Mixtape Review: 90Bro – Requiem 4 A SceNE

90Bro is indisputably the most prolific rap artist from the North East of England. Between releasing a number of mixtapes in the past couple of years, the New North East MC has been tapped for a range of features too. Heralded as ‘Mr Kill A Collab’ for the frequent renegading of his peers, 90Bro has always been able to showcase on collaborations a considerable skill with writing intricate rhyme schemes, futuristic flows and working on multi-tiers of entendres. ‘Requiem 4 A SceNE’ is the first solo project where 90Bro who prides himself as a ‘rap artist’ as opposed to a ‘rapper’ has showcased his rap ability on par with his creative artistry. 

The mixtape opens with ‘ULTRA-ViAL’ in which 90Bro unleashes a load of jabs towards class warfare aiming his sharp tongue lashing out at pharmaceutical companies, political figures and the benefit system. With a light jab at fellow New North East member Reali-T who works as a pharmacist, its clear from the start of the project that 90 is paying homage to the influence of his team. 

On ‘Midnight Blues’, the Sunderland spitter retorts “how much of my life can I fit in a tape” and I think its evident that throughout this tape this almost seems like a mission statement. Particularly in the middle third of the tape, with tracks such as ‘True North’ and ‘One Bird Two Stoned.’ Its in these cuts 90Bro bares his soul in full concerning his mental health, and in turn how the patience and support of his New North East cohorts has helped him through his struggles. 

Ending the tape, ‘Game Over’ with a feature from Reali-T, 90Bro showcases how much he has his finger on the pulse of his regional peers. With name drops aplenty, the Sunderland artist could be compared to The Game, should we expect a Complex list on 90Bro soon? It is important to note that whenever 90Bro drops names, they’re very rarely, if ever, disses. The artist prides himself on positivism and collaboration – although it would have been good to see some non-NNE features on ‘Requiem.’ 

As 90Bro works on his official demo, ‘Cyber Soul’, it will be interesting to see how not only ‘Requiem’ but ‘Mediocrazy’, ‘Mantra’ and other past mixtapes will influence the project. Will ‘Cyber Soul’ parallel how Kanye West’s past discographies mixed together to form ‘The Life of Pablo’ or will it be a seminal, paradigm shifting project 90Bro is undoubtedly capable of? Perhaps it’ll be both. 

Following ‘Requiem 4 A SceNE’, 90Bro has raised his position as a top-tier rap artist not only in the North East but throughout the UK. Showcasing spectacular versatility but most notably a control that makes this mixtape more accessible than we’ve heard from the New North East artist. 90Bro has finally found his form on solo projects that he’s exuded on collaborations for years and I can’t wait to hear him develop even further as he continues to be one of the most promising artists in the world. 


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