Adam Rooney, better known by his stage name Shotty Horroh, is a British rapper, singer, songwriter and actor. In 2017, Shotty Horroh signed a four album record deal with Sony Music and released his major label debut album titled Salt of the Earth. He is most known as a battle rapper with over close to 25 million views on YouTube, caught the attention of other artists, including Canadian electronic music producer deadmau5. deadmau5 and Shotty Horroh have collaborated on multiple songs; including "Are You Not Afraid" and "Okay", and most recently "Legendary".
Since this is my first album review of a non-hip hop album, I won't use the same format as before.
I was introduced to battle rap by Pat Stay, one of the biggest rap battle stars in the world. I grew up in the same neighbourhood as Pat and was friends with his older brother Peter. Around 2009 I helped Pat make his first highlight video for Youtube and have been a fan ever since. Watching Pat's career take off I came across 2 or 3 other battle rappers that I really liked, Shotty Horroh was one of them. He rhymes fast, has amazing bars and schemes and has total crowd control. His battle his Arsonal is the most viewed battle with over 12 Million views on Youtube. So many battle rappers try to hold the 'tough guy' image but very few of them are what they pretend to be. Not with Shotty. He knows he is a better rapper than his opponent so he has a natural cocky, confident vibe which the crowd loves.
When I caught wind of his album dropping, me and most other people assumed it would be hip hop or rap related. Well, if you were like me, you were dead wrong. Salt of the Earth is an album with a upbeat British rock n' roll/punk/alternative feel to it. Think Oasis and the Clash. I don't know if its my UK family genes or not but when I listen to this I feel like buying a case of beer and drinking it all in an afternoon. If that came across as a negative, its not, crushing a case of beer in an afternoon with a great soundtrack is in my list of favourite things in life!
In the age of streaming music, most musicians just pump out singles and don't construct an album where the songs fit into each other as you play it. Its evident that Salt of the Earth's track list was thought about when producing it. It starts of with Dynamite, which punches you right away and sets you up for what is in store for the entire album.The next 2 tracks, Frank & Stein and Shudehill bleed perfectly into each other and are among my favourite of the 10 tracks.
I don't listen to a lot of music in this genre but the artists I know of do not have the writing skills of Shotty Horroh. This project is laced with lyrics that he clearly brings over from the rap battle days. He has the ability to paint a picture while still keeping his fast pace and rhyme scheme. A rarity in the rock/punk scene.
Though is he making a huge leap from rap to rock, the old Shotty can still be found sprinkled across a few tracks where it sounds very close to him spitting bars over a hip hop beat. Absence of Heart, Danger and Stay for the Ride are tracks that give me a slight rap feel with his pace and rhyme schemes.
Reasons to Pump: I like this album. I like this album a lot. Its not a genre I have any confidence in knowing what is good or not but I know what I like to listen to. The sound quality is great and its a fun album to press play and drink to. Salt of the Earth is a well thought out project that should be enjoyed by anyone that likes non mainstream music. I get a slight 'fuck the system' vibe from Shotty that I really enjoy. Anti-Establishment, non generic music is always welcome in my home!
Reasons to Pass: Shotty isn't the best singer out there, so that might turn away a few listeners. Most of the tracks are very short, I would like another verse on some tracks that I really enjoy.