Dutch Mob – Passport EP Review

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Bristol, stand up for your biggest and best hip-hop duo since… ever.

Introducing Dutch Mob, consisting of home-bred veterans Res One and Mistafire, representing Split Prophets and Se’Fire respectively. Together they are set to enhance Bristol’s hip-hop acclaim to new heights with their hard-hitting debut, the ‘Passport’ EP – Which is out now!

The Dutch Mob alliance formed over many years of friendship, as both rappers have known each other since back in the days. Although Res used to be considered Mistafire’s younger, they shared a brotherly relationship as strong connections tied them together from early. In 2015, both lyricists jetted to their first visit of New York City, exploring overseas culture and taking influence from underground elements of America’s modern and old-school hip-hop styles.

Afterwards, Mistafire moved in with Res and the makings of the ‘Passport’ EP unfolded from there. After completing their first collaboration track, the ‘One Take’ single, they decided to find a name for themselves. As their research turned to century-old gang names, they discovered stories about a pickpocketing collective formed in the 1860’s, the Dutch Mob, which became one of the biggest pickpocketing gangs in America before they disbanded by the 20th century.

Bristol’s Dutch Mob returned to New York to record more of the Passport EP in Spring 2017, taking DJ Simiah with them as he handles the cuts throughout the project. Dutch Mob were invited to Fred One’s studio, meeting with multiple underground NYC rap affiliates such as Kgaines & L.I.F.E Long, each playing a part in inspiring and influencing the recording process, ensuring the debut would sound as relentless as possible.

Bin Juice is the intro, setting the stage for the lyrical onslaught to come. Illinformed drops some murky bass, booming alongside classic boom-bap cymbal and snares, before Res One spits with “swagger like Mcgreggor” but “still lacking cheddar.” Mistafire follows like a loose lyrical cannon, firing multiple shots again and again before the rowdy duo finish sneering, “We let the madness begin / We living in the gutter like kings / Never beg forgiveness for the sins / We got that juice for your bins.” Simiah spins out with slick, rhythmic cuts to finish.

Track two is Dead The Soundsystem, leaving little pause for breathe, featuring a six man cypher: Dutch Mob, Kgaines, Slack Jaw, Lifelong & Mac Motion. There’s few things rarer in hip-hop than hearing a New York accent back-to-back with a Bristolian emcee, however the transatlantic connection doesn’t sound twisted in the slightest. Wordplay separates boys from men, Dutch Mob keep it as rugged and raw as their collaborators do. It’s incredible how much heat is contained within two and a half minutes. Don Piper surely played a major part in this, as he handled production throughout the track. The beat bangs like a Bronx-recorded cypher should. A badass hood anthem which demands a reload.

Dutch Mob come through with another illicit anthem on track three, Lift Music. Packing a loud BadHabitz production, Mistafire spits first with a “head spinning, jaw spinning like a rubix cube” whilst Res is “dabbing acid til I’m passive and the room shifts view.” If you hadn’t realised by now, the chorus confirms, “This ain’t lift music / it’s drug music / lift you up music / … straight from the heart, true music.” A bumping tune which was made for good times.

Boasting a homemade visual shot on a GoPro is track four, Clouded Thoughts, featuring Jman & Datkid over a gloomy, headbanging instrumental from Illinformed. Simiah spins the listener in with sharp cuts, before Jman commences with conscious wordplay and quickfire flows, rhyming with an edge of militarism. Mistafire follows, laying down rhymes which profess his supremacy. Simiah separates the verses with more neat cuts, before Res swings through with a smooth flow and mature wordplay, asserting his dominance over rival rappers with rhymes portraying his explicit perspectives. Datkid makes clear that he’s not to be messed with, then sprays clever metaphors to finish, “work will make a breh king / the same way a bird will make a breh sing / only a certain type of breh though, beware / even words can clip a brehs wings.” A tight UK collaboration which would be hectic to witness live.

Taking the edge off with a more heartfelt topic, track five Little Brother sees Res One address the youngers on his ones, instilling some sensibility as well as self-respect. Laying down lessons lifted from his own misdemeanours, without barking like a bulldog wanting attention, Res relates to those who went through similar upbringings, emphasized by the chorus, “I’m not your father or mother / but I’ve been through the same as you / I ain’t trying to patronize you / because we been through the same issues.”

Have you had enough of the political system? Are you ready for war? Then get prepared to ante up against the One Percent alongside Edo G, spitting over another bleak yet riveting beat by Illinformed. Res expresses anger for social situations, calling out the political peado rings escaping jail through payouts, and people left starving on the streets without Government aid. Edo G follows on the same political tact, however addresses issues closer to his home over the pond, such as immigration. Then Mistafire finishes, spitting with utter contempt for our nation’s dire financial inequality.

This leads into Remedy. Mistafire leads the intercontinental connect before L.I.F.E Long matches the verbal finesse, with his own unique, quick-fire flow that sounds too fresh on the crazy Badhabitz production banging hard in the background. King Raa comes through a more conscious approach, unafraid in the face of hate, keeping it cold as ice before Res finishes the cyper in trademark fashion.

Drawing towards the end, the spine-chilling beats and bars don’t cease. Rolls Canardly features another greazy, mouldy beat blessed by the infamous Illinformed. Mistafire displays his riveting storytelling and remarkable lyrical finesse on a solo steeze, believe me when I say that it is one of the hardest tracks on the record. Even if I could summarise the depth of the topics he approaches, really no more need be said. Do not sleep on Rolls Canardly.

The finale is hopefully recognisable by now, it’s the classic 1 Take track produced by Illinformed, which dropped September 2016. Booming bass bangs alongside rhythmic snares, raising the momentum for Dutch Mob to tear up the track one last time. If one track could encapsulate the vibe of the EP, it would be this one. A hard-hitting demonstration of their combined lyrical ability.

The Passport EP surpasses expectations with flair.

Words by Ethan Everton