London-based maverick music producer and rapper CHOZE makes his entry into the braggadocio world of grime with his latest addition to his discography — his debut first full-length album D.I.Y. For a debut hip-hop album to come with the staccato and vibration as D.I.Y is unimaginable and magnetic. CHOZE’s work is a collective of previously teased tracks on his discography that have made their way into the album, along with some freshly tuned numbers. With a captivating adhesive runtime of thirty minutes, the album comprises eleven neatly-lined tracks that stand out in their own right.
The album leads off with BADDERZ — which comes with its cinematic fade-in and 90s narration-style sampling. The track is held together by thoroughly lucrative instrumentation coupled with its in-your-face percussive elements, as CHOZE delivers his cyphers over the track in his customary audacious flow. WAKE UP, featuring CORPZ and Barrington Levy, opens up with its arena ambience laid over the MC’s messianic declarations, which makes the listener feel like they are experiencing CHOZE live in real-time. Aggressively delivered, the rapper’s lyricism and flow come out in this sense of urgency and belligerent protest that is rudimentary as it is greatly prepossessing.
BUILT 4 DIS is slightly more ominous, especially with its ambient colosseum undertones. Assisted with LIONART, the track features CHOZE in his most self-assertive and obtrusive, delivering a crucial warning message to others in the hip-hop scene about his presence. The features in the album are CHOZE’s assorted picks — each of them feel like the best people possible to represent a certain flow and attitude on the tracks; this realization is peaked in the track DRUG MUZIK featuring CHOZE and Skibadee. A lyrical masterpiece, the track is perhaps the most hyper-aggressive cypher in the entire album. The track is delivered in a frenzied trance of incessant lyricism that morphs with the magnetic hysteria of bars after bars of rhyme.
Acting as a sonic intermission from the album’s paroxysm is D.I.Y INTERLUDE — the titular namesake is the rapper’s commentary on the social system flowing over synth and strings waves. Immediately making its way from the introspective suspension of the intermission is D.I.Y. The album’s title track, deservedly so, is a cypher delivered over gung-ho raw percussive backbones and a melodic loop that draws the listener into the track. NOTHING TO LOSE opens up with an almost regal Iberian melodic moody tone, soon getting married to CHOZE’s characteristic impudent and gladiatorial lyricism — ‘Living in these streets / We got nothing to lose’ — relatable to most people who struggle to identify their place in the world once torn away from their roots.
I APOLOGIZE and LAST 1’s LEFT is constituted by introspective and relatable lyricism about the status quo, wondering about possible falls from grace and existentialist longing. SENDING THE SIGNS is almost a tribute to the foundational hip-hop arrangement through the divisions between verses with melodica. YOU are the album’s curtain track — a lyrical story with a subject who plays a heroic role in the rapper’s lifestyle — a homage paid to the maternal significance of the subject.