Various - The Don't Trigger EP
The joint brainchild of Lee Jasper, Advisor to the Mayor of London, and Urban Concepts UK, "a communications agency who devise concepts with a social commentary ethos", The Don't Trigger EP aims to address the issue of gun crime through "urban" music. Of course, "urban" music tackling this subject is hardly new. Just this year, in fact, Roni Size, Beverley Knight and Dynamite MC teamed up for single No More, a track with an anti-gun message, Roots Manuva's The Falling told of the grim tragedy of a life spent on drugs and violence, and Ms. Dynamite has recently returned with her typically positive voice.
There are, however, some differences with this EP. Firstly, all profits raised go to those affected by gun crime and community projects fighting the problem. Secondly, the singing and rapping is frequently punctuated by relatives of those killed speaking, sometimes tearfully, about their loved ones (which works better than you might expect). Thirdly, the artists involved are currently unsigned.
Despite this, the quality of music and delivery is indistinguishable (for better or worse) from standard r'n'b. Why? and Heads Up (Listen Up) have drippy ballad production, while I Die Everyday (R.I.P. J) is stronger, more guitar-led, making it the best of the three. The lyrics themselves focus mostly on the grief and pain of those left behind.
One need only put forward the example of Band Aid to demonstrate that charity records are often a triumph of goodwill over music and credibility. If The Don't Trigger EP is fairly average, it at least sounds authentic. Ignore the message and these could be any number of other songs on the radio. Maybe that's the point.