Kneecap – Fine Art

Belfast's controversial rap trio KNEECAP are back with their hotly anticipated debut album

Album Review by Chris Sneddon | 12 Jun 2024
  • Kneecap – Fine Art
Album title: Fine Art
Artist: Kneecap
Label: Heavenly Recordings
Release date: 14 Jun

In 2018, Belfast rappers Kneecap dropped their mixtape 3cag, an irresistible collection of raucous hip-hop that fused the Irish and English languages with a wicked sense of humour. Ever since, the trio have pissed off unionists and nationalists alike, their political views and invented Irish slang terms (often for drug use) courting controversy while simultaneously fuelling their rise in popularity.

Follow-up Fine Art is a concept album of sorts, taking place in a fictional pub in West Belfast, and the record’s 12 tracks are interspersed with skits of a night of drink and drugs. Opener 3CAG (a reference to that original mixtape – and MDMA) eases the listener in, pub chatter morphing into a soothing blend of traditional instruments, soft vocals and chilled beats. But the album’s title track is a truer representation of what’s to come: a banging collision of rap and rave music, and in a stroke of genius, Kneecap precede the drop by sampling a news report of a contentious mural they unveiled last year. 

Like any good night out Fine Art has its ups and downs, it can be deep, it can be controversial, but in the long run, it's a good laugh and a thumping good time.

Listen to: Fine Art, I’m Flush, Parful