Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Text: Milly Lupton
“I want people to see how much potential he had. And I want people to no longer call him underrated - he's surpassed that now.”
The South London legend Cadet, AKA The Underrated Legend, who started out as MC Bubbly in his uncle’s kitchen-come-club, confirms his legendary status on posthumous album ‘The Rated Legend’.
A year on from the tragic, untimely passing of Blaine Johnson, better known as Cadet, we are reminded again that British music lost a real one. ‘The Rated Legend’, released on Good Friday and executively produced by Krept, is both the rapper’s debut and final album.
“He was such a talented storyteller. Anyone who's heard his music knows that.” - Krept, BBC
Krept, Cadet’s cousin, has played a monumental role in ensuring his light never dims. From the Hyde Park memorial to the Brixton show, or when he took him to Wireless for the first time. In a recent piece for the BBC, he talks about how tight the duo were “growing up we were always together..it was like he was my brother.”
“I want people to see how much potential he had. And I want people to no longer call him underrated - he's surpassed that now.” - Krept, BBC
It is hard knowing Cadet’s career was cut so devastatingly short. The 13 track album is solid and proves he had such a talent. With sharp rhymes, clever word play and as ever, propelling story telling, the album also includes guest features from Wretch 32, Chip, Swarmz, Tion Wayne and more. The the amount of artists that had respect for him is evident, Cadet was working tirelessly on great tunes with great artists, on tracks we didn’t even know about.
The album has it all; with harder tracks ‘Gang Gang’, romantic tales on ‘Speechless’ and upbeat jams just in time for summer with ‘Roley’ feat. Swarmz. The penultimate track is particularly emotional, as rising poet Telixia Inico teaches us how Cadet touched her life, “you ignited a flame in a lot of people..I love you so much, King.”
Certainly a bittersweet moment, there have been many emotional responses to the posthumous release from fans, friends and family.
Cadet’s father Paul Johnson said that, “For me, completing this album was my way of making sure his old and new fans continued to glimpse my son’s talent, creativity and passion for his craft, doing something he enjoyed more than anything else, performing with his alter ego Cadet. This album gives us the opportunity to introduce Blaine Cameron Johnson and Cadet in his most comfortable place, behind a microphone.” - (via NME)
Wretch includes his words at the end of ‘Still’: “My brother you’re not an underrated legend, man. You’ll forever be rated under the legend list. God bless you.”
The album fittingly ends with platinum selling track ‘Advice’, the single that launched everything for Cadet. Ending on a beginning leaves us with a feeling of hope, a reminder to think positively. We too have the potential to be rated legends.