No, it’s not a superhero child with a face like the inside of a malteser, it’s an off-the-wall throwback rapper/artist from Yorkshire, UK. Acne first came to my personal attention as a graf artist, cartoonist (whatever you want to call it) through his cover art and full page works in Hip-Hop Connection magazine. At around the same time, as I started to remember the name, his album ‘Council Pop’ hit the shelves and it was an under-the-radar gem that was rewarding, if maybe a little awkward in parts. He has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and is finally getting some well-deserved recognition with the release of his biggest album yet, ‘Romance Ain’t Dead’.
But you can find out for yourself whether you rate that album as one of the best of 2007, because here we’re focusing on his two earlier albums, ‘Rap Traffic’ and ‘Council Pop’.
The first of the two, ‘Rap Traffic’, was released in 2001, with Kid Acne handling all of the lyrics and his mate Req One holding down the beats and the turntables. Together they created a decent LP full of love for the old-school and an even bigger love for the old-school approach. This album is minimalism at its best. Forget The Whisper Song, which was so polished you could see your face in the sound waves, this album sounds like it was made underwater in a cave on a dusty old beat machine.
‘Rap Traffic’ is a little patchy and there aren’t many stand-out tracks that really move you, but the overall feel of the album is what kept me listening.
1. The Emphasis
So, the creases were ironed out and Kid Acne came back again in ‘03 with ‘Council Pop’, a much more cohesive set with standout tracks such as ‘Reality Raps’ that convey Acne’s true character and his happy-go-lucky perception. Req One is still present on the beats, and the pair seem to keep getting better and better.
At this point I think I have to point out that Kid Acne is hardly a brilliant rapper. In fact, his flow and voice are very weak, but his music has such an endearing feel to it, and his lyrics are often very funny, so you quickly forget about that. He has definitely improved with each album, and not many artists can say that.
1. Chase Intro