top of page
Search

Sample Session: Knucks – Alpha House

Sam-ple Sess-i-on

1. Noun

No stops. No skips. A one-take review.




North West London’s Knucks has finally released his debut album Alpha House. It’s a 13 track introspective look into how Ashley Nwachukwu’s decisions and environment resulted in him becoming Knucks. Constructed in a linear narrative, we not only witness the progression themes, but also the revisitation of memories with an organic sound of Rap, Grime, Drill and Jazz to reinforce that sense of home feeling acting as a love letter to Knuck’s estate. The South Kilburn native has shown both his artistic growth and personal growth with experimental jazzy infused beats and intricate, often penetrating intelligent lyricism delivered with a self-assurance displaying that he is comfortably one of the top rappers in the UK scene.



Alpha House


If we didn’t know that the Alpha House estate would be central to the project then we know now provided it is the introductory track into the album. Immediately we hear the sound of children playing, followed by the sound of police sirens foreshowing the dark cloud that the police as seen as by inner city kids from working class backgrounds. Alpha House is presented as the start of Knucks, a talented but cheeky boy who loves kicking ball with his friends on Albert Road. The rapper’s delivery is clean as ever as he says “Cool, but he always in trouble why do you think his bredrins call him knuckles?” backed by a piano based beat. He speaks on his awareness from an early age of what has happening in his borough, but more importantly he stresses the importance of Alpha house to him.



Lyrical Content: 7/10

Production: 9/10

Delivery: 9/10



Nice & Good


Teaming up with drill rapper SL as they style out on a chilled jazz infused beat produced by Dayo Mashood. They rap about feeling themselves, each of them possessing an impressive amount of self-confidence, as they “step off the block feeling nice” whilst stunting on their opps, showcasing the typical bravado that is displayed in this genre. Their different flows add to the song playing off of each other as they talk about navigating their relationships with girls, and generally having a good time in their areas. Knuck’s is smooth and SL is casual as he talks about running up on his enemies with a ballie, going against the laid back nature of the track.





Lyrical Content: 7/10

Production: 9/10

Delivery: 7/10


Hide & Seek

Continues the theme of nostalgia, the visuals of the track show Knucks walking around and interacting with the people on his estate. The track premiered on the platform Colors, and compares a childhood game played for fun to the treatement of black/ IC3 males by the police, raising serious issues of police harassment and brutality that are faced every day. The instrumental is made of up Jazz elements, that provide a soulful vibe to the song of looking back into the past to understand the present


Lyrical Content: 8/10

Production: 9/10

Delivery: 9/10


Bible

The relationship Knuck’s has with Religion is shown in earlier tracks like ‘Alpha House’ where he reflects that his mum’s prayers couldn’t save him from the roads. M1onthebeat produces an eery beat that’s supported by a load base drum in ‘Bible’ Knucks’ lives this lifestyle he’s rapping about religiously even going as far to say that the events took place were destined. South London’s Youngs Teflon features on the track boasting clever word play like “But all they wanna say is that, they don't really care 'bout us……A mic and a glove and the judge tryna do me like Michael” paying homage to the King of Pop Micheal Jackson



Lyrical Content: 6/10

Production: 7/10

Delivery: 7/10


Decisions


A slick transition into Knucks’ collaboration with Shae Universe and Millionz ‘Decisions’. The drums and bass add a dangerous feel to the track that sounds like it’s inspired by early 2000s Grime. Knucks calls out the fake rappers who rap what they don’t live and warns the listeners that the tale of Knuckles is only going to get darker signalling the rappers intent. M1illionz keeps the same soft tone as Knucks as he carries on with the critique and Shae holds the song together with her impactful, but brief part.



Lyrical Content: 10/10

Production: 10/10

Delivery: 9/10


Leon the professional


We hear the typical No Days Off before the track starts before Knucks resumes his role as a storyteller for the streets. Backed with a melodical instrumentation he recounts a gripping tale about the figure ‘Leon the professional’, who is a representation of many men found on the estate. As listeners we cannot help but he captivated by the contents or how artistically he story is being told to us. The lyrics are catchy disguising the violence and the delivery is delicate. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear the track sung back in a concert or a rave as a fan favourite.






Lyrical Content: 8.5/10

Production: 8/10

Delivery: 8/10


Send Nudes


Send Nudes is one of the shorter tracks of the album, only being 1:40 minutes and sampled Potter Payper’s Gangsteritus. It starts with the ringing of a phone that is picked up by a female voice. We hear Knucks rapping in a low voice to his love interest begging just to be closer. The Production provides a soulful vibe that invites intimacy. Lyrics from the chorus like “ What a King meant to do when he thinkin’ of you… But he trapped in his palace and pinned to his room.” Gives the impression that Knuck’s is calling from a jail cell, which is further supported as the song progress and Knucks uses seductive and sexual language.



Lyrical Content: 7/10

Production: 7/10

Delivery: 8/10



Playa


Next up on Alpha House, is ‘Playa’ ft Leicester born rapper Sainte. The song rejects the idea of love in favour of ‘playa’ ways. The hook is simple but wavy complimenting the drums and trap beat of the track, which just makes you want to bop and dance. Sainte shells his verse showing off his ability.


