I’ll start by saying the album dropped on the 15th of July. Yes accuse me of being late with this review. In my defence I like to take my time with new releases. I’m not one to make snap judgements on the music I love. It’s not my style. I get the feeling that Rob Kelly himself would be of the same opinion. I suspect we probably share similar tastes in our rap. We might agree we both miss that old boom gap 90’s shit we grew up with. I’m always wondering to myself if that comes across in my writing. I reckon Rob doesn’t have that issue as he brings that raw lyrical fire that only a man of age and pedigree can bring. The much anticipated Black Irish Rogue album delivers on that front much like his previous work but with extra venom. Rob has fury and speed meshed with technical ability. Its like a boxer getting ready for a bout only this time it’s a world title he’s stepping up for. Confidence and genuine swagger are all over this album from start to finish. He laces many of the songs with a wicked sense of humour that is much missed and often needed in rap. I will say don’t take the afore mentioned as weakness because I guarantee that the man can throw hooks & jabs correctly.
Rob pays homage to many great MC heroes in his rhymes which gets the true heads like myself nodding in appreciation. Yet again he slips in his love for reggae & ragga which adds real culture and bounce to the proceedings. I have real respect for that. Shows depth. The album ends with the truly epic posse cut The 4 Horsemen that requires you bump it loud. Can we get a full length from them? I truly hope so. The production is raw yet nostalgic with a modern freshness to keep things moving forward. I suggest if you don’t already have the album then do the right thing and grab it via iTunes of the physical copy. You need it in your collection. Rob is a force to be reckoned with.
I really hope this gets the attention it deserves on a international level. It can compete on that scale. It’s a fully fledged audio experience. I’m going to make a bold statement that many might not like or agree with. This is his Ready To Die in my humble opinion. It’s 5 mics in The Source good. It’s got it all. Street joints, lyrical joints and club joints. The only thing missing is Puff Daddy ad-libs and a Method Man guest vocal. It’s a true testament to his talent that his next album will be released by Soulspazm Records. Executive production duties are being handled by none other than J57 of Brown Bag Allstars. Being on Soulspazm is a good look for him. You can’t front on their track record with releases & projects to date. Ireland to NYC connections in full effect. Watch this space and get ready for the future. Rob Kelly has a bright one.