Photo: Cosmo Webber
"I just want to make music that speaks into people's lives," says UK artist, rapper, and poet Jeshi in response to those who try and constrain his music into one singular genre or scene. And it's a mission he makes good on his sprawling, slack-jaw verses that see his native city of Walthamstow come to life, rife with grime, candor, and an ineffable wit. Hot off the heels of an impressive EP, 2020's Bad Taste, and a series of singles, Jeshi returns with the intoxicating "Hit By a Train."
"Hit By a Train" presents a cataclysmic vision of rap that is difficult not to get swept up in. Pulling from grime, garage, and modern-day hip-hop, Jeshi's flawless delivery carries with it an unshakable weight, giving each seemingly pedestrian observation a world-ending quality. Perhaps because that's the point. In a world that can seem unforgiving, ruled by unfettered capitalism and archaic, unfair systems of oppression, a series of minor annoyances is more than enough to make you feel like you're at your wit's end.
Speaking on the accompanying music video that was made in collaboration with Alexander McQueen's MCQ and directed by Duncan Loudon, Jeshi shared a delightfully tongue-in-cheek message, “Beloved journalists, here is my new video 'Hit By a Train'- I hurt my legs a lot filming this so I hope you like it. 'Hit By a Train' is how it feels when everything that could go wrong in a day does. All these little fuck ups feel overwhelming when they feel like they're never-ending."
Sod's Law (Murphy's Law for our American readers) of course refers to the British axiom that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. It's a notion that comes to life in "Hit By Train," a hard-hitting track that perfectly captures the emotional deluge that accompanies those moments in life where seemingly everything and everyone is working against you.
In some ways, it's ironic, because Jeshi seems to be doing everything right. The idiosyncratic artist is skirting simplistic classification with an infectious abandon, painting a picture of British rap that is in the midst of creation, shifting and undulating in response to the ever-changing perspective of the creator and audience.
Watch the "Hit By a Train" video below: