Delegates of Culture Resented EP

This nicely packaged, vinyl-only EP is one of a very few indie hip-hop releases that has made it to our shores from the UK. While it is noble of this crew of mostly UK MCs/producers/DJs to represent their own distinct culture and language, I sometimes find it difficult to listen to hip-hop in a British accent, and I don't think I'm alone. However, having said that, this is a pretty damn fine slice of wax. The Delegates of Culture, who featured Roots Manuva as a guest on their last album, present four new tracks to change minds regarding UK hip-hop. The first track, "Action Response," is an all right song held back by a boring Bee 109 keyboard beat. The lyrics are nice but the three MCs (Bee 109, Skuff and Mad Prolific) have nothing to work with until the beat hits its outro and some whale-like sounds come into the mix. Oddly, this is the one song that also gets an instrumental version. "Resented," with vocals by Skuff, S-Class, Mad Prolific and Injanuatea, follows and steps things up a little. Bee 109 and Axwax concoct a better beat this time, although the singsong chorus tends towards cheese. It's a decent song but is eclipsed by the two B-side tracks. The first of these, "Lose It Nicely," with production by Bee 109, is by far the best beat on the EP, excusing his earlier "Action Response" mishap. While Bee again opts for the keyboard sound, this time he brings it darker, deeper, and more bass-y. It makes a big difference, and you can tell just by the delivery of the MCs: S-Class, Ill Seer, Skuff, Injanuatea and Ninko go off like they care. "Lose It Nicely" even comes full circle with Canadian representation by the Delegates's T.O. member, Ill Seer, plus additional French rhymes dropped by Ninko. A solo Skuff song, "Smoke Ink Ills," finishes off the EP on a high note with production from Toe and S-Class that differentiates itself from the rest. Skuff's paranoid drug stories are quite engaging, which is lucky since he is the only crewmember that has to drop more than one verse on a song. After four songs, I'm still not feeling British accents but I'm feeling this EP. (MOFU)