Following a spectacular flowering a decade ago lead by Scribe and Dawn Raid, the Aotearoa Hip Hop Summits and Breakin Wreckwordz, Major Flavours and Big Things – after the relief that our hip hop had finally arrived en masse, there was a strange sense that there was nothing else to achieve.
The remorseless competition that has been the foundation stone which made American rap so ceaselessly entertaining was absent here. Stateside, it isn’t enough to be the best, or to make a worthwhile case for it. You must prove it over and over again. Here? Our guys kinda rolled along, a supportive, rather than competitive, community. And that sense of quantum leaping, of being dazzled every few weeks – that incredible feeling was absent, and that absence was keenly felt.
Well it’s back. Even allowing for the not inconsiderable achievements of The Weekend, Bazooka Kid and Something Awesome last year, Young Sid’s What Doesn’t Kill Me… is a dazzling, extremely provocative set of songs that sets an imposing bar for any who might be thinking of making a claim on The Best. Now it’s Sid on any front you care to name.