Empress ‘The Raw, The Rugged’ track review by Robert Blair
Fresh from her appearance in the most recent print edition of Mill Magazine, Empress is back and asserting her dominance over Scottish hip-hop once more with The Raw, The Rugged.
Ever since the release of her phenomenal, Steg-G produced debut album Love Wins last year, the Paisley-based MC has been unyielding in her quest to show that when it comes to lyrical prowess in its purest form, she’s in the upper echelons that the nation has to offer.
With the beats overseen on this occasion by Perth’s Macapella, Empress tests her mettle against a propulsive boom-bap indebted offering that DJ Premier or Large Professor would joyfully co-sign. Laden with grittiness but leading with a message of peace over the passive-aggression that is commonplace in hip-hop, Empress’ mesmeric bar work keeps you right there with her through each syllable and rhyme scheme.
Complete with reflections on the vacuousness and profiteering that’s rife in hip-hop today as well as insights into her own unique mindframe, the end product is a track that pays homage to the genre’s heritage but is innately her.
Alongside shots of her in the vicinity of Glasgow’s newly realised mural to the late MF DOOM, the accompanying visuals also see Empress holding court in none other than Paisley’s famed Barshaw Park among a litany of other locations.
Check out the track and video below now.