By Theo Barrett
Brighton has been producing incredible artists for decades, ranging from Nick Cave to Fatboy Slim, and it hasn’t stopped there. Right now, one of the most talented groups in hip-hop have emerged from Brighton, and are starting to be noticed in the UK at large.
The Four Owls are a composite group made up of rappers Leaf Dog, Fliptrix, BVA and Verb T. Each member had his own career prior to forming the collective, and now brings a unique flow to their tracks, all under the theme of their Owl personalities.
Their first album, Nature’s Greatest Mystery, produced by Leaf Dog, has a unique sound, with many tracks replicating jazz style rhythm mixed with heavy repetitive beats that will get you instantly hooked. This, coupled with the incredible lyrical proficiency of the Owls themselves, forms an unbeatable hip-hop album that will demand several spins on the record player (if you are smooth enough to have one).
They are signed, along with artists such as Rag’n’Bone Man, to one of the biggest record labels in the UK, High Focus Records.
Their second album, Natural Order, follows the themes of the first album but takes the sound to new heights, with incredible tracks such as ‘Assassination’ and ‘Silent Flight’, and shows exactly what it means to be a rap master. But instead of one, there’s four of them.
Listeners may find the voice of Leaf Dog slightly comical, as he is the most high-pitched outlying individual of the otherwise mellow deep voiced trio, but his strength on the mic and production, speaks for itself.
The release date for their third album has not been disclosed, but it is anticipated by many. For now, you can catch them in underground clubs around Brighton, still spitting on the mic to small but loyal crowds.
The Owls also feature on one of Brighton’s, and possibly the world’s, most phenomenal rappers, Ocean Wisdom’s album. The song ‘Real Smooth Ft. The Four Owls’, demonstrates the spitting ability of all five of the Brighton lads, and will finally put to rest the notion that being English means you can’t rap.
If rap was once dominated by Americans, the tide has now most definitely shifted. The bar has been raised by artists such as these, and America needs to step up it’s game, or risk being left in the shadow of the UK’s finest.