Browsing Tag

UK Hip Hop

JoeJas scribed the ultimate sonic manifesto in how to be free with his high-vibe rap track, Escape

Speaking directly to the freaks, geeks, and losers, the latest single, Escape, from the high-vibe emissary, JoeJas, is the ultimate sonic manifesto on how to break down the walls that construct self-confidence-crushing prison bars around your psyche.

With punchy lines in the vein of “picked on but never picked me”, JoeJas and his relatable compassion proved that the vicious tendencies of schoolyard bullies and all their crucifying criticism shouldn’t be the blueprint for your self-worth.

The empowering lyricism is only matched by the euphorically jazzy retro hip-hop aesthetics that are strong enough to put you on a new plateau and shift your perception until you can see your own idiosyncrasies as something to embrace; authenticity is a currency that will never lose its market value.

By matching the vibrancy of the production with the youthfully bright colours in the music video, which dropped on September 9th, JoeJas delivered an infectiously upraising track with Escape; catch the self-worth fever by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London’s CoolRap Pioneer, Index Dex, Turned Up the Temperature with Fire Out

The South African-born, London-residing conduit of high-octane flavorous hip-hop, Index Dex, turned up the temperature with the drop of his latest energetically unreckonable single, Fire Out.

The illustrious artist and heir to the CoolRap throne may have moved from his home, but even after ten years in the UK hip-hop scene, his roots are as vibrant as ever as they ooze through his irreplicable swagger.

Never one to turn away from raw and visceral lyricism, Index Dex always delivers introspection-rich and socially-aware hits that do more than scratch at the surface; his wit-sharp bars have an efficacious way of bedding into the centre of your consciousness as you’re dizzied by the canter of his riotously arranged rap bars.

Since making his debut, he’s worked with the E.M.I producer, O.D. Hunte, performed in multiple iconic venues and festivals, including London Love-Box Festival and Notting Hill Carnival. His latest single, Fire Out, has exactly what it takes to take his career to the next level.

Fire Out is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Poet Initiative served up summer in his melodic RnB hip-hop EP Ocean Drive

Poet Initiative

After starting his creative journey as a poet, the London, UK-residing artist Poet Initiative took the initiative to establish himself as one of the most versatile hip-hop artists in the UK. His earwormy melodies are accentuated by the influence of Reggaeton, Japanese hip-hop, Korean hip-hop and the UK garage scene. To get a taste of his freshly honed sonic flavour, delve into his debut 4-track EP, Ocean Drive.

While many artists are quick to describe themselves as versatile, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more dynamic release than this. With grooves strong enough to elevate any mood, Ocean Drive reached the pinnacle of a universal playlist staple. With the good vibes and even better rhythmics, Ocean Drive is a stellar seminal EP that hits sweet spots you didn’t know existed.

Poet Initiative said:

“Ocean Drive reflects my evolving sound. I’ve always found myself caught between wanting to create music you can dance to but also kick back to. The catchy hooks and warm melodies in my EP combine that.

This EP is underpinned by the overarching message to have fun, be yourself, enjoy those long summer nights, party in the sunshine, and make the most of those moments’ life gives you.”

Ocean Drive will be available on all major platforms on July 26th. Pre-save the single on Spotify.

Keep up to date with the latest releases from Poet Initiative on Instagram and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lose yourself in the escapism of MUNBOI’s hyper pop hip-hop hit, Runaway

It has been almost a year since MUNBOI walked us down Memory Ln with his stellar slice of stoic hip-hop, but it only took his fiery flow in the first verse of his latest trap-pop-hip-hop amalgam, Runaway, to jog our memory and remind us of all the reasons he left us in awe.

By blending elements of hyper pop, chiptune, and grime-y hip-hop, the 24-year-old Bracknell, UK-hailing alternative artist, producer, and audio engineer enticed us into his sonic fantasy. For the two-and-a-half-minute duration of Runaway, you’re enveloped by the – quite literally – animated escapism of the hit. The sticky-sweet texture of the melodies contrasted against the blazingly rapid rap bars is enough to leave your senses in a tailspin, but the beats will always bring you back down to earth safely.

Since we last heard MUNBOI, he hasn’t failed to make major waves in the industry. With the help of his hardcore fans, he has sold out his hometown and London shows. Radio 1, BBC Introducing, and BBC Radio Berkshire also played their part in raising the artist up from the underground.

Runaway hit the airwaves on the 12th of July; lose yourself in it via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Goldson versed a meditation on resilience on ‘Don’t Fold on Me’

The UK rapper, songwriter, screenwriter and videographer, Goldson, poured soul back into the London hip-hop landscape with his seminal single and music video, Don’t Fold on Me.

The meditation on resilience is a compassion-soaked declaration of how hard it is to keep your head above water when life’s pressures try and force you under it. The poetically versed hit is a raw reminder that everyone is living a personal battle of wills, whether you see their scars or not.

Instrumentally, Goldson went back to the old school with cinematic grace to create the atmosphere around the solid rattle of the 808s, which constructs a melodious platform for his hard truths and even harder-hitting demand to live more mindfully when it comes to your sanctity and the struggles of everyone around you. The wit in the wordplay could only be described as immense. Clearly, he’s got a luminous career ahead of him.

Check out the official music video for Don’t Fold on Me, which premiered on May 14, on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Marcello (spooks) kicked up dust in his metaphorically sharp alt-rap double A-side, Endless Drive: A Love Story

After racking up over 1 million streams on his hit single, True Colours, London’s brightest rap luminary, Marcello (spooks) has exhibited his even more sharply honed wordplay skills in his double A-side release, Endless Drive: A Love Story. With the unrelenting desire to show his readers how to let the light in with his optimistic rap bars, he created two assured afro-pop/rap earworms with the two singles, TRAFFIC and ENDLESS DRIVE.

