Hip-hop has a tendency to be bombastic and slightly overblown. It’s understandable for music which has grown out of the aspirations of people with nothing and therefore nothing to lose, the hustle of the street put into poetry. But we are a long way on from that and maybe it is time to change, even if the content and message remains similar, the method of musical delivery can evolve.
And that is what you get with Lean Boy, and Wonderland is a new take on an old sound. It’s not ostentatious or showy, it tends towards self-examination, talking about the world as he sees it, the music is complex and knotty, and his skills as a rapper are technical and subtle. And that is what makes it and him stand apart from the pack. Largely he is working with the same basic musical tools and sounds as everyone else but somehow he has managed to build it into something confessional and matter of fact rather than feeling like it is all an act. Honesty is indeed the best policy.