What Makes Lunar Tick?

When it was suggested I write  an article on the lunatic that is Jake Brook, the bragger with plenty of swagger from Leeds, Bradford I was apprehensive to say the least. Why is he obsessed with dragging his balls across women’s faces and raping his opponents other halves was what my inner voice was demanding to know and after hearing the lyrics without judgement the answer hit me like one of Lunar C’s (metal) bars – to challenge convention, to bend and break the restrictions of a society hell-bent on order and control he also seems to enjoy a splash through the mud and slime in the playground of his vile but vivid imagination (Something I can most definitely identify with) which often results in the foulness lurking there being hurled at us full force.

Lunar C’s devilish delivery first came to prominence with the MC clashes “Don’t Flop” a battle ground for Lunar to body his opponents one by one as though he were knocking down toy soldiers. Most noticeable of these clashes were his epic rounds with worthy opponent Oshea which saw Lunar destroy him with crushing bars such as “I’m religious with this shit so I can’t allow a wack bar/allahu akbar.” Lunar’s wit, relentless flow and double entendre must have had any contender faced with his fury feel like they’d belly flopped into the ring and bounced back out again.

His unbeatable wins (7) at the “Don’t Flop” clashes caught the attention of the man with the golden touch in all things grimey Jamal Edwards who featured him on his urban music channel SBTV after recognising Lunar’s lyrical skills. When watching Lunar C’s Warm up Sessions in particular one where he’s kitted out in a Jimmy Saville top it occurred to me that any fucks given must have floated away into the atmosphere the very day he was born never to return; he has a fury hunger and cockiness of a reprobate ready for the success that is rightfully his and if he insults you on the way to the top then it’s your fault for standing in his way. He snarls and hunts down every metaphor like a lion preying on his next meal. His earlier sessions are on a par with a young LL cool J when he started out – Cocky, focused and ready to pounce on anyone who dares to threaten him.

When watching Lunar C’s Westwood crib sessions which was filmed a few years after his SBTV warm up session his growth as an MC is clear to hear, he’s still self-assured and unapologetic “I need someone to take an e with and a gram of white with; not really I just said that cos ewith is an anagram of white”(rewind moment for sure!) it’s evidence that Lunar has become even more technical and intellectual with his wordplay and slices through tongue twisters unravelling them like a samurai master. His flow remains furious but its bye-bye to the brat and hello to a mature menace on the mic.

It’s not surprising that Lunar C has collaborated with some of best in the game such as Dot Rotten on “Obstacles”, JME and also the memorable Labrinth produced ‘Upcomers Anthem’ also featuring Mr. Faizer, Maxsta, Yungen and Marger. It’s not only in the UK Lunar C has been creating craters like a one man angry asteroid with a predetermined target, he was also enlisted by Australian rapper 360 for his 2014 tour ‘Utopia’ alongside another controversial rapper Hopsin it’s no wonder then that Lunar C and Hopsin had something of a bromance and bonded over sculpting sand lesbians on a beach in Australia! Check the sexy sand lesbians somewhere in cyber space on Hopsins Instagram.

For an MC who makes it seem as though Eminem has been on a country retreat singing to plants and skipping through the meadow throughout his last 8 albums it’s understandable why Lunar C’s 2015 free mixtape “Breakdown and rebuild” was a welcome gift to the fans. The self-confessed man of a million styles brings it all to the table and then smashes it to pieces – On “1000 bitches” with its earthquake bass and caveman chant we come to realise that although Jay-z had 99 problems and a bitch wasn’t one, Lunar C has a 1000 bitches and they are not a problem for him or Dream McClean but rather a welcome pleasure or an annoyance to be easily swatted away depending on his mood. Lunar C scales it right back on the following track “No pain / Evolve and adapt” showing he is more than capable of putting down his jester hat and gets reflective through the purple haze about his upbringing “I been around the block and got my trainers muddy, all them other kids used to say I’m scruffy” but the most interesting thing about this track is when the production switches to a middle eastern bhangra tinged instrumental. One of the standout tracks on the mix tape “Cool as fuck” opens with a sample of Arnie yes THE Arnie declaring only pain hurts him; Lunar C flows lazily over the track as if to remind us that he is so cool rhyming is effortless to him, the track is peppered with soundbites from Arnie paying homage to someone Lunar obviously admires. The production wouldn’t go amiss on a montage scene from an 80’s film such as “Rocky” or “Conan the barbarian” and we get treated to the killer line “The plot thickens, I stroke the pussy like a bond villain”

