One of Manchester’s newest and most hard-grafting MCs, J. Chambers, is blowing up right now. Having supported Oddisee, Akala and a very tardy Dead Prez in a matter of months, Manchester and beyond is starting to take notice of this focused young man. He’s released his debut EP proper this week, and played the illustrious Band On The Wall on Friday night to launch it.
Five tracks of Manchester-focused, reflective and melodic hip hop kicked off with the spoken Ode To Manny, J’s outlook is a positive one that is well worth your time.
In his own words:
The Merchant of Manny title was inspired by the Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice the whole pound of flesh concept stood out to as i feel like within this industry as artists, we are constantly expected to give more and more besides our music when we’re at the underground stage.
We’re expected to give that proverbial pound of flesh for the ear of new listeners and for the “bragging rights” or “hype”. And this concept is explored within the title song, there is also abit more musical freedom expressed on this project as prior to this project i mainly worked with samples. Whereas with this project there are only 2 samples used in the whole project!
Merchant of Manny explores various topics that face the average young person growing up in the city we explore the traps of growing up in working class areas, we explore consumerism, Relationships and we explore loss. Merchant of Manny really paints a well rounded image of having to grow up in an inner city environment.