Music

Music Review: J Hus, Common Sense – Grime's next big thing

With his variously hard-hitting and pop-savvy debut album Common Sense, Stormzy collaborator J Hus is a star on the rise.

Following Stormzy’s success earlier this year in taking the first “pure” grime album to number one, one of his collaborators on the chart-topping Gang Signs & Prayer, J Hus, makes his own mark on the mainstream with his debut album Common Sense. It’s questionable just how much common sense there is in a guy who was once stabbed five times in a gang fight then proceeded to brag about it on social media from his hospital bed – but such is the world from which this young Stratford rapper of Gambian descent draws his morally amorphous form of street wisdom.

The fatalistic-feeling Clartin’ goes hard, with its machine gun samples and guttural rhymes to the tune of “on a one way to an early grave, recline my seat back anyway”. But it feels like mandatory posturing in amongst more danceable and pop-savvy numbers such as Common Sense, Did You See and Good Time, which soften the edges of the album variously with elements of Afrobeat, dancehall, funk and soul. Like Stormzy and Skepta before him, J Hus seems to understand the growing force of grime’s potential for elevation from the street above all things.

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