Sydney’s Davy Stokes aka Bigredcap has been rapping for over ten years, honing his craft over a bunch of mixtapes and a solo album. His rapping style is reminiscent of Dizzie Rascal, but his choice of beats range from electronic glitch and grime to straight gritty boom bap beats of the ’90s golden era of hip hop.

Stokes has also gone on tour with some impressive hip hop veterans, supporting Cypress Hill in Amsterdam and Common and Talib Kweli in Australia. This year he’s already released the Daywalker EP – a very contemporary bunch of songs, and he’s just dropped his second EP Strictly For My 90s Kids, taking the listeners back to the era of hip hop that kept the lyrics raw and honest and the beats and snares phat and hard-hitting. Strictly For My 90s Kids contains nine underground hip hop gems with quite a few guest appearances and a number of producers cooking up some fresh beats.

Intro sees Bigredcap calling Sydney his city: “You’re now entering the mind of a maniac / A large man with a red cap” with a beat that Ill Bill or La Coka Nostra would love to use. Can’t Be Friends is about a girl who only brings him trouble, in the chorus Stokes sings “Why can’t we be friends / She keeps asking and I tell her because you broke my heart and I don’t want to see your face no more.Pass The Chalice is a collaboration with MC Canibus and MC Rubberman, with a West Coast vibe throughout the entire track and would definitely appeal to fans of Dr Dre.

John Smith is a contemplative and sombre song about his void relationship with his father and features vocals from singer Zeadala. Movies is a clever pastiche of film references and shows Stokes’ skills on the mic, as well as Australian veteran MC Losty, who also uses his rhyming skills to great effect – the two make for a fine pairing. Move Back starts with a Common sample saying “mutherfucker move back!” whilst sampling classic ’90s hip hop songs such as Shook Ones by Mobb Deep, and the raps are a toast to the Mafioso rap of New York in the ’90s.

Faces Of Fire features MC ScarCrow and has a cool club beat working well with the ’90s theme on the album. Area has a darker street production and Bigredcap raps in double time, with the song featuring MC Yellow Wiva D and MC Aeonic. The bonus track on the EP is Hit The Deck, a grimy piece of music where Bigredcap raps about his therapist telling him to chill out and Stokes telling them to shut the fuck up and let him flow.

Strictly For My 90s Kids is an entertaining EP and takes the listener into a journey through a period of time when hip hop was breaking ground and changed music and culture forever. Bigredcap is certainly making a name himself in the Australian hip hop scene and uses his wittiness to tell stories that are personal but relatable. What makes this EP stand out is the quality production of the beats and the execution of the raps, with multiple guest appearances adding to the sonic palette. The listener is treated to an EP which engages you from the opening intro to the last bonus track. I look forward to hearing more from Bigredcap and if you’re not so familiar with his music this may well be the right EP to start with.

4/5

Bigredcap – Strictly For My 90s Kids EP

Released: 20 June, 2017 via Independent