What I’ve been listening to
4:44!!! No surprises here then, Jay-Z has dropped his first project in four years, addressing claims of infidelity and immediately silencing anyone’s questioning of his relevance in Hip-Hop. I literally spent half my weekend with this album on repeat non-stop and then spent the other half reading the lyrics to the album to catch all of the references that I may have missed. Hova is back!
Now with the hype surrounding “4:44” you’d be forgiven for ignoring any other music released this past week; after the dust settled I was quick to jump on the the other big album release from last week. “Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1” is Calvin Harris entry for summer 2017 soundtrack and let’s be honest, he’s won!
Ditching his big-room EDM schtick for a funky, trap-influenced R&B record, Calvin has assembled a team of artists on this album to rival that of DJ Khaled and the result is 40 minutes of pure brilliance!
What’s been good?
AJ Tracey – False 9
The latest football themed track from Grimes answer to Thiago Silva! The imagery used in this track is next level, the title itself plays homage to the floating striker role employed by many football teams to get the best out of particularly talented players.
The way AJ demostrates his lyrical mastery parallels this tactic and further confirms him as one of the MCs to watch from this new generation of Grime! Now the video for this track see’s AJ rocking the brand new Tottenham Hotspur home shirt for the 2017/2018 season, the second Grime MC to market a new football shirt following Stormzy and Manchester United.
Could this be a sign that AJ will be the next Grime MC to blow? All we can say is that you don’t need to be a Tottenham fan or even a football fan to be mesmerised by AJ Tracey’s Tiki-taka flow!
Cadet – No More Letters
Last year Cadet penned “Letter’s To Krept” aimed at his cousin and fellow MC Krept. Now what made this song special was that, rather than a diss track aimed at Krept, “Letters” was an open invitation to reinforce ties with Krept.
Cadet delivered an introspective, subtle, conscious rap track which captured the attention of the scene and more importantly Krept himself. On “No More Letter’s” Cadet follows up on this track and the impact it has had on his career.
Compared to the deep, understated bars of the prequel this follow up sees Cadet unleash energy fuelled lyrics over a bouncy instrumental; all polished off with his rallying cry of “Cadet, Cadet!” as the tracks massive hook!
What’s been bad?
Bugzy Malone – Bruce Wayne
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Bugzy Malone hater! Let me just clear that up before I get into this; I’m actually a fan of his and a absolutely loved his debut album “Walk With Me”. That’s why I’m disapointed with this song, it’s all, dull, brooding menace and really didn’t strike a cord with me.
Compare this to the other caped-crusader themed track recently released, “Batman” by Jaden Smith, which in my opinion is a next-level trap banger that really captured the darkness of Batman as a character but didn’t compromise on energy.
Now with Bugzy Malone and Chip both releasing albums this summer I’m personally hoping for a rekindling of the rivalry between the two and maybe even Grimes own version of the album sale battle between Kanye West and 50 Cent in 2007 (you know the one where Kanye ultimately ended up setting the tone for the next decade of Hip-Hop and 50 Cent disappeared from view until resurfacing last year with claims he was bankrupt)!
Now I may be digressing a bit here but the point is the same, I’m hoping for a lot more on Bugzy’s upcoming album!
Desiigner – Liife
Is “Panda” an absolute banger? Definitely! Is Desiigner an artist worth listening to? Hmm, not sure! Is Desiigner a good rapper? Probably not! Has Desiigner released a good song since “Panda”? No! Am I going to spend any more time writi…
This Weeks Top-Pick
Skepta – Hypocrisy
Since 2016’s Mercury prize winning album “Konnichiwa” Skepta has gone from strength to strength and this week fans were treated to a brand new surprise from Grimes current flag-bearer.
“Hypocrisy” continues Skepta’s story, having finally cracked the mainstream without sacrificing the raw edge that serves as Grimes hallmark; here he takes aim at people trying to make him compromise this integrity and systematically takes them apart, from classroom stories to rejecting an MBE.
Sonically “Hypocrisy” continues in the same vein as cuts from “Konnichiwa” and could easily slot into the album. But let’s be honest, when you’ve come up with a winning formula, why change?
No doubt Skepta will come up something completely surprising on his next project but for now he’s riding the wave of the past years success and this song serves as another highlight on his victory lap.