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Three Albums That Changed My Life: Coops

Upcoming UK rapper Coops is gearing up to drop his debut album God Complex on June 6. He’s got a really great sound – it’s low and controlled, with excellent lyrical wordplay, all of which is backed by smooth, melodic instrumentation. Take a listen to his recent single, Frankincense & Myrrh to get a better idea:

The album follows his 2014 EP Lost Soul, which put the North London rapper on the map. In the time since, his international fanbase has grown thanks to widespread media proper and coveted support slots for Nas and Big Daddy Kane among other things. Now, as he readies his new album, we wanted to get to know his influences a little better, so we asked Coops to share three albums that changed his life.

Bob Marley & the Wailers, Chant Down Babylon

This is a remix album by various hip-hop and rock artists covering songs by Bob Marley & The Wailers. It came out when I was like 9 years old, my mum used to play this in her car and as I was already a young Bob Marley fan, I used to love it. At the time I was unaware who many of the artists were but now when I look back at it I appreciate it even more. With banging remixed beats and greats like Erykah Badu, Rakim, Lauryn Hill, Busta Rhymes, Krayzie Bone and lots more this album was early inspiration for my musical journey.

Eminem, Infinite

This got released in 1996 but I didn’t discover it until 2014. I always knew Eminem was a master of his craft but Infinite, his debut studio album, captured me on another level. With his laid back but intricate rhyming patterns, crazy vocabulary and innovative content he made something that is in fact very difficult seem effortless. The whole album had one producer (Mr Porter) and flowed seamlessly. At the time I was making my tape Lost Soul with friend and producer Talos, the one-producer approach taken with Eminem’s Infinite reassured me that we were doing the right thing.

Nas, Illmatic

This album changed my life – not only because it’s one of the best hip-hop albums ever but also the story of its release. The album dropped in 1994 and although the music was in my opinion a instant classic, it didn’t go down that way with the listeners. Illmatic peaked at a disappointing No. 12 on the billboard top 100 and sunk like a stone from there. It in fact took two years for it to eventually go gold. So at a time when I felt my talent was being overlooked, discovering the story of Illmatic‘s sluggish release was a humbling and inspiring experience. I simply thought if people can sleep on what is now the legacy of Nas’ Illmatic, they can sleep on anything, so as long as I make my music to the best of my ability it will one day be discovered and appreciated.

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