Browsing Tag

uk rap

reubencmg looked beyond the surface level of scars in his compassionately raw rap track, Insecure

In his latest single, Insecure, the UK rapper reubencmg opened a narrative on how we can walk through life buried under the weight of our trauma which bears down on everything we do, from how we navigate relationships to what we will passively accept from life’s protagonists who bank on people being bruised enough to tolerate exploitation and humiliation.

With the soul in the backing vocals harmonising behind the George the Poet-esque spoken-word cadence, which adds to the melodiously wavy vibe of Insecure, reubencmg keeps it raw and real while delivering a gritty urban soundscape that people can seek solace within every time they need a reminder that every person you walk past in the street has their own demons to defeat and burdens biting down on their psyche.

Stream Insecure on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ard Adz & Sho Shallow sharpened the raw edge of London’s rap scene with ‘Still Windy’

Brixton’s biggest rap luminary, Sho Shallow, has another feat of innovative urban engineering in his discography, which is quickly becoming an unreckonable legacy in the London rap scene. Still Windy, created in collaboration with Ard Adz, is a deeply affecting synthesis of lyrical intimacy, gritty charisma, and melodious beats that pulsate luxe grooves into the release which doesn’t allow the essence of the track to be overshadowed and lost by excessive studio production.

In the span of 12 hours, Still Windy was recorded and the music video was filmed, ensuring the same fire that sparked the inspiration blazes through the fervent release, which juxtaposes the soul in the backing vocals with the sharp cadence in the rap delivery, which bleeds urgency and expressive candour.

The video has racked up almost 200k streams since its December 28th premiere, which debuted ahead of the Head Above Water LP, which is due for release on January 26.

Check out the official music video brought to YouTube by GRM Daily via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lem’s Sophomore Rap Track, S.A.D, Is A Stark Reflection of Modern Angst

In “S.A.D”, Lem’s second release, there’s an undeniable gravity that pulls you into the heart of today’s societal unease. The track starts with a haunting piano melody, subtly setting a sombre mood. As Lem’s verses unfold, there’s a tangible shift from mere melancholy to a profound, introspective exploration of contemporary disillusionment.

Lem’s lyrical prowess shines as he navigates through the complexities of modern life. His words are a candid portrayal of the pressures we face, from economic turmoil to the distorted realities perpetuated online. His approach is refreshingly sincere, standing out in a genre often dominated by surface-level expressions of frustration.

Lem’s raw narrative resonates with authenticity, offering listeners a glimpse into the struggles beneath the facade of everyday life. His choice to reveal the real sources of his anxiety and depression is both brave and rare, making “S.A.D” a standout piece in UK rap.

“S.A.D” is an impactful addition to Lem’s growing discography, showcasing his ability to articulate the complexities of the human psyche in a way that is both enlightening and deeply moving. It’s a compelling invitation to engage with his music and a strong indication of his potential to leave a lasting mark on the music scene.

S.A.D was officially released on January 12th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bedfordshire’s Jeron Ross started a riot of rap innovation in his sophomore release, Possession

After making his debut with his East Coast-flavoured inaugural release, Write of Passage, featuring A Alchemy, the Bedfordshire rapper, Jeron Ross turned experimentalism into exhilaration by exploring the depths of alt-rap and showcasing his ability to blend storytelling with the unpredictability of freestyle in his sophomore release, Possession.

Hit play and find yourself in the uninhibited corridors of Ross’ mind, where each verse and switch in tempo leads you deeper down the rabbit hole and confronted by a mosaic of musical ideas, where each distinct part is part of a larger, mesmerising portrait of possession.

Ross’ versatility shines as he transitions from harmonised choruses to zany bars, each switch in style and tone adding layers to the track’s rich texture. His vocal performances are a rollercoaster of emotions, exuding a sense of impassioned and cagey urgency that grips the listener from start to finish.

The track’s structure, with more curveballs than cohesion, might seem unconventional at first. However, this apparent disarray is Ross’ genius at play. It reflects the chaos of a mind in constant motion, thoughts and emotions colliding and coalescing into something profoundly expressive.

Ross’ background in freestyle rapping, honed since his teenage years, is evident in the fluidity and spontaneity of Possession. His wicked punchlines and vivid imagery are a sure sign of even bigger things to come.

Possession was officially released on December 26; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

J Swave waxed lyrical on the cyclicality of capitalism with his soulfully smooth rap track, Round and Round

UK rapper J Swave is a conduit of soulful innovation in his latest track, Round and Round. With ethereal backing harmonies which resonate as though they’ve just been torn from the sunset of an ambiently exotic deep house track behind his steady and captivating canter, the track unravels as a profoundly melodious commentary on the unyielding demands of capitalism.

