There are few consistencies in the rap game nowadays, but one of the undisputed constants over the past few years has been K Trap’s prolific release of bangers. “Warm”, which came out last year but continues to plague the USBs of DJs and speakers of students, is bordering on national anthem status; like Giggs’ “Talking The Hardest” it resonates beyond the boundaries of a song and feels almost patriotic. Trapo is now seven mixtapes deep into his career, with five released since he revealed his identity in the “Big Mood” music video. Mask or no mask, however, he has always delivered and “The Last Whip II” is no different.
Totaling 19 tracks and roughly 57 minutes in length, the wordsmith’s latest mixtape will satisfy his most loyal supporters whilst broadening a fanbase who appreciate road rap, wavey trap and even afrobeats. It’s a project that picks up on K’s vulnerabilities but still confides in a winning formula of one-liners, chunky 808s and intricate melody.
Here are 9 things we learned from the mixtape, which is available to stream now.
1. Trapo holds his worth against UK rap heavy-weights
A legendary list of features, including Headie One, Youngs Teflon and LD, accompany the Londoner on “The Last Whip 2” but he is by no means fazed by their lyrical capabilities. K Trap more than holds his worth along their side and pushes them to provide quality verses. This is indicative of how well regarded he is in the scene and continues to be by fellow titanic UK rappers.
2. Few rappers do one-liners better
This is no secret, of course, but I feel like it needs emphasising. Here are just a few of our favourites over the tape...
“Pull up at the chicken shop like Amelia” - Spoilt
“Bro wanna' step with the GLE and rambo are you okay? that's hollow meets blade” - Rolling
See me in live at shows, cool, she better be fearin' (Fearin')
Thing on me, I bring it on stage like Sheeran (Got it, grrt-rah) - Shipping Costs
I should be a BRIT nominee (Yeah), but I was a brick nominee
'Member when I needed one whole key and still, I just left with three? (Three of them) - Charts
3. K-Trap (thankfully) remains a drill purist
The Gipsy Hill rapper is by no means a drill artist; to put him in such a box would be lazy and do his music a disservice. However, when he does honour the genre with his unique qualities, he stays true to its roots, enlisting pioneers like M1ontheBeat to produce unapologetically hard instrumentals that suit his matter-of-fact delivery. Tracks like "Extra Sleeve" and "Duck & Dive" are devilish, marveling at U.K. Drill’s naturally sinister energy.
4. Few artists love Louis V more than Trapo
It’s been a fixture of his wordplay since he burst on the scene, but “The Last Whip II” reminds us yet again how much of a Louis Vuitton fanatic K Trap is. The album cover presents him in a thick grey and black LV monogram puffa jacket, and lyrically, there are several references to the French fashion house throughout. “I ain’t gotta cue in Louis” he remarks on “Spoilt”, “All this Louis I got the from the store, it's mad 'cause I still want more” he tells us on “G19”.
5. His adlib game is SERIOUS
People might roll their eyes at this one, but it's dawned on me that Trapo has some of the most memorable adlibs in the game. From the "Nyuums" that ring around "G19" to the growls on "Busy", the variety of weird vocal cadences on this tape is definitely something that needs to be highlighted.
6. The love for Jamal Edwards is still evident in the scene, and rightfully so.
The tragic passing of Jamal Edwards shook the country earlier this year and K Trap is evidently still coming to terms with the loss. An MBE and proud Vincentian, many artists owe their careers to Edwards and his platform SBTV, which spotlighted the likes of J Hus, Jessie J and Trapo before anyone else. On “Feel It”, he provides space lyrically to digest the trauma and reflect vivaciously on the profound mark he has had on the rhymer's life.
7. Trapo is confident in his road rap bag
With allusions to iconic road rap projects like Hollow meets Blade (Rolling), Trapo’s love of old-school uk sounds is no mystery. Earlier this year, he dropped a collaborative tape with Blade Brown, titled “Joints”, which took the streets by storm and entered the charts convincingly at number 20. Tracks like “Busy” and “Molly Mae” both take influence from this era but modernise it with elements unique to Trapo.
8. He likes to spoil the gyaldem
One of many highlights on the mixtape is "Interlude": a track that illustrates Trapo's vulnerabilities and willingness to reflect more deeply on his personal feelings. Conceptually, the cut sees him speaking directly with a girl, asking her if she wants to "fly out somewhere tropic" or go to the "spa after shopping" - he evidently likes to treat the ladies, which he explains more about in his "Shopping for sneakers" episode with Kick Game.
9. Fundamentally, K-Trap is DIFFERENT
“The Last Whip II” reinforces that there is no one quite like K Trap currently in Britain’s rap-sphere. His candid portrayals of life on the road and beyond have won him fans in the caliber of Skepta and Blade Brown and his rise in mainstream prominence will only be helped by this project. In the future, we’d like to see him tested against the cartel of American rappers copying UK Drill. Lyrically, there’d only be one winner, but it’d be an interesting way of diversifying the Trapo sound and propelling him further into stardom.