At the end of each month we curate a collection of must listens to keep you in the loop. Ranging from rappers in the Emerald Isle to boundary pushing, experimental producers and everything in between, we’ve got you sorted.
This time we see the return of Jamie xx, Headie One’s most boundary-pushing effort yet and 2020 most stacked feature list so far.
Louis Culture – Being Me
English artist Louis Culture has shared a thoughtful new cut drawing from elements of techno and spoken word.
Enlisting whirling synths and sharp, tinny percussion Louis is recalling all the horrible slights he’s been on the wrong end of. The hypnotic nature of his delivery and the unforgiving production feel emblematic of relentless emotional suffering a lot of people face from lazy stereotypes.
But the Battersea spitter isn’t letting it get to him and is throwing a middle finger up in his latest video.
Why-Axis – BLOODSTAIN
Remember nights out?
Irish crooner Why-Axis came through with a new video for arguably his best track to date, ‘BLOODSTAIN’. He’s developed a style, delivery and cadence that makes his lyrics hard to decipher at times, but simultaneously allows his words to blend into the funky instrumentation.
Dipping from a pre-drinks to catch the bus to nightclub it’s a throwback to better, pre-quarantine times.
Para Fiction – EPISODE III: PANDEMIC
Brighton duo Para Fiction have been making waves with their own brand of no fucks given, rage-infused punk-rap. Having earned plaudits from the likes of JPEGMAFIA and Chlobocop after providing support for them at riotous shows, they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Hot off their second EP ‘EPISODE 2: EPIDEMIC’, the pair have dropped ‘EPISODE III: PANDEMIC’, an aptly named seven track project that tightly bottles a mish-mash of tongue-in-cheek lyricism with frustration-filled guitar riffs.
There’s a sense of looming anxiety in the woozy, and at times unsettling production that’s perfect to soundtrack uncertain times.
Headie One – GANG
London rapper Headie One has challenged any established narratives surrounding drill artists with his latest collaborative EP with Fred again…
Rather than focusing on many of the common tropes within the genre, he’s looked inward on a forward thinking and vulnerable project that borrows atmospheric sounds from techno to project feelings of regret, paranoia and confusion.
As far as boundary pushing rappers go, Headie One is up there with the best and his collaboration with Jamie xx highlights both his willingness to experiment and his growing stature among his peers.
Jelani Blackman – P2P Feat. Big Zuu
Jelani Blackman has one of UK rap’s most distinctive voices. On his latest cut with Big Zuu, his gruff bars line an 808 heavy instrumental as Zuu hits every pocket.
It’s a relentless back and forth beaming with charisma and the visuals are the result of some stay-at-home creative thinking.
Jamie xx – Idontknow
With Jamie xx having featured on Headie One’s surprise ‘Gang’ EP there was a feeling brewing that there was a return on the cards for the production wizard.
Confirming our suspicions Jamie dropped his first new music in five years ‘Idontknow’. It’s a whirlwind of a track that features perhaps more deliberate and aggressive production, unlike his earlier, softer works.
Westside Gunn – Pray For Paris
New York’s Griselda are making waves. They are pushing the trademark East Coast sound ushered in by the greats before them, whilst simultaneously adding their own distinctive flavour. Alvin Lamar Worthy aka Westside Gunn dropped his album ‘Pray For Paris’ this month and it confirms the admiration from their contemporaries with the project having potentially the most stacked contribution and feature list of the year.
‘Pray For Paris’ sees Gunn link with Tyler, The Creator, Billie Essco and Joey Bada$$ on ‘327’, with Tyler also producing ‘Party With Pop Smoke’. Freddie Gibbs and Roc Marciano feature on The Alchemist-produced ‘$500 Ounces’, Wale and Joyce Wrice makes appearances on ‘French Toast’ too.
If you are fan of icy cold bars, ridiculous ad libs and that quintessential, grimy New York sound, then you are in luck.
LYAM – Angel Feat. Myth
Enigmatic East London artist LYAM dropped ‘Angel’ earlier this month. It carefully balances a sense of vulnerability highlighted in the lyrics and lucid croons sampled from Sampha with forward-facing percussion that keeps the him from from falling victim to his inward thoughts.
The subsequent visuals feel like a supercut of the singer’s delicate memories.
Manga Saint Hilare – Make It Out Alive
Grime veteran Manga Saint Hilare reasserts his position as one of the best to do it in his new album ‘Make It Out Alive’.
Not content with solely providing bangers, Manga has beefed up the piece by lacing themes of self-love, bravado and the independent grind to elevate what is already, sonically speaking, a quality album.
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