Album Review: Coops - Lost Soul

With an appreciation for marijuana almost as great as his contempt for political authority, UK rapper, Coops, has positioned himself well to be the British Invasion’s next heavy hitter.

“Another dream gets sold, but that don’t mean it leads to the gold” he spits over the swelling ambience of “So Cold”, setting the stage for the “weed rapper with a conscience” persona with which he navigates the tape. Gang culture, abandonment, an unjust justice system--these topics are all fair game under Coops’ microscope. It is the uninhibited honesty with which he critiques the world around him that makes Lost Soul relatable to listeners in London or New York or Timbuktu.

Musically, Lost Soul delivers on the melancholy promise that its title implies. Despite the fervor of Coops’ lyrics his delivery feels more like matter-of-fact observance rather than attack mode. Combine that with the warm croon of Sophie Faith (“Make Things Right”, “So Cold”) and a simple smooth bass riff + boom bap beat formula and you’ve got a tape that is extremely easy to listen to. The momentum does lull a bit in the second half though, and left this listener hoping that Coops will take more risks production-wise in future tapes. Perhaps, try on some beats that match the energy and adamancy of his poetry.  

Nonetheless, Lost Soul gives international hip hop heads more than a few reasons to keep an eye on the British scene. Coops is joined by a band of UK spitters including P Freestyle, Twitch and Elz whose verse on “Odyssey” adds to one of the catchiest tracks of the project.

Lost Soul is a reflection of my generation, both musically and spiritually,” said Coops on what drove him to create the project. “I'm trying to bring back some of that soul that music had when I was growing up.” A tall order, but in the case of an MC whose latest feats include opening a sold out show for Nas, I have little doubt he’s up for the challenge. With a retro jazz essence and unabashed storytelling style, it won’t be long before we are hearing more buzz for this kid stateside.

Download Lost Soul via Band Camp

- Syron Townsend