In late May, Eerf Evil released a collaborative album with ’Srigala’, but I was especially impressed with his bars, and how he manipulated them to fit the producer’s vintage beats. Naturally, he switched between contradicting flows on the 9 track project, making the EP a delight to listen to. There’s a connection between the two artists that could be likened to Loyle Carner and Rebel Kleff; just a little more underground and lofi than the mercury nominated artists. One minute, the rapper seems incredibly sincere, reflecting over samples of children shouting in a school playground, with a soothing guitar and piano progression, like on ‘Summer Breeze’, but by the end of the project Evil turns his mournful tone into one with angst, picking at other rappers and how they go about their rhymes nowadays.
Getting Loyle Carner to feature on your debut EP may seem like a real coup, but for Manik it’s just another day in the office. With his Berlin ‘Colours Studio’ performance of ‘Muckiest’ rattling the speakers of over 200,000 viewers, who probably all synchronously bopped their heads and gritted their teeth to the London rapper’s shameless bars, he excelled in effortlessly portraying tales of social realism. He will be joining Yellow Days on a few dates for his upcoming tour, which will be a sick couple of gigs if you can get down to them. Manik was also included in the Fader’s 11 hip hop artists to watch out for this year, but I reckon 2019 will be when he gets the exposure he deserves.
Drill music is at its pinnacle of popularity at the moment; Kwengface is the next star to rise from the ashes of the concrete jungle and become accustomed to the limelight. Part of Zone 2, a collective lurking behind the drill superstars of today, the rapper’s use of blissful instrumental hooks on tracks like ‘3 Stripes’ perfectly compliment the self-reflecting lyrics on the hooks he utilises; ‘How can the devil wear Prada when I done stepped in my Adidas Kicks’, the London MC spits on ‘3 Stripes’. He is one of the first names to be announced for the Great Escape Festival, which seems like a coup for him, but by May it will be apparent to everyone that actually it should be the event thanking him for playing.
P From Lee
Being a member of Ammi Boyz, and appearances at Boiler Room and Somerset House, has established P as one of the most exciting rap prospects from England in a while. Combining all the underground sounds of London, from Trap to Drill and Drill to Grime, Lee’s debut album ‘Tour Guide’ simply slapped, and offered features from the likes of YS Tekdinner and Capo Lee. the Londoner’s music is incredibly slept on; his debut LP was as strong of a case as any that he should be gracing SBTV and Link Up TV way more than he currently is. The production on tunes like ‘Billin Bluns’ instantly makes you feel waved, and keeps you gassed for the 25 minutes it reaches. We could have put every member of Ammi Boyz on this list, but PFromLee deserves more attention than he’s getting. Although he released an album this year, don’t be surprised to see a few mega singles, or even an EP from him before the end of the year.
Friends with the King that is Skepta, Daisy Maybe’s shudderingly beautiful voice is one that can transport you to another world. Her tracks often feature up and coming rappers in the calibre of Crave Moore and Jeshi, but she shines in her ability to narrate and portray the stories that underly the masterful vocals she possesses. As a model too, you could presume that her music career is of less value to her, but the artistic capabilities she champions completely underplay this and proves just how capable she is of becoming a true superstar in the UK scene. Just listen to ‘Honey Chai Tea’ and tell me you don’t feel out of reality, the underlying psychedelic, trip hop melodies are heart melting.
The two EPs we have been blessed with by Jeshi have shone in the underground, and deserve to be propelled into mainstream success. From the disjointed, scintillating beats, to his drowsy, engaging flow, the artist is a pure original, and a breath of fresh air amidst the saturated UK rap market. His latest project ‘The World Is Spinning Too Fast’ introduced guest features from the likes of Mura Masa, who produced the opener ‘Paranoid’, and set the psychedelic, mournful tone for the rest of the EP. ‘Testerossa’ is another absolute banger on that project, and tracks like ‘Delphine’ on ‘Pussy Palace’ are so spacey and enigmatic that is would make any Tricky, ex Massive Attack member, fan’s mouth water.
This May, AWATE brought his blend of classic hip hop instrumentation and sampling to the Great Escape Festival, where he no doubt made a mark on the event, and enlightened a crowd to his natural rap prowess. ‘Guillotines’ is a tune full of illustrious sampling and spacey melodies, which entice you as a listener and make you actively delve into the lyrics the spits. It switches unforgivingly between sincere, political lyricism, and confident choruses where AWATE explains ‘they say, the people are too stupid to hear the sounds, I say shut your mouth and let them hear it now’. This fearless outlook will help him to go along way, I hope, and continue to produce some similar tunes in the future.