P Money is a household name in our scene. Though despite the fact he’s been around for over a decade and has featured on some of the biggest tracks, albums and mixtapes with some of the biggest artists, he has never dropped his own solo record. Until now.
Repping Lewisham, the South London rep has made a name for himself as one of the founding members of the OGz crew. Man has toured with the likes of Example and Wretch as well as opening for Tyga on the British leg of his tour.
Also please can we not forget his feature on “Pow 2011”, which pretty much included every modern dan legend you can think of.
The time has finally come, and eleven years after popping up on the scene, we have finally been graced with P Money’s debut solo album Live + Direct.
Read below GRM Daily’s initial thoughts upon our first listen, track by track.
Okay here we go. Starting off with soulful vocals over a piano. Deep. Oh man we’re onto the dad bars and I already want to cry. I’m a sucker for a life story in an intro, you know. This beat is hard too, as the lyrics have got darker the piano has evolved into steady marching bass and I didn’t even clock. And the soulful singing is back to finish the track, a bit jarring after an increasingly aggressive tone but it’s circular and hopefully sets the tone for the rest of the record.
Sick name on this track, I’m feeling the analogue vibes. This one dropped last month so it’s already had a few plays but I still can’t get over that Sonic the Hedgehog meets Duke Nukem intro, it just kills me. P Money talks about his intentions of asking Chip to contribute to this particular track but in my mind this vibe, speed and tone is more suited to Jme, but I don’t know maybe that’s just me.
“Welcome to England” (ft. Solo 45)
Alright our first feature and it’s from none other than BBK’s Solo 45. Definite old school American hip hop vibes on the beat and the bars for this one – that gospel sample is like something from Coolio. Even the “Welcome to England” hook sounds like bloody Biggie. Ooh, this breakdown is good – sounds like what should be playing in the slow motion ‘too drunk at a house party’ montage in a British hood movie.
“Keepin’ It Real” (ft. Stormzy)
Definitely flexing the features on this LP, and to be honest if you’re dropping your debut after so long in the game I would expect nothing less. Definitely nice that we’re only on track four and we’re already getting a nice mix of the old skool and the new gen. “I’ve been killing shows with no deal” is an absolute bar, and on the chorus as well! If I could do an Ali G style finger snap I would definitely be doing that right now.
“Mans Involved” (ft. Blacks, Little Dee, Jendor & Ruger)
I’m always wary when an album track has more than three MCs on it. It’s not a raw, spontaneous freestyle where you can roll in ten man strong, you know? I feel like on studio tracks it’s better to keep the numbers down. That being said let’s see how this one goes, as it is the OGz after all. The beat is grimey as f-ck, sounds like I should be listening to this on a bust up Samsung slide phone. The fact that the bass isn’t distorted from a broken speaker actually makes it sound too criss.
“Contagious” (ft. Rubylee)
Ooh, relationship beef! This is what I’m here for! I should have guessed seeing that Rubylee was the feature. “I’m definitely not your man” is a savage line to drop in a track. I’ve definitely heard this track on 1Xtra before. I’m getting very Ibiza circa 2002 vibes from Rubylee’s hook. In fact the beat might be a bit too dance-centric for my liking, though I’m sure this is one that will definitely pop in the clubs.
Oi I can’t lie yeah, that phone call got me. I was pausing the music reaching for my phone I legit did not clock that that was part of the skit.
“Don’t Holla At Me” (ft. Splurgeboys)
Ha, I love the “That’s Not Me” reference right at the beginning. For me this doesn’t really feel like a P Money track though. It’s quite trappy and that’s not the usual vibe and doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the album thus far. Also Splurgeboys take over the track so much that it gets to a point where it sounds like P Money is doing the feature.
Okay we’re straight back on course after a brief detour with the last track. This whole album has got a very old school, gritty and elicits 90’s Play Station One nights. This beat is stripped back and sounds like a Fruity Loops joint. It’s reminding me of something… Yeah, you got it, it’s Wiley’s “Eskimo” beat.
How no one has come up with that title before is actually beyond me. Ooh, this beat is sick and I can just see myself saying “L. O. N. Don” while bussing some gun fingers (I’m a loser, leave me alone) up in the club in a couple months time. Again, it’s another stripped back beat – none of this trappy, high hat sound that is creeping in to tracks more and more these days.
“Gunfingers” (ft. Jme & Wiley)
Yeah, boy! Again, this is another one that we’ve all heard before as it dropped recently, but sh-t dawg, this is my jam. It’s so obviously produced by Skepta, and somehow manages to sound even more like a video game than the rest of the album. When I mentioned that Jme should have featured on “Panasonic” I had actually forgotten all about this one so I’m currently feeling smug.
“Lyrics & Flows”
This will 1000% pop off in clubs, I can already feel the vibes this will bring to Visions et al. Hell, I’m skanking in the office right now. “Big boy lyric and flow” could not be more apt at this point, we’re three quarters through the album and this track feels like a ‘breaking the fourth wall’ moment with P Money telling his audience: “You waited this long, look what you got now.” Sick.
“Take Over” (ft. NY)
I always admire when an artist can spit powerful bars like the intro to this track without sounding aggressive. Don’t get me wrong, aggressive tracks are sick but they have their own place and powerful, non-aggressive lyrics are rare. Again, loving that “Shut Your Mouth” sample hidden about two thirds of the way in, Jme is getting a lot of love on this release.
BizaAhh, after a jolty, almost uncomfortable intro, P Money slips in with the first verse and – although the beat doesn’t change – everything suddenly seems to run smoother. And with those lyrics there is definitely a much calmer air, you can tell that this is one of the closing tracks to the album. Good to know that P Money still listens to N.A.S.T.Y Crew, Boy Better Know, Wiley and Dizzee amongst others. It’s nice to see OGs recognise OGs.
Very 2002, first wave grime vibes from the Sir Spyro-produced beat. I love that dirty bassline that makes your soul vibrate and your eyes shake. My skepticism that “The Credits” should have been the last track is starting to dissipate, even if this is just a bonus track. This song has got that raw, unadulterated truth to it. It’s like a year since it first dropped but boy, this one still hits hard.