When I first saw Cloudy I had wandered into a particularly crusty hip-hop event in Brighton. Inhabited by dread haired women with baggy camouflaged camos and leather-studded corsets. The air was thick with B.O. and the sound of average rap, average beats and people frantically gurning.
Then suddenly among the chaos I heard a lyric that made me laugh. Something along the lines of “I’ll rap every word of the English language and then when I’m done I’ll switch to Spanish.” I looked up and there, wearing a big colourful shirt and holding himself with this strange awkward cool was Cloudy.
Ever since then I’ve been a fan of his work. I mean, how many rappers do bars with a lizard on their shoulder?!
In October he released his first mixtape And Then You’re Gone. The tape tells a blurred narrative of drug taking, sexual encounters and psychedelic adventures. Juggling the topics with at times the same brutal honesty and existential flair as My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy. The single ‘Dream Catcher’ – a perfect example (it also includes some terrapins with muffins on their backs so that’s definitely worth a watch.)
Perhaps the thing I like most about Cloudy is he is completely himself and completely British. UK hip-hop has always struggled to find a clear identity for itself, hell I would argue more and more British music is (with Kate Tempest and Sleaford Mods notable exceptions). American hip-hop artists take you down into the streets of Compton with their words, they made the city famous but I feel British artists try and copy this rather than talking about their own environment with all its glamourless charm.
So I look forward to hearing more reptile starring, drug fuelled genius from this fellow and until then, here’s an exclusive track to wet your whistle.