I have the impression that hip hop with a positive message is frowned on in this region of the blogosphere. I can’t easily point to any examples, so maybe that’s a straw man. Relentless positivity can be very dull, certainly, acting as a closing-off of possibilities, a righteous self-righteous blankness, a three-line whip on self-expression.

Anyway, this record has positivity. It has loads of it, slathered all over the lyric. Every cliché you can imagine: stay strong, stay focussed, you’ll get there in the end, be determined. And so on and on.

Still there’s something about this lyric. It might be a matter of excess, that there’s so much ‘we can make it if we try’ that a sense of underlying desperation is unavoidable. I guess I’m also not very used to hearing this kind of message in such an English way. This is a classic example of rapping in a totally English accent with English slang and speech patterns, something that UK hip hop is managing more often and with greater and greater confidence these days.

It does no harm that this is over a subtle and subtly brilliant Skitz beat, a little guitar figure and vocal motif over a simple bumping bassline. It probably helps that the Extremists manage to sound like genuine mates, from the ‘You in?’ / ‘I’m in’ in the first verse to their mutual reassurance and encouragement in the last. This is an enormously affecting record, maybe more so for the fact that the feeling seems to emerge from around the back of all that positivity.