21 Savage - Gun Smoke
Straight to the top of billboard’s top 200, 21’s new album ‘I am > I was’ nurtures the elements of his last two records and unleashes them across this project. Gun Smoke is one of the deeper, more visceral cuts - seeing a three way production between ItsNicklus, N4 and Kid Hazel. What a beat they make, as vivacious as it is harrowing, perfectly complimenting the cocky lyrics of, real name, MacArthur Johnson’s.
Tariq Disu - SLIME
Multi talented producer and rapper Disu speaks with an unusual eloquence, and 'Slime' feeds off the psychedelic trap previous hits like ‘Oh Shit!’ nurtured. On his latest EP, he finds himself developing a trippy, introspective stance, but ‘Slime’ is the stand out hit. Harmonising with himself poetically, the Londoner transports you quickly to a dreamy setting; listen to the tune and catch the waves.
Dylan the infamous - Tekarf
Mates with the Blah crew, and constantly praised by the likes of Louis Culture, Dylantheinfamous continues to project himself into the underground rap scene with banging beats. This lofi rework of a Migos tune is perfect for kick back winter vibes, embracing the cold and getting cosy with some zoots or glasses of JD. The vintage vintage beat construction is rich in instrumentation and vast soundscapes, which unusually compliment the vocal tones of trapstars Quavo, Offset and Takeoff.
MIA - Reload
‘AIM’ was meant to be MIA’s last album, but she can never stay out of the limelight. Her new film captures a glimpse into the career she has lived so far, and ‘Reload’ is one of the big talking points off it. Made back in the 2000s, it’s a track that she’s only just decided to release. A lot of people are talking about the ‘mad 2000s y2k’ aesthetic, however it was actually made then. Not in 2018. Nevertheless, it’s still retains the rude girl attitude so many people love her for, and you can check it out below.
Joey Purp - Aw Shit!
Again this tune didn’t specifically come out this month. However, the music video did, and it features the forever enchanting Chance the Rapper. Like his Chicago counterpart, he is defying the expectation from many in the scene that made him. This is a tune that widens his song craft, making him as expansive as someone in the calibre of Vince Staples, the beat builds and collides furiously under a newly discovered tone; very much black and white like the music video suggests. He definitely slipped under my radar in the rap world, don’t let him slip under yours.
Flohio - Pounce
Like many of Flohio’s song titles, ‘Pounce’ gives a very powerful first impression on listening. The tune itself relishes it’s name, hiding Flohio and her bars in the mysterious production Clams Casino brings, making you feel her agitations and irritations. This is her most diverse song to date, low-key serenading female rappers and showing the world that they have as much, if not more, composure and innovation in today’s game.
HOMESHAKE - Nothing could be better
Skepta is an avid fan of his, and the Canadian producer is back after the success of his latest LP ‘Fresh Air’. ‘Nothing Could Be Better’ is a gentle synth pop hit, which unleashes colourful rhythms that are sure to make you groove. (Real name) Peter Sagar is releasing his 4th album on the 15 of February, and it is sure to be a defining moment for the artist. The vibrant, geometric nature of the music video makes it well worth a watch too, the trippy visuals compliment his style brilliantly.
Swift - It’s nothing ft Donae’o
An album that has truly gone under the radar of many, ‘Seiftionary’ sees the Smoke Boys member developing his own craft, and ‘It’s Nothing’ was an instant highlight. The Afro-beat eloquence Donae’o brings to the table harmonises with Swift’s instinctive vocals, and slips smoothly over the grime inspired drill beat. Donae’o has been in the game for a while, so he brought such a versatile range of styles to the production, whilst maintaining the natural club hit essence we know him for.
Little Simz - 101 FM
Drawing on influences of Asian culture, weaving the hypnotic melodies into the basis of the tune, Little Simz continues to prove she is one of the waviest female rappers in the U.K. Her album is shaping up insanely well, every track released so far has explored a completely different style. ‘101 FM’ differs astronomically from previous single ‘Offence’, in which she reflects on her past, and the simple pleasures that came with it; adopting different personas to develop the narrative and capture you.
Easy Life - Temporary Love part 1
After the success of previous single ‘Nightmares’, Easy Life have found themselves performing live on Jules Holland, and on the bill for Coachella. ‘Temporary Love Part 1’, from a production point of view, could have been tampered with by Tyler, The Creator, the summery synths sound straight from Flower Boy - but it offers a more quintessentially British. It is more elaborate than ‘Nightmares’ and sees the Leicester 5 piece potentially broadening their sound beyond the catchy indie we know them for.
Kodak Black - Identity Theft
Subtle flutes are all the craze in trap at the moment, and no one is doing it better than Kodak. The exotic layer of instrumentation makes a song transform from being so blatantly average to one of the best on the album. Personally, I am not a fan of his new body of work, but this is a highlight. Make sure you quit it as soon as the last second is played though, otherwise you will end up with the horrendous 'Gnarly' proceeding.