What with all the Adidas campaigns, gold-selling albums and sell-out shows; you may be forgiven for thinking that Wretch 32 had long packed up his suitcase and headed off to a tropical climate somewhere unpronounceable by now. Luckily for us, this isn’t the case…
Wretch has long been known for his honesty – that being said – you’d think that now he’s finally began to experience some of the financial success and industry recognition he deserves, that his new mixtape, Wretchercise, would be oozing with extravagant Rick Ross-esque claims of opulent living and possibly even some chatter of marble floors and such. But no, the hunger in his voice remains as desperately apparent as when he was first struggling as an up-and-comer on his debut effort, Learn From My Mixtape, back in ’06.
“Rather invent a bus, than drive a Maybach// You’ll be crying to insure it, I’ll be laughing to the bank.”
It’s not the beats, or necessarily even the many blinding features which crop up throughout this project (and trust us, there’s a lot), it’s merely the way in which Wretch attacks every beat with such undiluted soul. On track 11, I’m The Best, he utters; “[I would] rather invent a bus, than drive a Maybach// You’ll be crying to insure it, I’ll be laughing to the bank.” Sentiments which have certainly kept the north London native in good keeping along his, at times, rather unsure road to success.
At a time where so many free mixtapes come and go just as quickly as they were half-heartedly strung together; Wretch has a real gem on his hands with this one. Highlight tracks include the infectious Action Man - which features some impressive bars from Chip, Scorcher, Sneakbo & Calibar – as well as the ardent, I’m Dreaming, and the truly inspirational, My Dreams, to name just a few.
“I had the first cry, so I’m having the last laugh.”
All in all, besides being a sincere and hearty body of work, Wretchercise is an example that being at a level of success of which you are constantly surrounded by the temptation to ‘sell-out’, doesn’t mean you actually have to do so – something which can seldom be seen at present.
Download your copy of Wretchercise right here for free.
Reviewed by Ash Houghton
Edited by Natalia