You may have seen our review of Random P’s I Talk to Myself Too Often EP alongside Juvenile Techniques (here). As well as buttery flows and nice content, what was so strong about it was how closely the producers and Random seem to have worked alongside each other in order to create a well crafted piece of music that played almost like a mix, something that’s once again apparent in his debut album Butterfly Kid. A thirteen track offering, production comes from Random P himself alongside Shift K3y and they bring an original, Liquid Groove style to the hip hop tempo, as much flexing their mastering and recording muscles as their respective production and lyrical talents. Heavily processed vocals that waver in pitch to create the effect of different characters throughout the album take influence from techniques used trap and electronic music, but bring them to a much more laid back, soulful hip hop sound. This creates a solid vibe and very defined sound throughout the album, something enhanced by the repetition of Random P’s ‘Butterfly kid’ motif throughout which rather than becoming tiresome instead creates a strong concept and further shows lyrical influences outside of hip hop, coming across as much less rigid in it’s lyrical structure.
From the crackling pianos, atmospheric vocal snatches and low pass filter of One’s Introduction to the modern boom bap sound of the Monkey’s On My Back skit and the dark, heavy bass of Last Words, the production’s on point throughout. Vocal samples from the likes of Big L, Julie London’s Cry Me a River and even Brighton’s Frankie Stew are excellently chosen and woven throughout to bring a bit of diversity to the sound while the melody samples are those of a true crate digger and intertwine perfectly with the crisp drums and more futuristic synths. Like the EP before it, the productions given plenty of time to shine as Random P often steps back, either for one of the three skits, simply for moments where he allows tracks to breathe or where tracks progress and end with long instrumental sections. The dusty, junglist break of Best Friend is a prime example of this, later switching up into a d&b sound, fast cuts included and then into a more bass fueled piece of future funk that adds an extra touch of originality and ingenuity to it all.
Among laid black flows, Random’s lyricism is really strong as he spins tales of his past experiences on love, death and more as well as delving deep into his psyche with reflections on his attitude and mind state. Although falling slightly too deep into the trap of introspection, it’s saved by how honest, down to earth and easily relatable he comes across. The album’s namesake Butterfly Kid particularly stands out with some of the most swaggering bars, while the more abstract metaphors of Tears of a Clown and the contemplative Gentleman also see random excel.
It’s a really original sound that, while obviously firmly grounded in Hip Hop in terms of attitude and tempo, playfully toys with it’s sound as it takes in influences from more electronic productions. From the funk filled, RnB inspired groove and up beat pianos of The Greenhouse Effect to the strong kick of the spaced out Last Words and the echoing clicks of the mellow Day Dreaming, it treads a variety of soundscapes while retaining a recognizable style. Many in the UK have tried to blend the current bass music sound that’s taking over the clubbing scene with Hip Hop but, in terms of a full album release, this seems like one of the most well flowing and natural sounding offerings yet. Random’s vocal style and repeated mantras suit the futuristic sound to a tee and it never once sounds out of place, even under the dusty samples laid over the top. A fine example of experimentation and a desire to do something new truly paying off. Listen below and download it free over on Random P’s Bandcamp.