Album Review: Pa Salieu - Send Them to Coventry

Syd Lawther gives his thoughts on the debut mixtape from UK rap artist Pa Salieu.

Syd Lawther
20th November 2020

A listen through Send Them to Coventry will show you that Pa practises exactly what he preaches. With fifteen tracks in total, it’s obvious that he’s starting as he means to go on. 

The opening tune, ‘Block Boy’, provides a clear message in the first couple bars to let the listener know exactly what they’ve let themselves in for. "Look, my name is Pa and I’m from Hillset/Bust gun, dodge slugs, got touched, skipped death/Fuck gyal, get money and I don’t take threat". In case there was any confusion before you pressed play, the block boy himself hasn’t come to mess around. This message is the first glimpse the listener is given of the authenticity that Pa Salieu brings with him both inside and outside of the booth, an authenticity that only becomes more prevalent the further into the tape you get.

What’s particularly impressive about this project is the range of genres that are present within it. Elements of grime, afroswing, drill, dancehall and even trap are all blended together to produce something truly special. Combine these beats with Pa’s knack for storytelling and his unique vocal approach, and you’ve got yourself some instant classics. 

elements of grime, afroswing, drill, dancehall and even trap are all blended together to produce something truly special

Whether you want something a little darker, as seen with tunes like 'Over There' and 'Informa', the latter providing a lyrical lesson on the realities of C-O-V, or "City of Violence" as he refers to it with fellow midlands veteran M1llionz stepping in to provide support. Or if you want more vocal heavy wifey riddims to dance to in the shower, feel good selections like 'More Paper' and 'Energy' – featuring Eight9FLY and Mahalia respectively - have got you covered. 

Pa Salieu has really delivered the goods with this mixtape. Considering it's his first collective body of work, the style in which he presents it is something that deserves credit. The standard has been set and I’m only expecting it to get higher as he masters his craft and grows as an artist. If those comparing Pa to J Hus still weren’t convinced by his abilities, this project is a huge flex on anyone who might doubt him. He’s not biting anyone’s sound, he’s in his own lane.

(4/5)

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