I’ve followed Suff on Twitter for quite some time, during which he has left me heavily anticipating his debut project. As Suff is a member of hip-hop conglomerate Souless, and as the beats I’d heard on his Soundcloud and Traktrain were extremely dope and diverse, dabbling as much as he has in house as in cloudy, immersive hip-hop, I had huge expectations for this EP. Safe to say these were immediately met with opening track ‘Live @ The Bar-B-Q’. The beat sounds summery and bright, as if to convey the mood in which such an event would be thrown. The song clocks in at under 2 minutes, offering bright, hazy synths and crunching percussion. It’s also the only song here with co-production, in this case from my man Klsr. I can definitely hear the sparse, minimal sound of his work on this track. Suff’s choice to open the project with Lärs’ laid back, super smooth flow was very smart, helping to convey the vibes of the project in lyrical format. Ledwan however takes the prize for the finer verse by erupting on the track: ‘Your favourite rapper an actor and an ass-kisser, smash tabs of acid and I feel fine, fab, fantastic’.
Lärs and Ledwan are far more than the chosen MC’s here, their contributions really shape the songs into something special. Suff’s decision to collaborate with them for all five tracks means that both rappers get serious shine, complementing each beat flawlessly. ‘Denim’ is a wonderful moment, as Lärs’ breezy charisma bleeds into the almost accordion-esque beat. As an artist, he is absolutely unmatched when it comes to vivid imagery. The light keys that enter the song as his verse concludes: ‘Rest in peace to auntie, my neighbourhoods Jumanji’ are distinctly Tyler, The Creator in tone, something that continues on my personal favourite track ‘DamnBitchLetMeLoveYou’. Although it’s the shortest on the already brief project, the beat is by far the most textured and eccentric, ending abruptly on Barry Marrow’s ‘She got a friend but I don’t want a body, Wendy Williams, yeah bitch I just wanna fucking love you’. Marrow’s flow seems best suited for this beat, evoking laughs as much as amazement as he dishes out what could be my favourite verse on the whole project.
The focus has to be on Suff’s production, however. ‘Karate Chop’ is distinctly more spacey and eerier than the previous three tracks, a hulking beat suiting Lärs’ zombified, lucid verse. BigLarry enters the fray on this song, offering impressive technicality. With beats this hard in his arsenal, Suff is amongst the most diverse producers of his ilk. ‘BounceHouz’ returns to the production he’s recognised for, synthy and bubbly. The largest posse cut on the record, this song begins with an incendiary Larry salvo before Ledwan catches the beat. As he does, the song’s colossal grooves take over, submerging the synths to focus on the whirlwind verse that ensues. Larry also kind of has a hook here: ‘I just might pull up with that stick and do the macarena’. Lärs returns briefly for a bruising mini verse, and as the drums drop out he sums up the project’s mission statement in one line: ‘She ask me what I’m doing, making side n**** music’. SeKwence demolishes the track’s last act: ‘She said SeKwence, SeKwence, she a circus freak and I seen it. She was talking drugs so I fell in love this addiction shit I’m really feenin’. As his hoarse rasp enters the fray, the song goes from strange to downright eerie.
BIMBO is fantastic not just because it reveals Suff’s astonishing versatility as a producer, but because it acts as a mini Souless-reveal packed with excellent, bar for bar flooring verses. A huge success for everyone involved, and one that makes me very excited for their respective futures in the game.
Check out BIMBO on Soundcloud. Follow Suff on Twitter at @AyeSeth.