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Dream Mclean – Weatherman EP review

The thinking man’s rapper blows us away.

Dream Mclean

More often than not, signing to a major record label will result in an underground urban artist going all out mainstream. Thankfully, Dream Mclean does not appear in this category.

Since signing to Chase & Status’ label he’s been slowly introduced to listeners through a mix of free downloads and steady support from BBC 1Xtra. With the EP boasting productions from the likes of Johan Hugo, High Frequency and Jason Farsight the singer looks set to continue his firm rise to the top.

Following the success of single Sloe Gin, McLean’s first official feature debut introduces the vocalist as a force to be reckoned with. Grown from the grime music talent pool, the Essex native embarks on an intelligent gritty grime pop narrative, waxing lyrical about recreational drugs, describing a serious hedonistic scene, which is far more common than others care to recognise, with a sense of flippant wit. An edgy bassline serves well as a dark underscore to the tongue in cheek lyricism, bringing title track Weatherman to life.

Experimenting with a more relaxed vibe, White Lies opens to a Dot Rotten-esque hook. McLean tackles his profound subject matter with up tempo panache, whilst exhibiting an impressive level of sensitivity and respect towards the weighty issue of religion and violence. ‘Oh Lord, why do love us, we lie to each other’. Social unrest is quickly becoming a favoured source of musical inspiration and this track comes at a time when economic unrest is rife and culturally relevant.

Perfect for one of those darker days we all experience, Take Me Away sees Dream Mclean and Bandit Black talk about life. Continuing the signature philosophical theme, the influence of Ghost Poet is flatteringly prevalent on this song, through simple questioning chants of ‘is it for the best.’ In stark comparison, Titanic discusses the impact of inter relationship deception in a somewhat crass manner, illustrating his frustration through exclamations such as ‘if you sugar-coat it shit is always gonna sell’.

Culturally relevant, captivating and clearly talented, this is one hip hop artist who is hitting his stride by offering insightful commentary. Dream McLean is the new thinking man’s rapper.

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