Review: Messiah J & The Expert – Now This I Have to Hear

(or: Why [Irish] hip hop sucks in ’06)

Questions that crossed my mind when listening to this album:

  1. What year do these guys think it is?
  2. What’s with the accent? Does he think he’s in House of Pain?
  3. Can this guy actually rap about anything except rapping?

Give me DisFunktional any day.


2 thoughts on “Review: Messiah J & The Expert – Now This I Have to Hear

  1. whitenoise says:

    to quote blog writer nialler9 “Messiah J and the Expert have raised the bar for Irish hip hop with the release of their new album Now This I Have to Hear. Displaying a great range of instrumentation with a live band feel, the album is full of acoustic guitars, perky samples and synths, accordions and a choir not to mention special guests C Rayz Walz (Def Jux), Leda Egri and underappreciated Dublin musician/singer Nina Hynes.

    I always find that many hip hop artists far removed from the streets of Brooklyn or LA cite old skool hip hop as their major influence and shun the majority of modern hip hop. Fine as long as you are using the that period of hip hop as inspiration for something new and not copying those styles verbatim. MJEX are doing things the right way around and are creating hip hop informed by other genres making the music much more appealing and modern.

    One of the major draws of the album is the refreshing, reflective nature of the lyrics free of clichés and touching on love, loss, regret and bad support acts. One of the most refreshing albums to come out of Ireland in a while. “

    or from

    “I’m not often bowled over by a new release, much less one that falls outside my prescribed diet of glam rock glam rock glam rock, but Now This I Have To Hear is quite possibly among the top three hip hop records in my collection. I’m always wary when critics or fans declare a piece of music or a musician to be remarkably innovative, so I won’t play up that aspect any more than I already have, but the ease and efficiency with which Messiah J and The Expert have brought these rarely reconciled influences together is nothing short of remarkable. Now, at the risk of sounding like one of those idiot journalists who insists upon ending each piece with a short but emphatic statement: miss not this you.”

  2. John Kelly says:

    Argh! My eyes are drowning in a sea of hyperbole!

    Seriously though, while “Now This I Have to Hear” didn’t sit well with me (nothing Messiah J does seems to sit well with me), I do think there’s a certain group of people who it would definitely appeal to. Well, a couple of groups of people. One would be the people for whom hip hop begins and ends with Run DMC’s “Walk this Way. People who think that this stuff is still ‘innovative’ (personally speaking, I found it trite and overcooked).

    I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide what the other groups would be.

    (ps – I’d love to see what sputnikmusic’s other two hip hop albums are)

Comments are closed.