UK hip-hop isn’t something that gets a lot of press and audience attention globally. American artists have traditionally dominated the genre for decades and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Dan Gemini, however, doesn’t care. Nor should he. The Luton Town born talent has the overall talent to stand toe to toe with any hip-hop performer from anywhere, let alone America, and his latest single “Slide It” proves it.


However, it almost didn’t happen. A violent melee several years ago left Gemini injured to such an extent that doctors were doubtful that he could even speak again. Returning to the hip-hop world seemed out of the question. Gemini, however, confounded medical wisdom and achieved a full recovery. The experience deepened his talents, as well. “Slide It” supplies ample evidence that he’s better than ever.

The song’s arrangement is spartan. Listeners will hear steady handclap and bass going with Gemini’s vocal. Keyboards surface late in the track though their contribution is minimal. The focus falls instead on Gemini’s vocal. His diction is full of nifty accents that subtly add to the track’s rhythmic power. The arrangement doesn’t need a variety of instruments. It’s ideal as is and provides Gemini with the necessary platform for working his verbal magic.

Rhymes burst out of him. He never strains for one, there’s no reaching throughout “Slide It”, and his personality pops and crackles through every line. His verbal dexterity is top notch – this isn’t amateur hour. His delivery is, likewise, comfortable, and confident. Any lingering butterflies he harbored about his ability to reach or surpass his pre-injury self have long since vanished. This is the sound of full recovery and Gemini sounds like he can handle any composition.

It’s a brief track. It isn’t a sign of his inability to sustain a track but, instead, a mark of the focus he brings to the performance. Gemini isn’t wasting his time or yours. “Slide It” is an obvious instance of an artist who began the recording process with a clear idea of what he wanted to accomplish and how to pull it off. The track’s construction doesn’t have a single misstep or hiccup. The rhymes snap, it’s true, but the track’s message snaps for listeners as well. He avoids any stridency, thankfully, but there’s also a supreme confidence emanating from each line. It segues from one passage to the next with seamless skill.

His re-invention is an ongoing project. Dan Gemini, however, is well on his way toward re-establishing himself as one of the brightest talents in the UK hip-hop scene. He has influences, without question, but “Slide It” illustrates how he’s processed those influences through his own consciousness and experiences. He’s produced hip-hop that is familiar yet uniquely his own. In a small but meaningful way, Gemini can thank his injuries and the recovery experience for where he is today. He’s past that now though. Bright days lie ahead for this performer and anyone who likes cutting edge hip-hop will flock to this superb track. 

Garth Thomas