KAM-BU - BUTTERFLY KICK (PRODUCED BY PULLEN)
I think this is actually my track of the month. I love all of the songs on this list, but the scintillating samples and aggressive tone to KAM-BU’s flow work so well together, creating clear juxtaposition and admirable melodies. It’s a highly addictive track, that will leave your head bopping for sometime after your first listen. Where the song shines, is through the slightly muted trappy snare, which combines in a state of perfection with the goofy vocally manipulated, repetitive chorus. KAM-BU and PULLEN are definitely ones on the up.
Louis Culture - Local
Once again produced by PULLEN, who’s becoming a recurring figure on our website, Louis Culture’s ‘Local’ is a spacey, atmospheric rap ballad that utilises gentle harmonies and wavey production to the rappers advantage. Culture’s raps sit subtly over the beat, utilising distorted vocal manipulations to speak his mind and create a catchy hook. There is a strong theme of love and adolescence at the centre of the track, but the arguably classic theme is executed in an intriguing way, and makes the British rapper seem more vulnerable than previous singles.
YS Tekdinner - Carni
I haven’t been to London’s carnival ever in my life, don’t shoot me, but if it’s anything as funky as this track then I’m going next year. Taking on influences from the garage scene, YS has opted for a more blissful, nostalgic aesthetic on this one, when normally he favours a more tasteful, terrorising trap beat. I’ve been playing this song an awful amount since it came out, and I reckon it is my favourite of his, hopefully it will perpetuate him into a new realm of praise.
808INK - Gummy Bears
808INK’s new album is setting up nicely, this is the most ferocious song they’ve teased off the LP, and has released some inner angst that the duo have obviously wanted to rid of for a while. ‘Shout cos I’m pissed off’ is an incredibly fiery line on the hook, and transitions the duo into new territory, where they can justify their unquestionable versatility. Within the British hip hop scene, they are heavily hailed by critics, who have also saluted their live show too.
Honey JD - Honey Tone
I don’t know an awful lot about Honey JD, but this track was more than enough to instigate some further investigation. The easy going, classic beat suits his grainy voice, and the harmonies he produces too. It reminds me slightly of Loyle Carner, but a little rougher around the edges and a bit more underground, which is obviously as much of a compliment as any given the successes of the London MC.
Lord Apex - Sunny Daze
This month has brought a lot of heavenly hip hop, with many rappers taking a more reflective stance instead of the gut wrenching, hard hitting beats and bars we have had over the summer. Winter is coming, and everyone seems to be going into their shell. Lord Apex’s new EP fits this billing, and Sunny Daze is incredibly soothing on the ears. It is definitely one to kick back and (not) smoke a zoot to. Apex is a true reveller in the underground, and this is as better evidence as any that he deserves more praise than he is currently receiving.
Sneaks - Beliefs
Supporting ‘Goat Girl’ on some upcoming shows, ‘Sneaks’ has taken a different direction on her latest single. A more introspective, electronica stance over powers the artist’s usual indieness. It is a nice turn in direction, and one I actually think improves her sound overall; 'Remove your beliefs and start again/Cause all I want to do is start again' is the only line of the whole song, meaning the production had to do the work and suit the abstract vibe the line brings to the tune. It definitely does this, making me very intrigued to see what she comes out with next.
Noname - Ace
I managed to catch the end of Noname’s Reading festival slot this summer, where she mesmerised a loyal crowd, who were all very perky despite her early booking. This soulful cut, off her latest LP ‘Room 25’, features one of my favourite urban talents in America; ‘Saba’ adds that extra layer of sleekness, whilst Smino‘s soothing vocals completes the trio of exciting up and coming R&B names. The whole of Noname’s new album is brilliant, so be sure to check that out.
Little Simz - Offence
Real name ‘Simbiatu Abisola Abiola Ajikawo’, Little Simz’ raucious rhythms and fiesta bars are some of the best in the business. With interesting instrumentation, and a clear change in direction, the London artist really shines on this one. A scrappy and angsty tune, many fans may say it is a return to form for Simz, who is finally hitting the highs of her debut LP. Listen to the experimental banger below.
IVAN - YUNG FIENDS FT Virgil Hawkins & YS Tekdinner
One of the more trancy tunes on our list, ‘YUNG FIENDS’ offers atmospheric tones and a psychedelic backing for Virgil and YS to execute. They do this so naturally, and fit IVAN's production very well. Their is a good connection on this tune, which probably came around really organically given the sound it possessed.
Action Bronson - White Bronco
A transporting tune by one of the world’s most interesting characters, ‘White Bronco’ is an insight into the life of a true rags to riches. Using imagery of spaceships to prove his intergerlactic success, but by admitting ‘Somebody always gotta fuck it up’ Bronson expresses the difficulty in maintaining the prowess he has developed since his untouchable ‘Mr. Wonderful’ LP. From the hypnotic jingling chimes at the start, to the distorted, subtle drum rhythms that lay below Action’s flow, the father of two proves he still has one of the best sounds in hip hop in America. It’s definitely one to kick back and relax to.