Long standing grime solidier, Big Narstie, steps up with his new mixtape, featuring 22 tracks available as a free download of 320kbps mp3s. On #Pain Is Love, the MC showcases his skills over a wide range of both grime and rap beats. Some are originals, some freestyles over popular industry instrumentals and a load of refixes. Theres a kooky array of sampling choices on here, which nod to both the diversity and character of Big Narstie. This release is the precursor to the upcoming EP #Pain, dropping this fall.
The majority of the material on this tape is engaging and bump worthy, of course there’s some clunkers here but lets focus on the heat. Some highlight tracks for me include the opener “Burst Da Pipe” which exudes unadulterated grime energy that makes you want to punch the air. “What’s Poppin,” featuring Boy Better Know’s Frisco, is a fierce number that will make ya shoulders move. Both Narstie and Frisco go in on the mic, showcasing their dexterous flows. When that classic sample leads off “Shotcaller” you know you’re in for something fun. The joint “Roadside” sticks out to me, by being both upbeat and deep at the same time. A solid cut that shows the depth of Narstie’s vibe and beat selection. “What a Bam Bam” is gangster as fuck. It features the reggae influence of Fallen Angels, who I’ve never heard of but seems to be a duo and they spit fire on this song. One of the more surprising tracks is the flip of Prodigy’s classic rave anthem “Firestarter, ” (see video below) where Narstie earns his name by keeping it real dutty. Theres a bunch of other tunes I’m feeling but you get the idea, its FREE, so go and get your download on!
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Gair “Dev79” Marking