Reviews Zone

Kid Acne: Hauntology Codes (Lex Records) 1st December 2023




5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)



Kid Acne is a UK-based artist, illustrator and emcee. He spent his formative years writing graffiti, self-publishing fanzines and making experimental hip-hop – designing and printing the record sleeves by hand.

His images have adorned products for some of the world’s leading brands, while the man himself continues to paint epic slogans in the back–streets of South Yorkshire,

“HAUNTOLOGY CODES” (stylized upper case) is his sixth solo album and after one listen, I’ll say there is no better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop as a music genre than an earhole (or two!) of this little gem.

Chicago’s Spectacular Diagnostics (who Acne provided artwork for on this year’s “Raw Lessons” LP) is back for a third stint on production, unveiling another slew of gritty, self-styled beat.

[The street corner visuals for the singles: “Batman On Horseback”, was overseen by Honey JD, and “Dues Paid (Now I’m Overdrawn”) was directed by Ellis Dawg.]

UK stars and long time allies Cappo, Sonnyjim and King Kashmere shape up to the sound of Seffield’s Kid Acne as “bombastic graffiti bastard” one minute, “rhyme Dionysus” the next: all the while tapping into alternative energy sources, from Pat Benatar to Biff Tanner to Cyril Sneer.

After “NULL AND VOID” and “HAVE A WORD” picked up plays across BBC 6 Music, the Kid Acne machine, over 20 years undefeated on walls and in ears, rolls on with this gloriously creative 10-track offering.

This album really is a pleasant surprise; clever, credible and relatable stuff stuff from a vastly under-rated UK bars-spitter.

His masterly word play and gritty SOH is quite addictive. Some fans of hip hop get sniffy about non-US acts, and my bet is they’d be gob-smacked at how good this guy and this album are. Sheffield not exactly a hotbed for rappers.


  • Our well-deserving album of the month for December…


By Steve Best




1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’





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