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He’s been on the scene just a year, but already has two albums under his belt, the second of which, LD50 – Part II, has sent critics all a-flutter . So what’s Dublin rapper Lethal Dialect’s story?
Maeve Heslin, 17 Feb 2012
For most artists, the prospect of the ‘difficult second album’ is nail-bitingly daunting. Not so for Paul Alwright, aka 23 year-old rapper Lethal Dialect. The Dubliner – born in Cabra and currently living in Blanchardstown – is already formulating his third album. “I can’t sit still!”, he laughs. “I’ll get a beat in my head watching a film or just walking down the street. It’s a gift and a curse.”
Let’s rewind. 12 months ago, Alwright was working full-time, on his way to completing his trade as a printer.
“I was working a day-job when I put the first album out”, he explains. “Like everyone else, I got let go.”
Did he see the silver lining in this recession-shaped cloud?
“Definitely”, he nods, “it gave me the last nine months to focus on this. People don’t have jobs, but that can provide an opportunity to go out and do what they always wanted to.”
Does he think that in turn, the recession has had an impact on what people want to hear?
“I’ve noticed that people are mad for ‘food for thought’”, he ponders. “The majority of music today is materialistic, and people are fed up with that. They have no money, so they don’t want to hear about anyone else throwing dollars around in the club! People are turning back to stuff that has substance in it – they’re starting to notice what really matters.”
Alwright’s latest album, LD50 – Part II, is a perfect example of such musical substance. An introspective writer, his lyrics centre around ordinary life in working-class Dublin, touching on issues like friendship, loyalty, emigration and crime. He delivers his musings in his own Dublin accent, though he admits to going down the ill-fated Bronx route as a young novice.
“When I started out, I was using the American accent,” he laughs. “We all were. We grew out of that quickly though. It takes a while, but you find your own voice.”
The Dublin accent, he reckons, has various connotations, depending on the listener’s own background.