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J Hus - Beautiful And Brutal Yard (Album Review)

Monday, 24 July 2023 Written by Jack Terry

Photo: Elliot Hensford

In the wake of 2020’s ‘Big Conspiracy’, a critical hit and his first UK number one album, J Hus has established himself as one of London’s foremost voices when it comes to bringing the gritty underground to the masses in colourful and inventive ways.


When he dropped Who Told You as a single earlier in the summer, it seemed that the ensuing 'Beautiful And Brutal Yard' would push the Stratford rapper even further towards superstardom. A pulsating dancehall anthem featuring an earworm hook and an appearance by Drake, it was one of J Hus's most chart-friendly tracks to date. 

The album as a whole, though, can’t follow through on that early promise. This is a record of extremes: when it works it really works, when it doesn’t it verges on laughable.

In the plus column, the R&B vibes of My Baby and introspective closer Playing Chess reveal a man who knows how to shift a unit or two. But 'Beautiful And Brutal Yard' really sings when Hus zeroes in on his drill sensibilities. Tracks such as Come Look or the CB-featuring Cream are urgent, while It's Crazy stands to be one of the genre's best tracks of the year. 

Hus's ability to switch flows and cadence is enthralling and when paired with vivid storytelling of this calibre, listeners are put in the thick of the action, reminding us why he is such an exciting talent.

But before long, 'Beautiful And Brutal Yard' falls into repeated patterns of tired ideas and woeful lyrics. Across an hour, the insistence on sexual imagery wears thin. Alien Girl features some heinous wordplay about Uranus (yes, really) and Fresh Water/Safa Kara includes truly ridiculous lines about how a girl might hurt his feelings. 

Even when Hus tries to show growth on Nice Body, the display of sensitivity is pedestrian, with the central hook of "I like you for your mind and not your nice body" feeling particularly amateurish. The adventurous spirit is appreciated but the inconsistencies and missteps make this a frustrating mixed bag from one of British rap's brightest stars.

J Hus Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat October 28 2023 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Mon October 30 2023 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Wed November 01 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Thu November 02 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena
Sun November 05 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Mon November 06 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena

Compare & Buy J Hus Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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