Idris Elba The YARDIE Mixtape 7WALLACE
There are many things to like about Idris Elba – his kind, forgiving and powerfully symmetrical face, for example. He’s a man of many hats: best known for his scene-stealing performances on the screen and his shirtless Squarespace ads, he’s also an accomplished DJ, producer and rapper with a new reggae release under his belt. Titled The YARDIE Mixtape, the project is as serviceable as it is danceable. Its construction, however, leaves a bit to be desired.
The mixtape is a companion piece to YARDIE, Elba’s directorial debut. The film traverses between 1970s Kingston and 1980s Hackney, and while the soundtrack reflects both sonic cultures reinterpreted by the ample guest features, the listening experience is perhaps too scattered and unfocused. The problem with polymaths is that their perspectives are often broader than they are thorough. The tropical rhythms and flows on The YARDIE Mixtape are as friendly and accessible as the People’s James Bond himself. Stand By Me is particularly catchy, but the drum’n’bass of Stannup, which follows, feels jarring. It’s the dizzying confusion at the heart of the project. While the songs are perfectly fine on their own, together they fall flat.