Welcome to the South Easy
So, by now you’ve probably read Ringo P’s opinion piece from Sunday where my colleague spent a bit of time soul searching for the reason why Dr Syntax isn’t his cup of Lapsang Souchon, deciding to Littlejohn it up with a headline that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the front cover of Take A Break! UK Hip Hop Edition. But then again, thats why I like him writing for the site. His opinion isn’t going to get everyone agreeing with him, and in certain cases rubs people up the wrong way, but in a internet where sycophancy is an uncomfortable norm with two thirds of music blogs, sometimes an opinion can get people talking about something in a way that a benign post about a new release might not.
I haven’t heard Do What We Wanna Do, the new Syntax track with Del the Funky Homosapien and Jehst yet. Ringo was quick to point out that the calibre of the Doctor’s collaborators was usually high though, and since I know that he’s not one of these artists paying exaggerated fees for big names to work with him, that would tend to suggest that from a professional point of view, Ringo’s views appear to be in the minority.
“‘Cause nobody does it better said Carly Simon / well nobodies come as fresh since I started rhyming / Obviously thats a matter of opinion / but if its not yours, what have you been sniffing?” < Dr Syntax – Pyrotechnics
The recently released On The House EP is classic Syntax. Serving as a little aperitif to the impending main course that will be the album collaboration with Pete Cannon, this is by no means his best work, but then again, aside from Run The Jewels, who gives away their best work for free? The beat for Pyrotechnics is carefree and almost Caruana-esque, perfect for Syntax’s low vocal tones, and that style of track that I’d imagine Ringo’s problem is with. Almost a perfect antithesis of the majority of the grime that my colleague champions on the regular. Under My Window is my least favourite on the EP, in my mind coming across as a lightweight version of 2005’s Seaside Postcard. The highlight for me has to be the always welcome appearance of Rotherham’s finest, Clev Cleverley on Come On. These two always seem to have a great working chemistry on tracks despite collaborations being few and far between.
In a world where talentless rappers seem to monopolise the airplay, Dr Syntax has the skills, stage presence and character to hold his own in the machismo-seeped world of UK Hip Hop. Unfortunately, his nice guy image makes him an easy target for those that want to see rap as a slightly dangerous world in which they’d like to think they’re trespassing. You can’t see Syntax pulling a Curtis Woodhouse and turning up outside Ringo’s house one night looking for recompense. Or can you? Don’t have nightmares, Ringo.