Saint's Debut LP 'The New Funky Dread' Is Some of the Best Scandi Hip-Hop We've Heard in Years

Saint is the fast-rising, 19-year-old, Malmö, Sweden-based, Gambian rapper and we've got first dibs on his new, funky album in its entirety right here.

Alfred Maddox

Alfred Maddox

If you haven't heard of Saint, chances are, you will. As you read these words, the 19-year-old Malmö, Sweden-based Gambian rapper's debut album The Funky New Dread is hitting streets worldwide (or rather the electronic devices in the pockets of the people on those streets). It's the culmination of a tough journey for this self-diagnosed synesthetic. Despite the young, funky dread's ripe age, he has already seen more than his share of uphill struggles, fleeing Gambia as a teen, battling the bureaucratic churn of seeking asylum and avoiding deportation, and arriving in 2012 with nothing but beats in his head and the pack on his back. However you may feel about this kind of modern day Cinderella-story—there's just no denying quality beats. And trust us when we say: the amount of head-bobbing and sudden feelings of pimpery (side-effects may include sudden desires to wear fur and feathered hats) you'll be experiencing to this flowtastic funkfest of an album will speak for itself.

The New Funky Dread fuses classic 90s hip-hop and funk flows with tight, 2016 mixing and plays like the progression of any good night out. It kicks off with the party-starting, horn-induced, funk/rap banger "LeFunkyIntro" before shifting gears and getting you on your level with the 'it's all good'-vibes of "Confidently Ignorant," an unassumingly authentic groove with "Concrete Schoolyard"-y shades of Jurassic 5. The dread-funk continues with the fast-paced, hectic cockiness of ”Roadman" ("In a few years I've got this game all locked"), experimental LOL-ing in "Enter Psychosis," and "This Track Doesn't Have a Title," and goes toe-to-toe with your Drakes and your Futures and other Holly(wood)-spawn with the more contemporary hip-hop flavor of "Holly." Then there's the low-key rhythm and funk of "Funk’d Up" featuring the grade A soul-blues vocals of Miss Julia, and even Saint spitting some freestyle in "Le Outro" to deep, electronic grinds mixed with ridiculously funky bass.

There are so many reasons to get down to this absolute gem of an album—pick one and hit play. Or don’t. Odds are Saint will find his way to your ears anyway, and have you hip-wiggling and pimp-slapping in no time.