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Review: Idris Elba’s ‘Yardie’ mixtape feels like perfect reintroduction to film’s global release

Photo: Courtesy of the publicist

Idris Elba’s directorial debut in the film, Yardie, has transcended beyond film to reach rhythm. The Yardie Mixtape’s arrival feels like the perfect reintroduction to the film’s global release. Littered and layered with Elba’s direction and dialogue from the film gave us a taste of what to expect from the literary British crime drama.

Paying homage to another’s culture is risk enough, so I won’t nail Elba for playing it safe, musically, on The Yardie Mixtape. During his coming of age in London, Jamaican culture was dominant, so I am impressed with his ability to thread the line as a non-yardie and consumer of the culture. The tape starts off booming with the Prynce Mini featured song ‘Teapot’ and then eases its way from Lovers Rock through UK genres Grime, Garage and Dubstep. As an American listener, this was the perfect ease into the UK sound.

Honor, authenticity and intention are the overarching foundation of this project. Elba as a selector nailed the sound and feel. This was a very clever way to, not only promote the film, but to also coat it with some UK drip. Watching interviews with Elba reveals an aware, intuitive and attune director. The actors consistently expressed how his direction allowed them to truly explore the essence of the character. This approach also finds it’s way on the tape. It’s as if he carefully captured each artist’s quintessence.

As migrants everywhere often mirror the same experiences. There are a tribal connection and narrative woven throughout this buoyant mixtape. With Afrobeat ruling the world, I’d be interested in seeing him produce a compilation as seasoned as Jollof.


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