Sometimes still happy after hell

By Dylan Robinson

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I think we’ve all been missing some classic gritty UK rap shit. I’m all for more experimental takes on rap, but sometimes you just need some heavy beats and sharp bars and boy-oh-boy do we have that in abundance on this early album of the year contender.

Illinformed is at the reigns for 1Jack’s first release of the year and his most polished to date, ‘Happy After Hell’, a full-length album with flows and features that certify 1Jack’s position and pull in the underground scene. This is spine-tingle rap; the feel of the beats against Jack’s abrasive delivery… and the bars, honest quotables dotted around the darkest humour- it’s too easy to shower this project with superlatives.

All ten tracks absolutely slap. The features help mix up the tempos with Leaf Dog, Jack Jetson, Wish Master, Gaza Glock and Smellington Piff, all sharing a different track with Jack, but it’s arguably when he doesn’t share the mic that he is most revealing. There are two tracks with real marketability; ‘Mirrors’ and ‘Style Wars’ are extremely coherent and repeatable thanks to the heavy hooks, would be interesting to see if any radios give them a spin.

Honestly, I think we’re witnessing something special here. When me and 1Jack spoke in 2021 he talked about releasing what he’d call a ‘proper album’, well I’m pretty sure that’s what we’ve got- go support and cop ‘Happy After Hell’ on Bandcamp.

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