Lyrical Content: 7/10

Production: 7/10

Delivery: 7.5/10


Far


You can hear the old school garage influence in ‘Far’ straightaway taking us back the noughties in a loverboy anthem. Ragz Originale and Knuck take us all over London town from West, to South, East and North as they talk about linking girls back in the day by getting bus, hitting Westfield Shopping centre. They go back and forth verse by verse playing off of each other on the smooth beat, showcasing their creativity and playfulness. The message of the song is the romantic notion that no matter what you’ll never be too far.



Lyrical Content: 10/10

Production: 9/10

Delivery: 10/10


Die Hard


Compared to ‘Far’, ‘Die Hard’ is a lot more sombre. Jointed by Stormzy for their first collaboration. The feature almost acts as a way to solidify the North-West Londoner’s claim to being a part of rap’s elite. With an off beat percussion and drum beat in the background, allows listeners to take in and deep the lyrical content that both rappers are unloading on the track. The track coming near the end of the project also gives us an insight into how Knuckle’s is currently feeling and the doubts he has.







Lyrical Content: 8/10

Production: 6/10

Delivery: 8/10


Checkmate


Checkmate hits me the hardest and is probably one of my favourite songs on the whole project. Knuck’s confronts male vulnerability and raises questions on the lack of connection between men when talking about their mental health, as well as staying in touch. The content is supported by the production which acts as perfect backdrop, the chords making the track more emotive. Lex Amor lays herself bare as she admits to her own vulernability of feeling tired and lost. However this song gives voice to the people who are struggling in the hope that they can reach out for help.


Lyrical Content: 10/10

Production: 10/10

Delivery:10 /10


Three Musketeers


Another one of my favourite tracks, ‘Three Musketeers’ tells the story of how Knucks met his two childhood friends and the challenges they faced in navigating the tensions between North West and West London estates, moving to Nigeria and back. And now dealing with the survivor’s guilt of being the one to make it. We are treated to a voice note of the three friends in a conversation talking about how they’ve appreciated the journey. The track then transitions with a voice note of the young Knuckles not yet Knuckles rapping on a grime instrumental full of energy to show the growth and progression.

he three


Lyrical Content: 9.5/10

Production: 8/10

Delivery: 9.5/10



Los Pollos Hermanos

Ending the project, with the track inspired by the Breakin Bad series. We are treated to jazz elements blurred with a Latin sound and mischievous bars that are uniquely Knucks.





Lyrical Content: 8/10

Production: 8.5/10

Delivery: 8/10








Comments


INTERVIEWS
RECENT POSTS
Comments (10)

Alia max
Alia max
15 hr. ago

Round-the-clock Assistance: Impending deadlines? Unwind! Our committed writers are on hand 24/7 to offer timely help with any Sydney University projects. We never skimp on quality, regardless of how quickly you want assistance.Give up worrying about your homework. Make the writers at thetutorshelp.com your go-to tool for success at Sydney University!

https://www.thetutorshelp.com/university-of-sydney-assignment-help.php

<a href="https://www.thetutorshelp.com/university-of-sydney-assignment-help.php

">University of Sydney Assignment Help</a>


Alia max
Alia max
15 hr. ago

Ace your Griffith University assignments with professional assistance from thetutorshelp.com.Assurance of Originality: All assignments undergo a thorough plagiarism detection process, guaranteeing that you will receive only unique work.All the time. Support: Get round-the-clock live assistance. For easy support, get in touch with our moderators or connect with assignment professionals directly.Never Forget a Due Date: We pledge to deliver on time. Our staff collaborates with you to guarantee that all of your tasks are turned in on time.Student-Friendly Prices: To accommodate your budget, we provide unique reductions in addition to reasonable charges.Take charge of your academic achievement. Visit thetutorshelp.com to get Griffith University assignment assistance right now!

 https://www.thetutorshelp.com/griffith-university-assignment-help.php

<a href=" https://www.thetutorshelp.com/griffith-university-assignment-help.php

">Griffith University assignment help</a>


 


Alia max
Alia max
15 hr. ago

Solutions Free of Plagiarism: Academic honesty is something we value highly. Every project is subjected to a thorough plagiarism check utilizing cutting-edge tools, ensuring that it is an original and distinct work of art.Support That Is Affordable: Get the quality assignment assistance you need without going over budget. In order to make our services affordable for all UQ students, we provide low pricing.Take control of your UQ responsibilities with assurance. Start using thetutorshelp.com right now!

https://www.thetutorshelp.com/university-of-queensland-assignment-help.php

<a href="https://www.thetutorshelp.com/university-of-queensland-assignment-help.php

">University of Queensland assignment help</a>




Alia max
Alia max
15 hr. ago

Give up worrying and begin to succeed! Place your purchase right now, and thetutorshelp.com will work with you to help you succeed academically at La Trobe University.

 https://www.thetutorshelp.com/la-trobe-university-assignment-help.php