Rap album of the month – Mist Diamond In The Dirt

RnB/Hip Hop | Tuesday 6th March 2018 | Jake

It’s difficult to pin down Mist’s unique style. His trademark Brummie twang rides elaborate instrumentals effortlessly, where lesser talents would struggle. He has a taste for Punjabi, seemingly through his friendship with producer Steel Banglez, and he has a knack for repeating lines yet avoiding banal repetitiveness.

In short, he’s an oddity, there’s not an artist like him in the UK rap scene at the moment, and this individuality is showcased in its solitary single 'Game Changer' and throughout the solid nine-track EP.

Despite sticking to his trusted roster of producers, the tape manages to balance evolution with tradition, the Brum cadence remains, the elaborate beats are there, yet Mist leaves his comfort zone with some unlikely collaborations and swerves into new genres.

This all knits together perfectly on ‘Display Skills’ featuring Mr Eazi & Fekky, neither of whom have collaborated with Mist before. The presence of Mr Eazi is especially surprising, pleasantly so, he delivers a chorus drenched in afrobeats flavour, complimenting the afrobeats inspired instrumental. It’s not a genre Mist has explored much, but he confidently delivers a smooth verse that works perfectly with the silky beat.

There is also a noteworthy collaboration with Jessie Ware, again the unlikely combination works, with Ware’s vocals complimenting the rugged Mist verses over a mournful instrumental. The best collaboration is arguably with long-time friend MoStack, the pair have numerous tracks together, consistently brilliant, and ‘Uber’ is no different, the two rappers going toe-to-toe discussing women and fame.

MoStack, left, and Mist, right

However, the two also deliver arguably the weakest track on the record. ‘Mosh Pit’ heralds Mist’s arrival onto the grime scene, it’s a crash landing. In fairness, it is a song designed for exactly what it says: to get the crowd hyped at live shows. However, this focus on live impact renders it unlistenable outside of a rave.

Overall it is an ambitious project that succeeds in showcasing Mist’s versatility (something he’s been accused of lacking) and the talents of his production team. It’s a tape that sticks true to Mist’s roots yet explores new avenues, leaving fans eagerly anticipating his next move.