● 4th September 2016 – MusicIn Print

Lauren Ralph AKA Caribbeden AKA Eden Hall depending on what social network you follow him on (and let’s face it – it’s probably all of them) has got chins wagging across the West Midlands. Why? Along with the Blue Room Mafia; Lauren Ralph has been re-shaping classic street rap tropes into a sound altogether a lot more 0121.

Lauren Ralph’s production style is a cut and paste collage of dusty jazz samples, trap-flavoured snares and low-slung bass drops. Over the top of these trademark productions is where his gang known as the Blue Room Mafia spit wit, grit and slang. Most members are a lot younger than your average MC but make no mistake; their lyrics are far from juvenile.

His Soundcloud is a rich tapestry of both half-formed and fully fleshed out musical ideas – various voices zip in and out of the beats like fast-moving traffic. Blue Room Mafia’s output is honest, intimate and utterly absorbing. As most rap fans will contest; there is a no greater sensation than that of being let into a musical world completely different to that of your own. Their world is made up of bedroom-based recording sessions stretching long into the early hours, skate-boarding around various spots in Birmingham and immersing themselves in the vibrant Second City nightlife. It is quintessentially about and from the streets.

Lauren Ralph has proven himself to not only have a gifted ear for sampling and producing but also as a master curator of sorts. The versatility of the MCs in Blue Room Mafia brings a multi-layered feel to his music. Within just one track; glimpses of grime rub shoulders with trap-style repetition as each MC brings something different to the table. Even at such early doors; the crew look set to have their first break out star in the form of Basta. Lauren Ralph was introduced to rapper Basta through mutual friends on social networking. Their collaboration ‘San Andreas’ was the moment their musical relationship clicked and is a concrete showcase of Basta’s ability to craft sing-raps made of ear-pricking melodies and street-smart imagery.

Blue Room Mafia are named after the blue painted walls of the bedroom that they double up as a vocal booth when recording their tunes. Scroll through Lauren Ralph’s Instagram and you’ll see all the same imagery that is naturally conjured in your head when listening to his music. He’s become a word of mouth legend of sorts around the West Midlands. Soon to be a cult concern no more. Just as BBK broke out of London to invade the rest of the world; we’ll be seeing BRM making a name for themselves beyond the reaches of their beloved 0121 with Lauren Ralph at the helm.

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