Wash all those half price takeaways down with our picks from August. The absence of Carni left a gaping hole in everyone's musical agenda, but this month saw some of the best music of 2020... in our humble opinion. We have a gun finger worthy remix from Izco, new EPs from Ninioh and Nayana IZ, as well as plenty more U.K. music to help make the transition into autumn that little easier.
P-RALLEL FT GREENTEA PENG - SOULBOY (IZCO REMIX)
Just in time for what would have been carnival, P-Rallel, Greentea Peng and Izco unleashed a floaty jungle remix of single Soulboy. Rumbling breaks, rolling bass and the scintillating saxophone that found itself on the original all combine in fine fashion; It’s just a shame we can’t be enjoying it on the streets of Nottinghill this year.
NINIOH - WESTSIDE
An ode to his ends, Ninioh’s Westside leads the 5 tracks that find themselves on new EP Number 9. Lauren Ralph, unsurprisingly so, bodies the beat with its flamenco guitar melodies and trap tendencies. All five tracks are well worth a listen, so we have linked in the whole EP for you.
FINN FOXELL - MAKE IT COUNT
The second single from Talk is Cheap, Finn Foxell’s forthcoming project, Make It Count also features production from notorious BRM member Lauren Ralph. The West Londoner is putting some strong cases in for music video of the year, nailing the artistic direction as well as the music. Combined with his majestic flow, LR's beat hits hard and leaves you in a meditative state of mind.
KNUCKS - THAMES
Look at any comment section of a Knucks music video and you’ll realise there is collective agreement that the rapper is criminally underrated. It is really hard to discredit such a statement when tunes like Thames find our ears so often; London Class, his forthcoming mixtape, is shaping up nicely. The NoDaysOff crew are killing it at the moment, with projects from Benji Flow, Ragz Originale and Oscar#Worldpeace providing some of our favourite songs over the last couple years. It really feels like takeover season for them.
RE:MIND - WELL HELL
If you haven’t seen our interview with Re:Mind yet, pause your reading and shoot over to our Insta TV. The 8 strong collective released their long awaited debut single this month and it’s simply contagious. Gillieson provides his production to the strong roster of wordsmiths in Re:Mind and they all body the beat with the level of dexterity we have come to expect from them.
NINES - NIC
Nine’s Crabs In A Bucket is becoming a strong contender for album of the year. Sticking to his road rap routes, whilst venturing into realms of afrobeats, the record sees Nines battling with his addiction to the streets, despite a successful career in music. NIC, with Tiggs Da Author, tells Neena’s story to the top of Church Street’s competitive hierarchy, and does so in sensitive fashion. The shimmery, vintage instrumental provides the lyrical narrative with an enticing backdrop too.
KASIEN - CLOUD 9
I Found Paradise In Hell, Kasien’s latest EP, effortlessly pushes boundaries with its explosive instrumentals and poisonous wordplay. Cloud 9 is our standout cut, and one that sounds like a true victory for Kas. This will go off when live shows come back too, we caught him supporting Bakar and he failed to disappoint. 2020 has really felt like Kasien's year.
Kosi Tides - GREEN EXORCIST
Leeds rapper Kosi Tides is well known for his role in rap duo The Northaze, but 'It Followed Me Home' shows the powerful reputation he has as an individual artist. Riding HUSK’s crisp production with punctual lyricism, GREEN EXORCIST accentuates the innate suave in Tides' wordplay, which makes him stand out so prominently in Leeds’ rap scene.
NAYANA IZ - DEAR MAMA
The opener to NAYANA IZ’ debut EP, DEAR MAMA introduces us in an introspective manor, as the artists reflects on the love of her Mum over muted bass and howling synth work. The whole project is well worth a listen, so we’ve linked it below - and remember to always love your Mum.
ODEAL - MORE LIFE
Breaking boundaries in U.K. music with his alté infused afrobeats, Odeal’s latest single More Life encourages the youth of today to broaden their horizons. The track’s contagious blend of vintage Nigerian music motifs and U.K. candor is infectious; it’s no wonder Nines wanted him along side Headie One on their crabs in a bucket cut. Watch the visuals below.
Greentea Peng - HU MAN
Teaming up with Earbuds once again, they are becoming inseparable at this point, Greentea Peng’s latest single is perfect for any warm, hazy evenings Autumn offers. Peng’s raspy vocals submerge in the picked guitar melodies and saxophone breaks earbuds laces in the instrumental. Listening to GTP is quickly becoming an enlightening experience, and HU MAN does just that.
DON PACINO - DON A MANS DANCE
Born in Napoli, but now hailing from North West London, Don Pacino is making sure everyone knows of his presence on Don A Mans Dance. Released on Ashtray Records, the track's angsty bars and impulsive trap beat punch hard throughout its 1:40 seconds. As the first signee to their creative agency, we are hoping for plenty more music from Pacino soon.
DOWNTOWN KAYOTO - DO BETTER
DO BETTER is the second instalment of Downtown Kayoto’s singles triplet this year, and Its even more infectious than the first. It seems Spotify still don’t know where to quite pigeon whole his artistry, and this track will make it even harder for them. Being from Hull, it is difficult to comprehend the inherent American, R&B/Indie vibe of DO BETTER, but stylistically it is perfect for Kayoto.
JP FROM 640 - ENTITY
Anyone who produces their own beats and rhymes over them instantly gains our utmost respect. JP FROM 640 has been doing just this recently, and Entity showcases the North West Londoners prowess in both fields. The lucid instrumental whirrs around 640's subtle, catchy wordplay in an honouring manor, which is a testament to the rapper having influence in all elements of the track.
XAYMACA - COMING OF AGE
Putting Drill sensibilities into a more sensitive context seems to come natural to Xaymaca. On Coming of Age, which tells the rapper’s journey thus far, the East Londoner captivates with intricate, uplifting wordplay. The artist has plenty more singles to sink your teeth into over on your favourite streaming service, so be sure to check them out.
JIM LEGXCY - 4LEAFCLOVER
Jim Legxcy’s latest single exonerates the diverse cadence we have come to expect from him. The coherence in his wordplay and beat choice is highly creative - as the lyrical topics change in coordination with the several instrumental switches that happen throughout the tune. We've heard Legxcy has an EP coming out later in the year, so be sure to check back here for more news on that.
RENELLE893 & Beau Peep - DAY DRINK ft Erameld & Ramzey
For anyone who is partial to a Kronenbourg at 3 PM, this track is for you. Even if you don’t like a mid afternoon pint of the numbers, Renelle and Beau Peep’s single is an all occasion banger that should be topping your playlists at the moment. Homing in on the lofi vibes their ‘Everything is Temporary’ mixtape upholds, DAY DRINK’s chilled nature makes for some easy listening, but Renelle’s wordplay is on point as always.
MS BANKS - NOVIKOV
Banks is still one of the coldest U.K. artists going. Killing it on Afrobeats, Jungle and HipHop tunes, its difficult to find a genre that the south londoner won’t impale with her delicate harmonies and contrastingly abrasive flow. Produced by the equally versatile Cadenza, Novikov is a chilly depiction of the success Banks has received thus far and the whimsical effect she has on men.
Zack Oke - Blinded
Oke’s latest hypnotic hit captivates with muted baselines, rumbling percussion and his idiomatic lyricism. Its the first single from an upcoming EP, which is yet to have an official release date. He has racked up over 100,000 streams on Slumbr - the lead single from Sleepwalkers, but this still feels like just the start for him.
WRITTEN BY LIAM CATTERMOLE