March: Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone

History tells me that at times it’s a bit risky recommending an artist or album that comes already with great expectations and hype. I must admit, that I may be flying a bit close to the flame with this month’s pick.

If you’ve missed all the yearend lists with Loyle Carner’s name all over them I’ll give you a slight intro. Loyle Carner is from Croydon and makes pretty honest hip hop. After releasing two heavily supported singles ‘No CD’ and ‘Aint Nothin Changed’ he released his debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ in January.

Loyle Carner is a story teller. One that has already reached beyond hip hop fans. In a recent interview he said that Common is a big influence and it’s understandable. I’d argue for a 20 year old he has surpassed many of his peers for content and insight. I’d argue he’s better than common was at 20.

I can bang on about how honest he is, or how much of a great story teller he is, but the key theme for me is that he’s nailed what many in hip hop artist struggle to do for an entire album: talk about what you know and do it well. Actually I’ll take that further, all artists struggle to do over an entire album.

I’m going to leave this to you to get stuck into and choose what you think are the stand out tracks. I hope you get into this album as much as I have over the last month.

Is this a hip hop classic? I’m not sure. Is this a stand out hip hop album that will be a runner for the Mercury? I think it’s got a good chance.