-hop genre, have added an extra twist to their sound. The overpowering tartness of electronica drips through the melodies and creates a savoury morsel of “can’t quite explain it”.

Young Fathers’ uncompromising tendencies are an attention-seeking haul that pays off in the best possible way. While their debut album, Dead, featured catchy, Afrocentric themes rooted down in their most primal beauty, their new album does something different. Fresh from winning the prestigious Mercury Prize for Dead in 2014, Young Fathers released White Men Are Black Men Too. From its title alone, extrapolation concerning the musical content are foggy. With a possibly sarcastic tone from the cover of the package, the hidden hunks of innovation within deliver a different mood.

The twinkling percussion and screeching guitars of “Still Running” bombard the beginning of the album. Scattered in small servings, vocal outbursts are shadowed by the industrious sheen of experimental goodness. This new trend continues throughout the album, leaving tracks like “Shame” and “Rain Or Shine” remembered more for their bombastic additions of avant-garde sounds than for the vocal and lyrical interpretations that made them famous. While not every song is dominated in the regime of tentative quirks, the soul of the three members of Young Fathers still evokes the same passion as Dead. “Liberated” and its fire-starting sanctification stirs the pot, as does the grand finale of “Get Started”, complete with spattered verbal assault in a polished manner.

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Overall, the sophomore efforts of Young Fathers did exactly what most bands can’t. Rolling with what they were given, they expanded their talent and sound, reaching new heights in another dimension of musicality. Even if they may not have the accessibility that gushes from Dead, White Men Are Black Men Too is one of the note-worthy albums to grace 2015’s over-stuffed buffet.


Jacob Crepeault

My name is Jacob Crepeault. I am a student at Carleton University with an extensive palette for all things music. Throw in some hip-hop, a dash of indie rock, a touch of experimental, and baby, you got a stew goin'. I am the eldest of 8 children which means chaos is my friend. In my spare time, I enjoy creating my own short films, dabbling in the art of remixing, and goofing around with friends. My main goal as a journalist is to enlighten avid music listeners about fresh and dynamic musicians.