I can’t say that I have much, if any, affection left for hip-hop. Eminem was the likely the last man to have any credibility on the far side of the pond but, in the land that is forever France, an outpost of the last urban musical style has both survived and prospered whilst holding their ground behind the fortifications of Bordeaux are Smokey Joe & The Kid.
Four songs make up this EP and each and every one of them is populated with the kind of sampling that suggests invention rather than unimaginative larceny with Smokey Joe & The Kid, being naturally blessed with style and taste, drawing on all sorts of old time influences to inject the infectious “Have A Look Out” with no small amount of class. Of course, the genre practically requires a rapper and the esteemed Blake Worrell was duly dragged in to add words to the beats with his offbeat charm and natural theatricality bringing life to “Somehow” and “Jailhouse Blues”.
It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing and Smokey Joe & The Kid have undoubtedly got both swing and beats.