The first time I heard this track, I had to take a moment to process what I'd just heard. Sonnyjim is a brown rapper from Birmingham with a nasal cadence, jabbing flow and undeniable track presence. On 'Barz Simpson' (and, as it turns out, most of his tracks) he delivers uncompromisingly punch line packed, image dense, triple stack burger type bars on tap. As if that weren't enough, 'Barz Simpson' serves as a legendary playground trading card session, with the suspenders and fedora wearing rhyme scheme sustained by none other than Jay Electronica and the late MF DOOM.
The production comes courtesy of The Purist, the UK's answer to The Alchemist who's crafted beats for the likes of Danny Brown, Westside Gunn, Freddie Gibbs and Action Bronson. Equal parts woozy and classy with its lazy drum and dancing flute, the looping beat perfectly reflects a couple bars Sonnyjim spits:
"Blud I dress for the occasion, the shrimps Cajun
The chefs Asian I pop a qualude and feel famous"
His verse is a reference packed country hopping escapade leaving behind a crumb trail of luxury indulgence and vice.
MF DOOM and Jay Electronica spit super on brand verses, two heavyweights in their comfort zone. DOOM's cryptic verse takes a number of listens to untangle, but is a condemnation of feeble, measly rappers. The line "Most precious things in life, you can't bring back" pokes through this as a poignant reminder that we are hearing DOOM from beyond the grave. Jay Electronica's typical prophetic wisdom shines through on his verse without compromising the insane word play (if we're doing winners, he gets my vote). His ability to seemlessly stretch and contract his bars whilst maintaining the calm and gravity of a shaman is, as always, uncanny:
"Travel every square inch with me as the rhyme grow exponentially"
"Abracadabra, once I flash I'm Audi"
Sonnyjim and The Purist, together 'White Girl Wasted', have a collab project coming out very soon. A single with two of the most enigmatic hip hop GOATs is one way to set the scene. Brace yourselves.