Album reviews are things I don’t enjoy writing , I often try to stay away from writing them because I find them long winded and boring. But in saying that every once in a while there are those albums that come along that you just can’t help write about and share with the world, and Stemma is a prime example of this.
Since this was Docs first proper project back in the game I was slightly skeptical, I was worried his pen game may not have been as strong as it once was, but thankfully any doubts I may have had departed the moment I hit play on “Homeward”.
Empires and Corruptible are two tracks we have heard before the official album release , Empires was a track originally released on SBTV in January of 2016 featuring his old friend Luc Skyz in which Doc talks about his intentions , who he is and what he stands for it is like his manifesto.
“Corruptible” was the single for the album with the music video being released back in March. What i like about this track is the beat isn’t one that I am use to, it is kind of all over the place but some how it is neutralised by Docs stone cold delivery.
“I Got This” has quickly found itself at the top of my gym playlist with its constant electronic beat. Doc uses this track to feature fellow London rapper Mikill Pane , who kills his parts delivering lines such as “I run rings around your team on some Olympic shit ,We came to mess with MCs, making efforts to lead,Mate forget it, just relay the message” showing his pen skill and making him someone one I am defiantly checking out in the future.
I spoke to Doc a few months before the album was released ( You can read it here) and i asked him if he had wrote any tracks on mental health, his reply was very short but I feel that “Papillon” is the track he was talking about. Papillon is a word i have not encountered before so I researched it and found it is the French word for butterfly and/or it could be linked to the novel by the same title written by Henri Charrière whose main charterer deals with mental illness and has a butterfly tattoo on his chest.
Papillon is a stand out track for me , it is powerful and honest, the lyrics are something I could connect with and listen to on repeat. If you choose to listen to only one track from the album make it Papillon it is Doc at the top of his game , flawless.
“Forever” is a genre cross into rock with the guitar riff, drums and vocals on the hook but Docs delivery and lyrics are still as Hip Hop as you can get. With a theme of conflict of him coming back to rap , I feel he is saying that he has all these doubters saying “He is too old to be doing this as a hobby” but he doesn’t give a fuck because ” So many people with different opinions of how we should live, but opinions are like arseholes cause everyone’s got one” as it is stated on the hook. This song is his two fingers to anyone trying to hate on him and his comeback.
While Amnesia is not on the album I feel its a track i have to talk about , it features Docs old Poisonous Poet partners ; Reveal and Tony D. With the opening words “Poisonous never died we are the phoenix we forever rise” it gives me hope the PP will come back with a full album one day. Tony D (ex Don’t flop champ) goes hard on this track with a line I personally love; “I’m Poisonous in the air like mustard gas” with his flow on point as always Tony destroys his verse.
Reveal comes with some solid lines the track too , a personal favourite ” These new jacks are like the new fivers I’m still getting use to the change, but they made them with new fibers they just don’t do it the same.” I don’t know why but this bar killed me. I wish this track was on the album it just goes so hard and its nice to hear Doc back with his old crew.
I honestly hope this is not a one off from Doc, this album is the best I have heard from any rapper in a whole regardless of nationality and i feel he has much more to say. This album is full of class , style and bars.