X Century – 2005 - 54 minutes
Youth culture is fertile ground for new urban tribes, and they don't come much more ridiculous than the 'wigga' - the unfortunate white youth who has come under the influence of hip-hop to the fatal point of thinking that they are black. Ostentatious jewellery, strange hand-gestures and references to "my homies" are borderline ridiculous when sported by genuine hip-hop stars. When it's a 17-year-old from Rathgar, you can't help screaming with laughter.
Of course, between Eminem and Mike Skinner, the genie is well out of the bottle. But Skinner's tack of talking about his reality in an original way has shown the way forward to apprentice rappers.
Collie is from Swords in North County Dublin, and though his album is not particularly well-produced, and his lyrics are sometimes uneven, 'Is Ainm Dom' has enough local colour to make it worth hearing; this is much more Hill 16 than Sugarhill.
He's obviously taken a few tips from Marshall Mathers (check out the Eminem-lite slagging of rivals on 'Some Sham'). He doesn't hold back from displaying the darkest reaches of his mind, sexual frustration on 'Daily Listings'; railing against the local transportation system on 'Bus Rage'.
Musically there're a couple of wrong moves. At this stage, sampling Portishead is just lazy; but the lounge core of 'Get Out' and the growling strings of 'Some Sham' are much more effective.
There's still the slight hint of a novelty album from 'Is Ainm Dom', and Collie struggles to keep the temperature up across a full album, but he does occasionally hit a vein of humour or a flash of insight. And he is spot on about Dublin Bus.
Tracklisting: Intro – Green Blood – Try (A New Plan) – Bainne – TLC – Gangs – Some Sham – Daily Listings – Get Out – On De Blower – Chancer – Tell Me – Wot Abour'it? – Get It Off Your Chest – Bus Rage – No Drugs – Game-Ball