On Saturday, an artist released a limited edition wooden record box to accompany a new album – who springs to mind? Rolling Stones? David Bowie reissue? How about Skittles from Manchester’s LEVELZ crew. As they say – “this is Manchester we do things differently here.”
The South Manchester emcee is back with his first album in seven years, following up ‘Poor With £100 Trainers’ and the 2016 ‘Bumba’ EP.
Throughout the album, Skittles provides his most introspective lyrics when the songs slow down. Like the song ‘Take Me Away’ where he recounts previous experiences and takes us on a journey through the inner-working of Skittles’ mind. The song is enriched with an infectious hook provided by LEVELZ’ member Fox. ‘Init’ and ‘Paperplates’ are equally introspective, giving Skittles the chance to show us his battle scars and how the actions of the past – shaped who he is today and where he’s going.
Not just settling for slower numbers, Skittles flexes his dexterity to work with any beat. Take ‘Shadowvargen’ it’s colourful electro-funk beat serves as a change from anything heard from Skittles previously. He matches the playful style on ‘Badman Na Drink Milkshake Without Straw’ with its fidgety dub beat and its screeching backing vocals. They are a nice detour in style and keep the album from feeling one-dimensional.
‘Muderin People’ catches your eye on the track-list and well, it’s a song about murdering people. However, the lyrical content is set over a playful, summery acoustic beat, that gives a weird sense of beauty and surrealism. It’s followed by ‘Zeekos Yout’ a hilarious spoken word piece charting the events of Zeeko as he navigates the fruity characters of Wythenshawe.
‘The Danger’ can be both a club banger or the motivation you need to take on the world. Insecurities and reflections are swapped for a fiery confidence. The beat punches you hard and you feel Skittles has a point to prove, excellently shifting his flow to a break-neck speed.
Overall, ‘Poor on Purpose’ is a great album showcasing one of Manchester’s most talented emcees. Throughout the album, his viewpoint of Manchester is a sense of a grim reality to growing up in South Manchester. However, he’s proud of the city and what it’s made him. It’s an ‘us against the world mentality’ and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
You can stream the album on Spotify or purchase the limited-edition wooden box vinyl direct from Skittles’ website.
Catch Skittles with LEVELZ at their 5th birthday on 20th April.