On paper, there’s more exciting things than an idea album about being screwed over by a broken bureaucratic system. Notwithstanding, on the North London emcee Jeshi’s debut album Universal Credit (called after the UK’s wellbeing provider), he keeps the tape handy for the recipient so you can slog through the call centre lunches with him. The history is laid down and afterwards happens through. It’s a divine ascension to Mike Skinner’s soon-defunct production as The Streets and it helps as a buddy to slow Thai’s more moderen directed truth-telling, and it includes scenes within which Jeshi achieves the exciting altitude of all of these actors.
The album comes during The UK’s terrible cost-of-living disaster since The 1950s, and mere days after the Chancellor of the Exchequer became the first forefront lawmaker to truly be called in the Sunday Times Rich List. The exact timing of such performances may be ironic, but they also add an extra gravitas and foresight to Jeshi’s angry songs. A revisit avoids a “Generation no hope” on “Generations” arrives with even more chewy goodness!, and the shattering troubles of the beginning monologue hurt that much more.
Jeshi breaks out during an article on what the price of a hand-to-mouth life is, describe in depth what it feels like to get the gov to use your own deprivation as a reason to bash you with a slap. “Hit By A Train” snapshots the abject depressive lull that lives on the demeanor, and Jeshi explains a self-medication ceremony full of cheap cooking and poor narcotics. “Back here again, every weekend is the same, one loop and retrace” He blurts over the bouncing hits and strong whistles “Sick.” He writes repetitive singing and it controls the same images recurring repetitively — like the sun TV, and it takes up his days “National Lottery” — in a schedule and it repeatedly implodes in on itself.
All this might be a horrible sound to lower fingers, but Jeshi snapshots life’s slim happiness and its related humiliation. Tripping The music on “Kill Me Slowly!” musical a story of being madly ruined; “Another Cigarette” the feeling of an alcoholic head spin is effectively repeated, and the late-night hijinks of “3210” narrated by a smooth home remix. Nevertheless, tho, a little lighthearted might have helped here and there.
Britain has the right to be a country, over the generations, undertaken benefits criticalized as a kind of bleak national sport. Wellbeing plaintiffs have already been hit on TV reveals for Benefits Street; so-called freeloaders make an easy frown for punch-down tabloids. Jeshi’s profile, extra expertly informed, switches and it culture on its neck. On Universal Credit, he proposes melancholy stories and welcomes kindness, they earned it, as much as anything, to be listened to.