Fredo: Third Avenue review – honest, gritty debut album

(RCA)

In 2016, west London rapper Fredo emerged as a need-to-know name – though he was in prison at the time and had no idea that his first ever track They Ain’t 100 was getting millions of plays. Since then the MC’s star has ascended, scoring a British No 1 last year with Dave on the triumphant, billowing Funky Friday.

Now on his debut album, Fredo delivers grit, authenticity and vitality over bangers, hollowed-out beats and dazzling keys. The lyrics are searingly honest and assured – whether he’s talking angrily about so-called friends who didn’t visit him in jail, expressing a sweet gratitude to his mother for dealing with him being “a bad kid”, or rolling his eyes about a schoolteacher who used to give him grief. Third Avenue finds an artist at ease with himself, and at ease with addressing his demons. The genre-melding production is perhaps more old school than his peers, and at times can feel a little clunky – but ultimately it adds to a sense that Fredo’s not here to hop on a trend. This is an accomplished full-length that, while not a game-changer, certainly slots neatly into the burgeoning UK canon.

Watch the video for All I Ever Wanted ft Dave.

Contributor

Tara Joshi

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Fredo: Money Can’t Buy Happiness review – melancholy rap realism
Reality bites on the west Londoner’s second album, as he puts the spotlight on drug-selling, prison life and those he has lost

Kate Hutchinson

07, Feb, 2021 @3:00 PM

Article image
Fredo: Independence Day review – dark wit and supersized swagger
Stunning verses propelled by intricate production elevate the west London rapper’s second album this year

Damien Morris

08, Aug, 2021 @12:00 PM

Article image
KSI: All Over the Place review – gritty beats and Hallmark rhymes
The YouTuber’s genre-hopping second album is let down by corny lyrics

Kadish Morris

18, Jul, 2021 @12:00 PM

Article image
Dave: Psychodrama review – debut long-player doesn’t disappoint
(Neighbourhood)

Dan Hancox

10, Mar, 2019 @8:00 AM

Article image
Rico Nasty: Nightmare Vacation review – a pummelling debut
The 23-year-old Marylander delivers the aggro punk-rap party of a lifetime

Kate Hutchinson

06, Dec, 2020 @3:00 PM

Article image
Loyle Carner: Yesterday’s Gone review – a startling debut
Croydon rapper Ben Coyle-Larner is candid and driven on a beguiling album that features a guest turn by his mum…

Kitty Empire

22, Jan, 2017 @9:00 AM

Article image
Not3s: 3 Th3 Album review – as pop as rap gets
UK rap’s go-to collaborator makes a strong case for his music not to be pigeonholed

Michael Cragg

29, Aug, 2021 @2:00 PM

Article image
Chief Keef: Dedication review – most satisfying album to date
(RBC Records)

Alex Macpherson

03, Dec, 2017 @7:59 AM

Article image
Jidenna: The Chief review – a versatile, genre-bending debut
(Wondaland/Epic)

Michael Cragg

19, Feb, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Big Narstie: BDL Bipolar review – promising debut packed with ideas
Dice Recordings

Damien Morris

08, Jul, 2018 @6:59 AM