One of the most interesting and shadowy Irish musicians returns with a new five track EP The French Connection.
Rapper, producer, and all round talent G.I. represents the grimier, realer side of the Irish hip-hop scene. Often in videos his face is obscured by a hoodie or scarf, though this doesn’t diminish his powerful message. He combines intricate wordplay, unstoppable flow and densely layered lyrics to paint a picture of Dublin and the world that is largely ignored.
Descriptive songs about social conditions, drug use, and crime are just a part of G.I.’s repertoire. Don’t get the wrong impression that his music is all doom and gloom, the Finglas rapper harbours positivity and food for thought, that’ll have you returning again and again to his tracks.
Next time we heard from G.I. was as a producer for Costello’s 2012 album Illosophical. Again he had a guest appearance on two tracks, ‘The Representatives’ and the aptly named ‘Young Apprentice’, which he contributed one of his finest versus (@2:40).
In September 2012, it was time for G.I. to showcase what he was all about, releasing his first solo album Underworld (free for download). The record’s opening song ‘Frozen Ponds‘, is an instant classic. It’s a perfect microcosm of the street style that G.I.’s come to represent for the Irish rap scene. “See where I’m from is packed with rats and roaches, little wankers roaming that’ll leave your gaff in tatters broken.”
The French Connection is a step in a new direction for G.I. The production isn’t as dark and atmospheric as his previous work, though he certainly hasn’t dumbed-down his lyrics. “Time i don’t waste mine, fuck an iPhone, i know boys that face time.”
The first track ‘Finesse‘ is G.I. at his finest. Elegantly and nonchalantly he lays down veiled movie references to Tarantino, De Niro, and footballer Andrea Pirlo, while a smooth restrained beat accompanies his steady flow.
On ‘Frisbees‘, Cabra and Finglas are refereed to as the “twin towers of hip-hop” and judging by where most of Dublin’s rap talent is coming from these days, it’s a fair statement.
The third song ‘Yesterday/Rick Moranis‘ sees G.I. completely change up his flow and includes a nice little exert from The Wire’s Stringer Bell.
‘Contrebandiers‘ is a real statement of intent, lyrically it brings together the best of G.I. It’s reminiscent of where he’s been but also gives a glimpse into where he wants go and what he stands for. “Never sliver with the snakes, never mingle with the fakes, FUCK swag, stop fingering your mates, this ain’t the place.”
The last track ‘Mr.Nice‘ might be the most interesting beat on the Ep. Horns occasionally flutter in and out, however the raw venom like spitting from the Irish rapper is a joy to hear over such a catchy tune.
It’s a perfect collection of songs for the summer, so lay down in the sun, spark a joint, and enjoy the evolving Finglas artist.