Skepta - Greaze Mode
Finding the perfect middle ground between Konnichiwa and Blacklisted, ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ soundscapes the new sonics pulsating out of London at the moment. Nafe Smallz’ vocal performance creates such a catchy hook, one that will be heard in clubs across the world for quite some time. The North Londoner’s bars are some of his best ever too: “I’m an asthmatic, weed fanatic, when I get high I leave the planet” - you can read our full review here.
Digga D - P4DP
2019 has been a huge year for drill, and Digga D’s ‘Double Tap Diaries’ is arguably the most impressive mixtape to drop all year from the genre. The LP opener ‘P4DP’ is produced by M1, a hugely celebrated figure from the scene and is an anagram for ‘Play 4 The Pagans’ - a tune drill collective ‘1011’ released a year ago. The wordplay is immense in this one, D barely takes a breath as he references his accurate flows through metaphors of guns and shootings: “Tryna aim for your head, pronounce man dead, pull up and root him”.
Safario - Close 2 the Moon
The Norwegian rapper is known for his energetic flows and intense lyrical deliveries, but ‘Close 2 The Moon’ sees him exploring a more vulnerable sound. The Rejjie Snow collaborator enlists a goofy beat to nestle below his more introspective wordplay than previous songs. Hopefully a new EP is on Its way, as 2018’s ‘Kapiskate’ was a very promising body of work from the young artist.
Tyler, The Creator - NEW MAGIC WAND
Literally any track off IGOR could have ended up on here, but ‘New Magic Wand’ exemplifies the progression made by the LA native since the highly experimental Cherry Bomb. The use of distrained vocals works far better on New Magic Wand than it did on Keep Da O’s, for example. This song looks mental live too, the audience at Governer’s Ball were spoilt by his headline show the other day. Full IGOR write up here.
Santi - Freaky
Although this tune officially came out in 2018, it is such a highlight on Santi’s debut project ‘Mandy and the Jungle’ that we had to put it in the tracks for May. Drawing on influences of 90s Afrobeat, the genre bending Lagos star samples an old Nigerian song called ‘Shobedobedoo’ to complete a modern classic from the rising African genre ‘Alté’.
Steve Lacy - Like Me ft Daisy
'Like Me' sees the master of bedroom pop exploring his sexuality with the help of LA indie band 'Daisy'. It's an unbelievably catchy song, despite it's episodic 10 minute length. The synthy switch up half way through works so well too, creating a psychedelic concoction of sounds to compliment their vocals.
House of Pharaohs - 2008
Just in time for summer, the collaborative effort of super producer Nyge and the UK’s most loved rap collective House Of Pharaohs will be blazing over the streets of London these coming months. ‘2008’ is completely different to any tune Sam Wise and Co have ever released, a rhythmic bop that sees melody prioritised over the provocative bars we know them for.
Kasien ft Kelvin Krash - CSWS
After seeing Kasien support Bakar at London’s Hangar, we’ve been bellowing out his new EP ‘K2’ constantly. Opener ‘CSWS’ is savage on your speakers; the beat Krash constructs will dig a whole in your subwoofer, and the bars Kasien spits portrays his devoted, workaholic stance on making music. The whole EP is pretty unfaultable, any of the tunes could have ended up in this list but CSWS really sets the tone and pace of the project.
Slowthai - Inglorious Bastards ft Skepta
A top ten debut album was almost an inevitability once this track was released. The production Skepta brings to the tune manages to capsulate Thai’s spoken word flow and make it even more demonic than usual. The music video has to be one of the best of the year too, referencing A clock work orange, and showcasing the duo doing donuts from the roof of a blood red car.
NiNE8 - Twc
Standing for ’Thug With Class’, ’TWC’ is a tune made with mosh pits in mind. NiNE8’s producer Mac Wetha excels in delivering a visceral beat, which basically all of the group hop on with a contagious energy. If and when NiNE8 tour, this song will go off and cause a lot of chaos that the venues won’t really be able to handle. The whole EP is fire, so check it out.
Flying Lotus ft Tierra Whack - Yellow Belly
A new Flylo album has been a long time coming, but the wait has been well worth it. The fusion of jazz, house and hiphop makes his sound completely unique; the addition of Tierra Whack spices up the classically left field, lo-fi beat that, real name, Steven Ellison devises.
Goldlink - Zulu Screams
The heavy, highly percussive nature of Goldlink’s new hit makes it a summer banger in the waiting. Maleek Barry has completely outdone himself on the production, it fits the buttery vocal tones of, real name, D’Anthony Carlos beautifully, and completes an undoubted afrobeat anthem.
Beast Coast - Far Away
New York supergroup Beast Coast released their highly anticipated debut album this month, and 'Far Away' is completely different to any of the sonics Joey Badass, Flatbush and the Underachievers have ever made. As rhythmic as it is infectious, the track is one for the inevitable summer bun ups, check out the full album; every song is worth a listen.