Album Review: Airklipz – Single Speed

In Hip Hop by Alasdair Kennedy

Album Review: Airklipz – Single Speed

There aren’t many rappers whose main lyrical content revolves around cycling and vaping, but London artist Airklipz pulls it off, largely because he’s got the musicianship and coolness to back it up. His brand new album Single Speed sticks to a single speed, which is down-tempo.

From the jazzy bass and boom bap of ‘High Roads’ to the warm chords and drowsy 808s of ‘Slow Motion’ each instrumental gives off a chilled vibe that’s perfectly complemented by Airklipz’ effortlessly smooth delivery. There are tracks such as ‘Moment of Clarity’ that seeing him upping the energy and throwing out some faster flows alongside guest Jimmy Screech, but even this track keeps its laid-back jazzy ‘smooth like butter’ feel.

Lyrically, the rapper meanwhile shows off some serious bars. At points he dips into deeper topics such as family and race, but these are only fleeting moments that don’t disrupt the record’s fun side. This allows the album to be enjoyed on two levels – those who find social consciousness preachy can listen to Single Speed as a fun and quirky album about vaping and cycling, whilst those who find that all too goofy and like depth can interpret it in other ways. The more open-minded listeners meanwhile can enjoy it for being fun and meaningful.

‘Is it all about cycling and vaping around Europe on Single Speed bicycle? Or is it about the great speeds one can attain by not attaching him or herself to another?’ Airkilpz asks the listener in the Bandcamp album notes. ‘It could be either, it could be both. I’ll let you decide’.