Following on from the release and video for single “Stop Talk” MC CapoLee and producer Sir Spyro have finally dropped the full “Stop Talk EP”. With CapoLee known for underground grime hits like “Mud” and “Liff” and Spyro being the current go-to-producer for heavy bangers (Stormzys’ “Big For Your Boots” and P Moneys’ “10/10” both owe their production to him) this was set to be an enticing listen for fans. An EP like this deserves a track-by-track review so here are my thoughts on each of them.
A subtle opening to the EP and as the name suggests it’s the bars that take centre stage here. Delivered entirely in one verse, Capo’s flow is freestyle-esque and he delivers most of the lyrics off-time with the beat, this comes off perfectly. The beat itself is sparse, with minimal drums, a simple guitar riff and choral vocals (the same used in the 10/10 beat) making up most of the instrumental. The lyrical delivery is quick with punchlines being linked together while the beat sits perfectly in the background; allowing Capo to deliver his complex wordplay at his own pace: “I just wanna have fun, I don’t care ’bout the money/Just add the cost/Too many years in the game where I trapped it off/A lot of bars but your facts are off/Tell a man watch your mouth cause I’ll bax it off/Money off shows but they tax it off/Tax it off, it’s a whole new legacy”.
If the opening track was Capo displaying his lyrical ability on the next track “Tekkers” he shows off his impressive flow (once again another track that matches its title). The beat is packed full of heavy reverb, rapid hi-hats, a massive distorted clap/snare and a heavy bass line. In short this is a heavy grime-banger of the sort that Sir Spyro is known for and Capo makes excellent use of the beat here. The MC’s flow is aggressive and high-energy to match the heavy instrumental. Like i’ve already mentioned, this track definitely matches its title with Capo making silky wordplay seem effortless – “Word, fly through the ends but you ain’t been back/You can get burst for an eighteen pack/Survive in a world where they’re hating blacks/Nuttin’ ain’t right, see the blatant cracks/Metaphor in a bar, that’s amazing tracks/Live in a world that’s about who you know/So you ain’t gotta come with amazing tracks/Keeping it real, man are rating Caps”. Both the MC and producer are showing off on this track and the result is devastating.
The eponymous lead single off this EP is my favourite track on the album by far. Starting with the beat, there’s so much going on classic phones keys used for the melody, punchy drums, choral vocals in the background. It’s the the electronic-brass riff used for the chorus that sticks in the mind immediately though; It turns the track from a grime banger to a festival ready anthem, brightening up the entire song. As for the chorus itself, it’s infectious and ridiculously catchy – “Can’t chat to a champ or let alone look in my eyes/Tell a man stop talk/All this talk about money and clothes but a man can’t flow/Tell a man stop talk/How is Capo murking? I do mash work and you don’t/Tell a man stop talk/Tell a man stop talk, come like everyting”. I can just imagine this track being performed on massive stages over the summer with the crowd screaming “Stop Talk” back at the stage.
The instrumental here is packed full of fx noises (you know, the kind you used to mess around with on the keyboards in music lessons) and this makes for an interesting and certainly unique beat. If I’m going to be honest I really wasn’t feeling this track; the constant fx stabs didn’t do it for me and got repetitive really quickly. Vocals wise I didn’t think there was anything particularly special going on here either, personally I found them quite standard compared to the different lyrics and flows used elsewhere on the EP. Overall the quirky beat and the relatively plain vocals made this the only let-down on the EP for me.
Shatter Ft. Faze Miyake
On “Shatter” we get the only feature on the EP and it’s producer Faze Miyake. This track is a mashup of two styles in my opinion with the Faze Miyake influence seen heavily on the grimey beat and a more trap/drill inflected UK rap vocal performance. The beat is pure underground grime, with frequent bleeps, sirens and a sinister dark sub-bassline. The verses are choppy with one liners and adlibs making up the most of the vocals, it’s not particularly inventive lyrically but that’ not the point really on a track like this – “Running through the ends with a pack (fuck feds)/No Ls on the line, make it back (make it back)/Tell a boy don’t play with my money (bap, bap, bap)/Or I’m dancing on your face like I’m Faze (in the shubs)”. If “Stop Talk” is a festival-ready track then this song was built for underground raves.
“Reflection” is a conscious rap song, it has the best lyrics on the EP in my opinion and is my second favourite track on the EP overall. The track is the polar opposite to previous track “Shatter” . The claustrophobic, bass heavy beat on the previous track makes way for airy, expansive, whispering synths on “Reflection” which are joined by sparse drums and little else. The lyrical content of this song is serious, with Capo referencing struggles he’s had in the past and the way in which this has affected him – “Don’t wanna reach, you got too much pride/When there’s no one around but you’re feeling alone/Sometimes, you’ve gotta just say how you feel/To the right person, it’s like more than gold/I’ve had low ones myself/Too much stress ain’t good for your health/Kinda felt like I came back from the dead/Cuh all I saw was red on bare things I read/Now I feel like I came back for the throne/Walk in the game like “honey, I’m home”. It’s an excellent track but does seem slightly out of place here due to its contrast with the rest of the tracks on this project.
Overall I love the versatility of both the MC and producer on this EP, it feels like an exhibition of the different types of track both artists can create and what happens when you push creative boundaries. It feels at times like the two artists are competing with each other for the listeners attention, but this works well in my opinion and the resulting music is absolutely sick.