People’s Army is a both a music group and a cultural movement; not lead by any one man, the ‘Army’ represent an example of righteousness and justice through pursuing positive change in society. The creator of the collective and man responsible for catalysing the movement is UK hip hop pioneer, Logic, who has consistently attracted conscious audiences with his punchy poetic bars. So when he decided to release a ‘New Recruits’ mixtape, it was a great sign of the reach that People’s Army has managed to build up.
Joining Logic on the mixtape are a few notable names; Cameron Jay is the only female artist that appears on the tape which is a sign not only of her memorable talent but also her passion for making social change. Also adding their weight to the tape is hip hop group RU1 Fam. Made up of a number of rappers including Majical, Watusi87, Dan Jah Dan, Hunta Pro and Mercury, the group are another powerful example of how diverse the voice for social change spans. Members of the Rebel Lions also feature on the collection.
The sounds throughout the mixtape are recognisably soulful, harking back to retro 80s hip hop samples mixed with live sounds intertwined, typical of the artisan urban jazz musicians also prominent during the birth of hip hop. O’Nero, the lead producer on the project, truly has done a great job on this body of work. The bopping, fresh beat found on the first track, ‘Collective Minds’, gives fans a taste of the sharp snare and soothing strings also to be found later in the record. Opened by Logic, he gives the audience a taste of the perspectives to be encapsulated in the mixtape and he is followed by RU1 Fam’s Majical whose lyricism is a combination of self reflective proverbs and powerful world insights. Cameron Jay also features on the hook and the standards are set high from the outset.
Another track that demands attention is ‘Let Go’. Watusi87 of RU1 Fam begins a dynamic melee in his distinctive style explaining the need to not be embroiled in society’s raptures. Again Cameron Jay graces the chorus of the track, this time with a soothingly calmly vocal performance. And the final track of the mixtape, ‘Won’t Change Me‘, is an exciting sonic juxtaposition; the beat’s soft introduction which is broken by a scathing snare provides a calming background for the righteously revolutionary lyrics laced throughout the track. All of the tracks on the record have an original flavour so do take the time to explore and absorb all of the content within the songs.
By Ranako Daley