A few tracks later we get smoked out by the epic “Shnaffleberry” with its distorted b-line which brings back memories of Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop” it hits you in the chest much like the L Lunar raps about inhaling. The instrumental cleverly contrasts the euphoria, madness and freedom felt when you decide to get off your face with your mates after the slog of a hard week. It’s Lunar C at his hyperactive and boastful best. “Hang” is a dark and menacing journey into Lunar’s sexcapades as he unashamedly makes us aware of his sexual prowess “I spend my time fucking I’m not into night clubbing” Lunar has brazen balls and he’s not afraid to show it or should that be them! “Shag my sister” my favourite on the mixtape because it’s twisted and hilarious in equal measure uses a satirical instrumental, it’s back drop not dissimilar to the cheesiness of an R Kelly baby making track this only serves to make Lunar C’s insistence that his sister is a ‘Big fat slag’ all the more hilarious as he drags out his nouns as if to highlight the comedy of it all while a voice whispers in comic seduction “Slag slag slag” over and over again. The whole thing is like an audio Little Britain sketch starring Vicky Pollard.

The title track “Breakdown rebuild” sees us return to the house of horrors we visited in “hang” we feel like we’re tip toeing around a house full of shotguns and if you listen closely you can hear the jangle of chains (perhaps of torture) dangling as though they are calling out for you to be their next victim. Here Lunar C is robbing banks, gouging out eyes, telling his neighbours little boy he’s adopted and just basically causing carnage because he feels like it. Lunar C expertly weaves a tale of horror and pushes his vast imagination to the extreme, he enjoys the fact that he can get women to fall to their knees but he’s also frustrated that they drop to their knees so easily at the mere hint of fame and fortune by association. The sampling feels nostalgic and harks back to the bare bones of hip hop. Lunar laces it with the bar “You rap backwards, that’s a par, write it down bitch for me that’s an average bar” “New beginnings” comes with a retro tango or country and western riff with Lunar marvelling at how fast time has passed in a double time flow. The switch up on the track introduces dramatic violins and feels like a feature-length film and Lunar again admits he’s a cold person. “Die Old” and “Strictly Indo” are supported by instrumentals which sound like they grew from the ground from a soil of organic sounds rather than the synthesised bleeps and beats created on a computer that you often find on most commercial hip hop. Here we have a welcome back to grass-roots hip hop instrumental where Lunar mercilessly taunts and mocks his haters and the people he can’t bring himself to respect “Fashion victims, do extensive research to try find their brand belts and expensive t-shirts, what type of mad weather makes you need a vest made of black leather, fake gashes in your jeans like your ancestors were transgender”

It’s on the latter half of the mix tape against the backdrop of sparse yet soulful samples reminiscent of RZA’s Wu tang Clan production; Lunar C’s honesty intelligence and wordplay comes to the forefront, his flow is slower and his enunciation is sharp as Lunar C wants you to dwell on the pearls of wisdom he’s imparting to you. In particular “New World” shocked me more than the fact Lunar rapped about dry humping a blind woman or popping an oestrogen tablet when he became bored with naked wrestling with the wotsit crumb woman; “New World” is a candid view of the world from the lens of a ‘lunatic’ (as the mix tape draws to its close that sneaking suspicion you had all along suddenly stings you and you realise it’s the rest of the world that is living in lunacy and Jake is the sane one after all…ok that’s reaching but he’s not as demented as first suspected ) his honesty when rapping about the self-absorbed celebrity driven society we live in impacts like a wrecking ball shattering the skull into splinters with razor-sharp jagged edged truths that pierce the brain and stay there. Yep Lunar C succeeded in launching a weapon of arsenals to assault our consciousness with his eclectic mix of off the wall anthems, tongue twisting word play and stark truths which flood the craters of our mind with wisdom and of course a sprinkling of Shnaffleberries for good measure.

Cammy Thomas