Initially founded in 2010 by Fliptrix as a platform for a new generation of talented UK emcees and producers, High Focus Records has gone from strength to strength, consistently putting out high quality releases that are diverse in nature. Their roster is not to be sniffed at and consists of a cast of gifted wordsmiths with wide-ranging styles. From the macabre and imaginative multi-syllabic imagery of Edward Scissortongue, to the lyrical portraits of street life that are painted by Ramson Badbonez, there are emcees on the label that will appeal to hip hop heads from all walks of life. Jam Baxter, Dirty Dike, Leaf Dog, Verb T, BVA and Fliptrix himself have also contributed to the label’s impressive catalogue of releases.
2012 and 2013 were particularly strong years for High Focus and saw the label put out some of the most fascinating UK hip hop releases of the past few years. Jam Baxter’s lyrically visceral Gruesome Features, Fliptrix’s accomplished Third Eye Of The Storm and Edward Scissortongue’s morbid concept album Better Luck Next Life were the highlights of the label’s 2012 output and are albums that all fans of hip hop should own. The standout release of 2013 was undoubtedly Ramson Badbonez’s concept record A Year In The Life Of Oscar The Slouch. Badbonez provided a vivid narration concerning the eponymous Oscar The Slouch as he waded through life on the crime infested streets of inner city London.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. High Focus Records are set to have a fantastic 2014 with Verb T having dropped his instrumental project Verbs Without Words earlier this month and BVA will be releasing his debut solo LP Be Very Aware in mid February. 2014 will also see new material from Edward Scissortongue, who recently in an interview on Itch FM’s Chester and Remus Show and revealed that he will be dropping an EP in March and a joint project with Jam Baxter sometime later on this year. I for one look forward to those releases in particular and will be watching High Focus Records intently for any other releases that are announced this year.
You can stream some tracks from the aforementioned albums below and subscribe to High Focus’ YouTube channel.