Karla’s back with a bang! Mist returns with a new album, 5 years after his debut, Diamond In the Dirt! Those 5 years went fast, right!? But a lot has changed in that time for us and the self proclaimed King Of Brum.
This is a RAWview where I give you my RAW, anecdotes as they come to me, as I’m listening. There is no filter or rewriting. Just an honest review, from my gut and a rating out of 10. Enjoy…
Track 1 - "Intro" - Ok so we’re off to a quick start, no drums but lots of energy in Mist. He sounds ready. Love this beat, and letting it breath was right - i’m invested. Some south asian references in his bars to start the album, makes sense. Always said Mist has a Tupac essence to his delivery, he is vocals here reminds me of ‘Hail Mary’ - it’s the way he holds on to his words. Shout out Sevaqk on production, mean and clean.
Track 2 - "Pull Up ft. BackRoad Gee" - This beat sounds ready made for BackRoad Gee, its got that raw x Boasy type feel. Mist is rapping confidently and clearly. Gee has arrived with full energy for the chorus. This is gym/rideout music. Testestorane on 10. Mist is doing well to match the energy, we know his voice isn’t as strong as Gee, but he’s not letting him take the song off him. Strong.
Track 3 - "Foul Plan ft. Unknown T" - Mist with his skippy flow! Another great beat choice. Unknown T floats - he’s one of the best in UK easily, I’m looking forward to his album. Mist is sounding comfy, rapping a lot faster than usual, but inside the pockets. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard him at grime tempo and he hasn't lost it at all.
Track 4 - "I Admit ft. MoStack" - Straight into it, we’re keeping the pace from Foul Plan but Mostack opens up this track. Love this. It’s good to hear this combination again, they’re an unlikely pairing that works well. Mostack has more ‘ringtone friendly’ music and Mist is here talking about his parents funerals and his tribulations. Mostack has a thoughtful verse too. Swifta Beater on the production? That surprised me its not what I expected from him but I like it a lot.
Track 5 - "Love Ain't Guaranteed" - A new sound for Mist straight away. Its got an Afroswing vibe, horns and smooth vocals on the chorus. Nice short and sweet first verse from Mist. This is actually a vibe. 2nd verse Mist has a lot more to say. I don’t personally enjoy this verse on this beat, its a good verse, very strong. But it didn’t sit right. Still nice to hear something different from. Mist
Track 6 - "Money Moves ft. M1llionz" - Mist and M1llionz two local titans! This chorus reminds me of Karla’s Back, its structured the same with the space for the double adlib ‘soon land, soon land’. M1llionz sounds calm and collected, he’s ready for this feature. As does Mist, he doesn’t sound threatened by the prince of Birmingham, M1llionz. Both deliver well, nobody outshines the other. Good track for the city,
Track 7 - "Birmingham" - talking about tracks for the city, this is the anthem we’ve been promised. Very long first verse. Mist is describing the city, it feels like he is taking us on a tour of all of the hoods in Birmingham, and commentating on what he sees. Produced by Toddla T! That’s a good look but i’m not feeling this song unfortunately. I wanted to love it, but the beat, tempo and drum pattern drags a bit. It needs energy. Shorter verses maybe. Catchier pre-hook. Lotto Boyz still have the anthem!
Track 8 - "Damage" - Now this is production! Intense! I like this. Mist sounds haunting even whilst rapping in back slang. Mist is riding this beat right, his verses are hitting hard. I wish this song had a Ghetts feature. It’s that kind of beat, dark, sinister and bouncy. Either way Mist is delivering. The Bass is disgusting! I need to drive to this full volume, windows down through the winter like winners do! Lol!
Track 9 - "God Give Me Strength" - Steel Banglez! A different kind of beat, the synth sound reminds me of old school Igloo Grime, but the tempo is definitely Hip Hop. It’s from the same School of Hip Hop N dubs beat’s graduated from. I haven’t mentioned Mist yet, he’s rapping well but the beat is the focus of this song. Even the engineer has put Mist slightly at the back of this song in the mix. I don’t like that about this song. It feels like it should’ve been on Steel Banglez album not Mist.
Track 10 - "Open Wounds" - We love Mist on these vibes. That laidback, west coast, type of hip hop where he can style on us, like his old song ‘Smokey’. Uncredited singer on the chorus but he has a good voice, a proper American RnB type voice like Jaquees. He elevates the song nicely. Mist comes back in on second verse, smooth and unfazed, like he sipped Hennessy whilst the singer laid his heart on the chorus. One of my favourites on the tape so far.
Track 11 - "Set You Free" - This beat sounds good too, TSB is very very talented though. I like the way he’s closing down this album, it started high energy but he’s toned it down gradually. There’s not much to dislike about this song. Its laidback, thoughtful and good musically. Mist isn’t the most lyrical, we know that, but he has improved on his delivery and flow.
Track 12 - "Emotional ft. Wretch 32" - A Wretch 32 feature, I need to hear this. Is that Sampha too? Yup he just confirmed in the verse! This song is epic already. Mist sounds focused. Ok Wretch has entered the chat, very deep start to his verse but what did we expect? Easily the best verse on the album, Wretch sounds like a poet on this rap album.
This is a really good album from Mist. I can clearly hear where he has worked on his craft. The soundscape has evolved from his previous releases, but the essence of the music is the same. Mist shows that he has an understanding of his audience and what they want to hear. No song is too long. Nothing is too experimental. The producers are all certified. It’s all well measured. It’s hard to hate it. This album won’t change your Top 5 rappers list, but it does solidify Mist and what he brings to the scene as an artist. He hasn’t lost his sauce, or sold his soul to make a commercial bop, instead he has spent time mastering his formula. The real hero of this album is the track listing, keeping it to just 12 songs was a master move, the album flows just right.
My personal favourite tracks are Damage, followed by Emotional. I’m rating this album 8/10.