Scotland isn’t exactly known for its thriving rap scene, but Young Fathers aren’t exactly a typical Scottish rap group. The band was formed back in 2008 by Alloysious Massaquoi, born in Liberia; Kayus Bankole, who spent part of his childhood in Nigeria; and ‘G’ Hastings, an Edinburgh native. Together they bring not just the perspective of those upbringings, but also a take on music informed by some seriously wide-ranging musical tastes. Before unveiling their debut LP (following two EPs) in February, the band put out a “Music To… Babylon” mix for iD magazine. The mix is a nice sampling of the influences that have formed the group’s dark and swirling style.
“Music To… Babylon” starts off with Can’s “Mushroom Head” before segueing into everything from deep blues, reggae, and afrobeat cuts. Hip-hop only comes into the mix sparingly, though the tracks that do make it in, Dizzee Rascal’s “Sittin Here” and Busta Rhymes’ “Watch Ya Mouth” show that the band favors the gruff side of the genre. Otherwise, there’s the sneering post-punk of The Fall’s “Totally Wired,” James Brown’s classic “Think,” and a couple more recent tracks, including the beautiful low-key electro-soul song “Don’t Wait” by Mapei. Check it all out below:
As different as some of these songs are, they come together remarkably well on the mix. Young Fathers are going to have something special on their hands if their new album has the same adventurous musical spirit.