Conscious Route – Belterz

On his latest album, Belterz, Edinburgh-based rapper Conscious Route is at the peak of his abilities

Album Review by Chris Sneddon | 06 Nov 2023
  • Conscious Route – Belterz
Album title: Belterz
Artist: Conscious Route
Label: True Hold Records
Release date: 10 Nov

Calling your new album Belterz is like tossing a giant banana skin directly in your path. Put a foot wrong, and the fall will be hard. But if anyone’s earned the right to be so bold, it’s Conscious Route. For over two decades, the London-born, Edinburgh-based rapper has been honing his craft, emerging from the underground as one of the finest hip-hop artists in the Scottish music scene.

Any residual worries (of misplaced confidence) are dispelled quickly by lead single Amorphous Shape, a lazy urban banger with a great chorus and silky bars from Paisley rapper Empress – the first of many guests on the record. These aren’t just throwaway turns from Conscious Route’s friends as each artist brings something different. Kryptik delivers a scathing message on Carry On ('kiss my anus') amid throbbing jabs of electronics; Lynzie Dray provides creaking, powerful vocals on Ducks In a Row; Wends brings her soulful singing to the reggae-heavy Late; and Original closes with Solareye’s chants of 'oh oh oh, oh, so original'. But Essence is the track that epitomises the album’s title, with beats and Jennifer Anne Todd's vocals reminiscent of Ultra Naté’s 90s classic Free.

Conscious Route is clearly at the peak of his abilities here, and – despite the odd dip in quality – this is an album of absolute belters. Banana skin avoided.

Listen to: Amorphous Shape, Carry On, Essence