“It’s AV!” Avelino is arguably the most talented wordsmith in the UK right now and this 5 track EP FYO is proof. If you disagree I’ll have to refer you to the name of the EP. Avelino has been around for a while but gained a huge increase in following after partnering up with Wretch 32 to deliver one of the best UK mixtapes last year in Young Fire, Old Flame and in the process lit fire to the booth in a legendary FITB with Wretch 32. Since then Avelino and Wretch have done a few live shows off the strength of the mixtape and Avelino has also made a few features and graced GRM Daily’s infamous Daily Duppy with his presence. However, as far as solo work goes, FYO is Avelino’s first extended release since his mixtape Iconic Ambitions dropped in 2014.

The EP consists of 5 tracks and has quite a dark aesthetic from beginning to end. The only feature comes from legendary garage duo DJ Luck and MC Neat. Production is completely on point and credit must go to Raf Riley who did an excellent job on this project. Avelino does not lack in punch lines and lyricism on this EP. As always it feels as every single word on this EP has been hand picked and swapping any word for a synonym would ruin a punchline. This is definitely a project that will take a while to decipher fully. In terms of delivery, whilst Avelino’s voice can be monotonous at times, it’s almost become distinctly monotonous allowing him to craft a unique sound separating him from other rappers.

This EP is a great listen and entertaining from beginning to end and has given me faith in Avelino to deliver a high quality LP should he choose to do so. FYO begins with rich soul, with soulful trumpets that are slightly distorted and electric. The trumpets then dropout and come back in a higher beat with the drum which adds momentum to the track. Avelino is almost flexing on this track with his braggadocios tone of voice and staccato flows. Following this track there’s a short and haunting interlude leading into my favourite song in terms of instrumental, ‘Welcome To The Future’ which sound ultra-modern. From the cool synths to Avelino’s tone of voice and pronunciation, the song has a futuristic vibe to fit the title. As always the word play and the flows are of a high standard.

The third track is the title track and in my opinion should have been first on the track list. The synth brass that the track starts with have a very introductory vibe, giving a certain level of comfort to the listeners, before they drop out to be replaced by a dirty 808 kick followed by Avelino saying “Fuck your opinion”. That would’ve been a cold intro, but I’m pretty sure Avelino doesn’t care about my opinion. This is definitely a highlight and provides one of the rare occasions where my favourite song on a project is the title track.

I hope this EP gets the recognition it deserves and Avelino realises his full potential, as with his ability and the climate of urban music in the UK, Avelino could do something legendary for the UK scene and I eagerly await an album from the MC. I believe he has the lyrical ability, artistic vision and flows to deliver a quality piece of work.

Joshua Ogunmokun

Josh is currently Listening to ‘Groovy Tony’ by Schoolboy Q 

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