The giant pause button that was pressed as spring took hold could be argued to have affected Pa Salieu more than most; the Coventry rapper was fast-rising to be one of the UK’s most prominent new stars, with January’s ‘Frontline’ one of 1Xtra’s most-played tracks this year. ‘Send Them To Coventry’ is, then, a delayed release - but that isn’t likely to temper the impact the mixtape will have. Imbued throughout with a fusion of Pa’s Gambian heritage, and life growing up in Coventry (“COV, #cityofviolence” introduces ‘Informa’), it’s a varied, confident and cinematic trip through where the performer finds himself. Single ‘B***K’ is a musically-buoyant, lyrically-uncompromising rumination on the joy found in Black life - and the racism it faces, while the Mahalia-featuring ‘Energy’ ends the record on an optimistic note with probably the most straightforward hooks on show. There’s still time to get excited about this one.
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