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Giggs - Zero Tolerance (Album Review)

Monday, 18 September 2023 Written by Jack Terry

"I got the scene / where it needs to be / I got receipts," is a bold statemen, but coming from the opening track of Giggs's 'Zero Tolerance', it makes a lot of sense. The Peckham rapper has been at the forefront of the British scene, contributing to some of its defining moments, for almost 20 years now. He really has helped elevate the craft to the chart-topping success that it is today.

On his sixth studio album, he's called upon a swathe of global luminaries to help get his firepower across. Diddy, 21 Savage and Jadakiss are just some of the leading lights that feature, but they never steal the show. Only New Yorker Dave East threatens Giggs's spot on mid-album highlight Starlets. 

But, oddly for such a compelling ambassador for UK rap, ‘Zero Tolerance’ is the most American a Giggs album has ever sounded. Aside from the features, tracks are littered with west coast/G-Funk beats and choral vocals that sound like they've been plucked straight out of the late ‘90s New York rap scene. 

Unfortunately, the production is often found wanting. Beats are pedestrian and uninteresting, and levels are all over the place with vocals that are either too quiet or much too harsh. Despite Giggs’s armory of flows and rhyme schemes, ‘Zero Tolerance’ often sounds like the product of someone spending half an hour in GarageBand. 

But, throughout, there are flashes of the brilliance that has kept Giggs at the top for all these years. Whether it’s the painstaking detail in his narration or his ability to make inroads with the world’s biggest and brightest names, UK rap owes a lot to Giggs, and at this rate, it’ll have even more to thank him for in the years to come. Hopefully, the music will keep pace with the legend.


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