Attitude is everything; Marcello’s will leave you revelling in gritty yet sincerely pure soul. His daring propensity to look on the bright side and flip the pervasive narrative that life is a minefield of personal injustice needs to spill onto the darker corners of the internet. The stellar production in his double A-side with his effortlessly exhilarating air that breathes through his vibrant bars will pull you down to earth while simultaneously leaving you on cloud nine.

“Endless Drive: A Love Story is a metaphor for the nature of a turbulent romantic relationship and the perseverance required to be happy and successful in music and life. The first single, TRAFFIC, is about finding patience while standing behind someone else in the queue for your love, but you don’t mind because it is worth the wait. The same sentiment stands when you are on the road to success.

The second single, ENDLESS DRIVE, is a meta depiction of how it feels to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t know how to drive, takes the wrong turns, gets you lost, doesn’t focus on the road ahead and always makes a beeline for complications.”

Endless Drive: A Love Story will hit the airwaves on April 18; catch it on Spotify and SoundCloud.

Follow Marcello (spooks) on Twitter and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: London rap artist LKS’ lyricality exposed the tumultuous nature of expression in ‘Say My Peace’

South London-based rap artist, LKS, penned one of the sincerest windows into the artistic process with his latest single, Say My Peace, which officially dropped on February 22nd.

The arrestingly deep introspection pulls you into the intimately expressive core of the melodic indie hip-hop hit that explores how creativity can push you to be the best version of yourself while exposing self-sabotaging tendencies that stem from fear and insecurity.

Every artist has a different set of motivational cogs working behind their tracks; for LKS, it is the sensation of seeing an emotionally constructed concept come to visceral life. Say My Peace is a testament to his ability to resist the allure of a façade and the superficiality of fame as an artistic incentive. Hit play and listen to your perception of success distort around the mellow melodicism.

Here’s what LKS had to say about his latest single:

“I wanted to write about that weird state of mind where you feel you have no limits, but at the same time, you suppress your success and accept the fate that comes with disregarding your talent. It’s also about the inability to grasp an amazing moment tight enough to live it to the fullest.

Ultimately, you end up with nothing and have to go through the process of accepting that too, but in the end, we can’t take our material world or success into the next life; everything we have amassed will be in the hands of others or cast away in the same vein as my disregard for my talents.”

Listen to Say My Peace on Spotify or watch the official music video on YouTube.

To keep up to date with future releases, follow LKS on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Raw candour and cadence collide in South London rapper LKS’ single, Say My Peace

If you thought the titular metaphor in the South London rap artist LKS’ latest single, Say My Peace, is something, wait until you feel how the introspective wisdom grips you through the fluid cadence it is delivered through

The gentle and melodic guitars spill accordance under the luminary artist’s soberingly raw bars that compel you to lean so deeply that you will feel every syllable crawl under your skin. Based on Say My Peace, no one could ever accuse LKS of not keeping it real. The candour in his admissions of creative mental friction sounds so much sweeter when you hear what a luminary he is. He’s undeniable.

The official music video for Say My Peace is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Mr Streetz set the bar for other UK rappers’ bars in the first single from his dynamically soulful LP, Wins & Bosses

Mr Streetz

With the soul of Hozier, the grit of Stormzy, the instrumental flair of Rag’n’Bone man and a charisma that is undeniably his own, Mr Streetz created the ultimate hustler hip-hop track with Rags to Riches, taken from his upcoming album, Wins & Bosses.

For the last few years, motivational rap tracks have peddled some dangerous tropes through the fetishization of working your fingers to the bone in ‘the grind’. Mr Streetz provided a more realistic account of an ascent to greatness, which organically makes his driven demeanour that has left success in his sightline since his debut infectious.

After making his debut during lockdown, the UK rapper has dropped 25 singles, three EPs and one album. To date, he has garnered over one million streams on YouTube and 700,000 on Spotify. With his single, Fish in the Sea, garnering over 200k streams alone. There is no stopping his momentum now.

He may be relatively fresh from his debut, but he has already perfected the art of commanding the mic by pouring an equal measure of soul, conviction and wit into it. His bars set the bar for every other UK rapper looking to make a distinctive mark.

“This album is a dedication to all the youngsters who grew up in the late 1990s early 2000s who wanted to be like the bad guys in gangster films, idolising that lifestyle and the money they made.”

The Wins & Bosses LP will officially release on February 24th.

Until then, get your Mr Streetz fill through Rags to Riches on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Grime icon in the making, Jacob Briggs, has released a dizzying drop with ‘Bothered’.

Amalgamating the fiercest elements of trap, grime and drill, the UK icon in the making, Jacob Briggs, created a juggernaut of a hit with his latest single, Bothered, which officially dropped on December 9th.

Proving that grime hasn’t lost its flavour since Wiley gave us a taste in the early 00s, Bothered exhibits Briggs’ dizzying flow, which doesn’t sacrifice the lyrical content which puts to shame the archetypes built in the industry since it dawned.

The electronic music producer and creative artist started his sonic journey inspired by RnB and hip hop acts before creating his own rhythm-riding sonic signature that packs enough fervour to make your head spin. Watch this space before Briggs tears through it with the force of a lyrical tornado.

Feel the heat simmer from Bothered by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast