Lethal Dialect LD50 Part 3: A lament to Dublin’s dark side

Review: In this tale of two cities, Paul Alwright is firmly on the side of those left behind

LD50 Part 3
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Artist: Lethal Dialect
Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap
Label: Self-release

Ten years ago, Dublin rapper and actor Paul Alwright started writing the first part of his LD50 trilogy, hoping that the series would map Ireland’s growth into a more prosperous place to live. Instead of celebrating a country that found a way to even out, LD50 Part 3 sees a divided country. For every person who found a way to emigrate or climb the socio-economic ladder, one person gets left behind and has to fight for survival every day.

Using Cali-inspired beats, Alwright’s Dublin accent and the soundbites on opening track The Jungle place us on the streets of the city. As he tries to keep his head down, walking through heavily policed areas and avoiding hassle with groups of teens, one voice complains that nothing ever happens around these parts but when it does, “it’s worse than you can bleedin’ imagine”. Homelessness, crime, addiction and isolation are tackled, and Alwright hones in on the personal stories that link them together.

Moving away is a luxury afforded to some, and Better Man shows the ways and means that people use to scrape by. “I’m trying to be a better man, trying to do the best I can but I’m out here focusing on setting plans. I ain’t got the time for settling or wedding bands, them things cost you like seven grand,” he spits, capturing the trickle-down effects of austerity. On Brand New, his collaboration with Cal, we get a run-through of the opportunities that are often an unrecognised privilege. “Me boys are graduating from a college for crims, ’cos nobody where I’m from goes to college in BIMM,” he says, paving out the different pathways we walk in our own hometowns.

Lethal Dialect

To Whom it May Concern features Eva-Jane Gaffney penning a letter to her local politician explaining her struggle as a recovering addict to maintain her education on the social housing waiting list. “Regretfully, this matter is out of my jurisdiction,” he replies, with empty promises. And to seal the hypocrisy that some politicians wheel and deal with so casually, he adds: “All I ask is to remember our conversation when you ponder your vote as you enter the polling station.”


In this tale of two cities, Alwright vehemently keeps his gaze on those who have been pushed out of sight and out of mind. If he had hoped to deliver an optimistic conclusion on the LD50 trilogy, he makes a stronger impact by pointing out the flaws in moving forwards as a country when we can barely sustain ourselves when we're standing still. lethaldialect.bandcamp.com