I've recently noticed that whenever I have used any kind of comparison of 1 artist to another, I always apolgise before doing so. But having thought about it why should I have to. Its not my fault that the source of said comparisons are so god at what they do, that I turned to them in the 1st place. Upon hearing illustrate's flow & finding out that he is white the obvious comparison will be made regardless of the fact a cockney accent is present here. Whether it be a help or a hindrance, it doesn't change the fact that's this is one seriously talented MC. Fortunately, Ills only lyrical misstep comes in the 1st 15 seconds of the very 1st track. The hook from My Hat is not good enough for someone of his ability. From then on its uphill all the way as everyday tales of life in london are intricately weaved into a fondness for a fitted cap. Social conciousness is at the forefront of this album, with UK strife, getting through a stressful day & the powers that be all covered & then some. The album sound is also very well constructed. Varied without alienating the listener, cohesive without becoming monotonous. 90's reminiscent Boom Bap drums are joined by guitars on a frequent basis, which on UK shores makes for a fresh & seldom used approach. One necessary facet of a great MC as oppose to a good one, is being able to tell a story. With tracks like Work, Broke & Relax, an ability to construct great songs from everyday scenarios is abundant. UK Hip Hop has always been the afterthought of the UK mainstream & It always irks me that people still make music judgements based on the colour of someones skin with Hip Hop being where its most prevelant (Racism does go both ways). But as technically sound as Jehst & Braintax are, Illustrate has what it takes to bring both of these issues to the radio friendly forefront. Eminem did it for the US (with mixed results) but whether Ill is given the tools to do so over here remains to be seen.