Album: Smoke Boys - Don’t Panic 2
Drill has got a lot of attention recently, mainly because of a political ignorance that has formed through the portrayal of the genre in some toxic newspaper outlets. One of the front runners and originators of the North London sound are ‘Section Boyz’, now taking the alias of ‘Smoke Boys’, who dropped their second LP just last week. It past me by, until a few days ago when I finally had time to give it a listen. It has to be one of the best UK rap projects of the year, with a rich feature list of Britain’s best DIY MCs, including Headie one, AJ Tracey and 67. My favourite cut has to be ‘Leave The Hood’, AJ’s natural bad boy vocal tones kill the hook, and the whole of Section offer hard bars to compliment the spacious, perfectly serene beat. Give the whole of this album a listen though, it seems the group have ventured beyond the conventional drill we hear from others in the game.
Song: JPEGMAFIA - Puff Daddy
Working with Kenny Beats, the Hempstead rapper continues his experimentation with samples, electronica and trap by drawing on heavy influences from the likes of Death Grips and Danny Brown. He is the perfect in-between of a punk outfit like Ho99o9 and an underground rap group like Injury Reserve. ‘Puff Daddy’ utilises a glitchy, sonic beat with a jumpy, jaw dropping, versatile flow that switches constantly throughout the progression of the tune. He has one of the most provocative voices in American music at the moment, ‘Veteran’ has been one of the most intriguing and eclectic rap releases this year, and ‘Puff Daddy’ will inevitably propel him closer to the top of the game.
New: Sidders - Ameroux
The second track off his upcoming EP, ‘Ameroux’ once again offers a blissful, hypnotic beat and Sidder’s soothing harmonies. It is a very addictive song, that sees it’s strengths through the singer’s Sampha-esque vocal tones, which are becoming an admirable theme in the tracks he has released over the last couple of years. Personally, I prefer this one to his most popular hit ‘Kyoshi Driftin’, I think the production is slightly more intriguing and it amplifies the London singer come rapper’s talented range of vocals. The question is though, where is the EP? With the release date due a couple days ago, we are still here waiting.
Oldie but Goldie: Björk - Venus as a Boy
The music I have been recently listening to has started to feel a bit stale, so I thought I would revisit some of the albums that had a huge part in my childhood. Björk’s ‘Debut’ album was played to death by my mum in every long hall car journey when we travelled through Europe, and ‘Venus as a Boy’ has to be one of my favourite cuts from the LP. A true original, the Icelandic Queen has a tendency to manipulate the most obnoxious of electronic samples, and create tunes that are utterly uncanny. However, this track is one of the sweetest, most soothing songs you will ever come by. Dreamy and dainty, Björk’s divine vocals glide across the slightly mediterranean instrumentation she soundscapes, a true classic that you should get your teeth stuck into.
After watching the ‘McQueen’ film on a flight, I have become increasingly infatuated by the East Londoner’s story and clothing line. Currently, I am reading the ‘Blood Beneath the Skin’ book, which covers his legacy right from when he was a boy playing pranks on locals, to his hypocritical entry into Givenchy, a house he increasingly slagged off until they offered him headship there. His relationship with Isabella Blow, the way he conveyed London’s most raunchy of club nights in his striking, gut-wrenching collections and his sadistic misfortunes of sexual abuse are all portrayed respectfully and enigmatically in both the film and the book, check out the trailer below.
Places + Faces X Guess Jeans
3mm reflective gear is all the craze in this collab, which is (unfortunately) being sold exclusively at Complexcon in LA. The cult brand come magazine come pop up shop come Tumblr page have made a name for themselves through their eccentric photographic portrayal of the hip hop world, and established their supremacy in the streetwear scene through convenient shoulder bags. Now, this collection, sees them branching out into a more varied collection of clothing. Stripy french tees, boonies and military vests complete a very strong drop; it’s just a shame about the exclusivity.
For the last week all of the clothing releases I have been gassed for have been ‘exclusively for the opening of DSM LA’. If there is one element of the fashion world that really pisses me off, it is the exclusivity some shops and brands create, but I guess this is understandable considering it is the opening of a new store. To all you Los Angeles heads, you are very lucky to see this space open, and some one off pieces from the likes of Stüssy, Palace, Nike and Off White have all amplified the hype surrounding it’s grand opening. As always though, the interior design of the store is incredible; a true experience, whether you have the money to afford the garments or not.
St. Vincent’s obsession with Rice and Peas and Bread Fruit
Currently, I am on the other side of the world finding out about the culture of the other side of my family, who are from The Caribbean Island of St. Vincent. One of the characteristics I have noticed about the people here is their obsession with the simple meal ‘Rice and Peas’, which sounds like the most boring combo to a Westerner, but really it is actually one of the nicest dishes I have eaten. Another passion of Vincentioners is Breadfruit - a starchy fruit that you find in a tree. To put it into perspective, and stop me waffling on, watch the music video below of ‘Chi Ching Ching’s’ 2016 hit ‘Roast or Fry’ (BreadFruit).