Young Fathers : Cocoa Sugar
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Young Fathers : Cocoa Sugar

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On Young Fathers’ third studio album, the Scottish trio realise their potential – graduating from an alternative hip hop fascination to genre-defining masters of their art.

Lead single ‘In My View’ has the zeitgeist dripping from its every sonic pore. Firstly, there is the harmonious singing of Liberian-born Scotsman Alloysious Massaquoi juxtaposed with staunch rapper Kayus Bankole, a first generation Nigerian Scot.

This aforementioned vocal symbiosis has existed ever since ‘Tape 1’, released in 2011, but has never been so well-presented as on ‘Cocoa Sugar’. Its genius lies in producer Graham ‘G’ Hastings’ constraint on his signature bass-heavy percussive musical landscapes. 

Young Fathers’ authentic contemporary expression of what a Scotsman looks and sounds like today was ratified in 2017 when Trainspotting author and T2 producer Danny Boyle included three Young Fathers songs on the film’s soundtrack.

Ultimately this album is driven by the chemistry of its members. ‘Toy’ is dominated by a staunchly minimal glitch, the only accompaniment as Bankole’s frantic rap is soothed by Massaquoi’s deeply entoned counterpoint of: “You’re just a broken little toy / a silly little boy.” It is the musical equivalent of a Xanax after a 72-hour bender.

8.5