A demonstration of his versatility...

For a brief moment, Abra Cadabra went missing in the music scene, after making such a huge entrance back in 2016. Whatever the reasons for the Tottenham rapper stepping away from the spotlight, his comeback has been something on everyone's radar. To top the year off, he’s been nominated for a MOBO and released the 14-track mixtape, 'Product Of My Environment'. Whilst his five track EP earlier in the year named 'LOL (Love Or Lust)' was more focused on R&B and “more for the ladies”, 'Product Of My Environment' shows Abra at his most versatile.

The mixtape is complete; a song for each mood and emotion. Though it’s the more intense and energy driven tracks that he’s known for which stand out as highlights. Tracks like the high octane ‘Spin This Coupe’ and 'Show Me’ don’t pause for a moment. Both toying with a range of flows over hard drill beats. For the latter, the chorus “show me, show me how you hold it down”, is ridiculously catchy.

Abra has a way of producing infectious hooks, they’re heard throughout the mixtape. On the menacing 'On Deck’, it’s full of playful lyrics and will have you saying “Jiggy jiggy on deck” throughout the day without realising. Furthermore, He oozes confidence on the infectious 'Flicky', a boisterous track with a chorus that sticks and verses with conviction, "Quarantine aint troublin me, I made quarter a million in it". 2020 hasn't been a bad year for everyone.

'A Product Of My Environment' is a mixtape where Abra is retrospectively looking at his past and surroundings. On the track opener ‘Trenches’, Abra reflects: “The streets have given to me and they’ve stolen from me”. On ‘Seen It All Before’ Featuring long-time collaborators Krept and Konan, Abra further deeps into his current mental state: “Taking life as it comes and been fighting my demons”. Overall, it’s growth you can hear from the artist, he’s taking his sound to the next level as it becomes more personal.

The closing track 'Everywhere I Go' is most personal to Abra, he tweeted "Felt the emotion differently while I was recording it, no cap in my rap". Abra tests his melodic flows further, as he sings through the pain of life on the road and friends who are friends locked up. Versatility is becoming his biggest strength, tracks like this are the reason why.

Even more so these days, there seems more pressure to stay relevant in the music industry. Abra went away for a while and lived life, through the thick and thin, and this is heard in the music. The hunger is there and Abra is back where he deserves to be. Like he said himself, Abra is “Back like I never left, I’m the talk of the town” and that’s certainly hard to disagree with.

8/10

Words: Joe Hale

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