Following the prolific singles ‘My Block’, ‘Black Ones’ and ‘Dark Days’ to name a few, Che Lingo releases his highly-anticipated new album. ‘The Worst Generation’ is a phenomenal, polished and poised work of art, which positions the South London rapper in a category of his own, a result of his unparalleled work rate and dedication to his craft. Executive produced by Manon Dave and released on Idris Elba’s label 7Wallace, this new album takes listeners on a journey into the mind of a man who has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
‘My Block’, the first single to be released from ‘The Worst Generation’, set the benchmark high with its captivating visuals and sensitive subject matter. The track has been a major success, finding its way onto the soundtracks for FIFA 21 and NBA 2K21. Inspired by the story of Julian Cole, the track unearths the rage surrounding police brutality in the UK. Che’s lyricism often feels like a punch to the gut because it’s hard-hitting and direct. In the hook, the words “Black don’t mean illegal” echo the simple message that underpins the ongoing fight for racial justice, a theme that is continued in ‘Screwface’.
On opening cut ‘South’ and the latest video ‘Dark Days’, featuring Kojey Radical, Che turns inwards. He reflects on his experience of growing up as a young Black man, from life in ends when you refuse to be placed within fixed social categories, to the relationships with the women who raised and loved him.
Che Lingo’s transition from ‘The Risk Is Proof’ EP to ‘The Worst Generation’ has been beautiful to watch. There’s no doubt that his energy and passion remains the same, but the sonic experience delivered in this latest project has been a transformation. The vocals of Rachel Chinouriri slows things down on ‘Perfect Wounds’, where thoughts on death blend into ethereal tones. With the angelic harp on ‘Dark Days’ and unexpected electric guitar on ‘Hunch’, the rapper incorporates new sounds within his music to dynamic effect. From start to finish, Che breathes words of wisdom into his tracks, exposing the dangers that come with money and romance. His cadence knows no bounds and still his approach is measured, emphasising each syllable with purpose.
Announcing the album release on Instagram, Che spoke about how Black males are considered to be the “worst” of this or any generation and the effects of stigmatising young people in this way. The title of the 12-track album also references ‘The Worst Generation’ from the animé show ‘One Piece’, a notorious group of twelve individuals who are highly revered in the series. With these atypical influences added to features from Ghetts, Rachel Chinouriri and Samm Henshaw, the artistry that ties ‘The Worst Generation’ together distinguishes Che Lingo’s work from the mainstream. Perfectly capturing the rollercoaster of emotions, struggles and turmoil we have experienced in 2020, this album presents a stellar body of work from one of the most lyrically-gifted rappers in the scene. Stream below via SoundCloud.