Jambo Intervention CoverThe Irish rap scene can be quite laughable at times; however, beyond the nasal offerings of spotty Lil’ Wayne wannabes, you will find a gem or two, if you’re open-minded enough.

Donaghmede rapper Jambo’s début album ‘Intervention’  is comparable to the work of UK rapper Polarbear. It’s lyrics are built upon real life experiences and working class sentiments and are delivered by authentic, accent-heavy vocals and an underlying soulful sound. A number of collaborations with Dublin soul singer Willa Lee and unknown singers Emily Grace and Orla Keogh display how Jambo cleverly displays his anger at society within a commercial sound. While Ireland’s premier rapper Lethal Dialect also makes a notable guest appearance.

The Habitat and The Human Condition,  both with Lee, set the stage for this album. Jambo is an ‘ordinary’, working class man; he is the salt of the earth, and he has problems with his beloved Dublin and how it continues to treat the working class members of Suburbia. City Lights, featuring Grace, continues the trend, referring to the ominous night-time in the city as a metaphor for the difficulties the working class face. One thing that is unfathomable in this number is the inclusion of the “It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows” soliloquy from Rocky Balboa (2006). Of all the motivational speeches in all the films Jambo could have used, well, the mind boggles, truly.

Without a doubt Fallin’ Design is the highlight of the album. It sums up Jambo’s views on the class situation: “They design us to fall, so they divided us all.” Anyone who has had a less than privileged background will be able to relate to idea behind this song, and most tracks on the album.

What truly stands out about this album is that it is smarter and more socially intense than most commercial rap released in recent years. Even Eminem, who once mocked rappers that weren’t ‘real’, has succumbed to the “Tits and Ass” approach to the genre. If you have no tolerance for rap music, there is no doubt that you won’t enjoy this album. However if you are known to embrace all genres you’ll find this album to be enjoyable and bitterly relevant to the times in which we live.