J Swave, with his Nigerian roots and diverse background, has consistently demonstrated his ability to resonate with a wide audience. His debut EP, III Styles, and the mixtape Catch the Swave have already set a high bar, but Round and Round elevates his artistry to new heights – far above the standard set for underground artists. The track’s cross-over commercial appeal is undeniable, with a melodic sonic signature almost hypnotic in its gravitational pull.

Going beyond the hot-headed anger and opting to verse emotionally charged poetry that delves deep into social issues, it’s effortless to become consumed in the introspection. His verses are a poignant subversion of the medieval theology that love is the central force in the world. In Swave’s portrayal of the UK’s capitalistic dystopia, it’s not the measure of the heart but, lamentedly, the weight of one’s wallet that defines a man.

As the backing vocals provide a hauntingly beautiful contrast to Swave’s grounded, rhythmic flow, the track entwines euphonic magnetism with a provoking stimulus for the mind. It’s a track that not only resonates with his growing fan base but also stands as a compelling invitation for new listeners to explore the depth and versatility of his music.

Watch the official music video for Round and Round, which premiered on December 13th on YouTube, or stream the single on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mr Asap made lyrical bombs out of his mic drops in ‘Heathrow’

Taking influence from Dave, Lotto Boyzz, MoStack, and Wu-Tang Clan and turning that inspiration into a brand-new urban fusion, the London-based up-and-coming artist, Mr Asap, is ensnaringly fresh on his new track and music video, Heathrow.

By bringing cinematic elements into his instrumentals, including evocatively weighted minor key piano progressions and classical strings, Mr Asap went beyond the drill beats to deliver a track that will consume your consciousness whole while he flexes his skills with wordplay in a way that makes lyrical bombs out of mic drops.

It may be early days in the industry for Mr Asap, but his determination to step out of the ordinary with every bar has established him as a luminary the spotlight deserves to shine on. Expect even bigger things from Mr Asap in 2024; with his swathes of charisma and his gritty true-to-form intellectualism, he won’t disappoint.

The official music video for Heathrow premiered on November 24th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Massive Cranes grooved with the bumps in the night with their macabre release, Monsters

Massive Cranes went beyond proving all monsters wear human skin with their latest chillingly raw single, which pulled the masks from the most nefarious entities in the UK and revealed them as Tories. Jacob Rees Mogg won’t approve of this message, but everyone left disenfranchised by their reign of late-stage capitalism will revel in the vindication so piquantly delivered.

If Massive Cranes don’t reach the same heights as John Cooper Clarke with their gritty expositions of reality in the UK, it will add to the long list of injustices covered in this sonically macabre, lyrically mesmerising release which doesn’t shy away from the darkest facets of our contemporary reality. It meets them face-on with a sardonic grin.

The sinisterly deep synth lines against the unearthly backbeat in Monsters create the perfect atmosphere for spoken word laments to sink into as they speak on battles with malady, futility, and ennui. We couldn’t be more obsessed with this track if we tried.

Monsters was officially released on November 10; stream it on SoundCloud.  

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chiron Loxton rolled evocatively deep in his alt-rap track, The Importance of Incorporating Healthy Outlets

After delivering one of the hottest electro-house hip-hop drops of the summer with his single, Ibiza, the alt-rap trailblazer Chiron Loxton’s mood has changed with the weather in his introspectively raw single, The Importance of Incorporating Healthy Outlets.

Stunning, dark, and haunting in equal measure, the intricate instrumentals set the ambience and atmosphere for Loxton’s grimey rap bars to storm through, making it impossible not to lock into the candour and precision of the canter as the rap luminary attests to the necessity of creativity.

It’s a window into the experience of the artist, Loxton’s determination to keep his sanctity on the straight and narrow and perhaps most importantly, a manifesto on how to keep negativity at bay. If the Somerset, UK-hailing artist isn’t on your radar already, save space on it and await more hits which have the force to shift your perceptions into enlightenment.

The Importance of Incorporating Healthy Outlets dropped on October 13; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

UK Flow Queen, TAYLOR-LEIGH, Lit Up the Airwaves with ‘Jig Up’

By bringing witty brutality to her bars and an infectious sense of playfulness to her beats, the UK flow queen TAYLOR-LEIGH lit up the airwaves with her latest lyrically lascivious track, Jig Up.

To assert the authenticity in her sonic signature, TAYLOR-LEIGH kept her vox in the grime and garage arena while the keys almost brought a neo-classic touch to the RnB-esque melodies to deliver a boundary-less track that breaks down sonic barriers while ticking every hip-hop box.

There’s also a strikingly clever duality within the lyrics; when TAYLOR-LEIGH isn’t running through with tongue-in-cheek antagonism, she’s demonstrating her emotional intelligence that will undoubtedly embolden any woman who encounters this seminal track.

Jig Up was officially released on September 4; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Fats & JM went on a ‘Mad One’ with their infectious EDM rap hit

The Azerbaijan-born British rapper and songwriter, Fats, mashed up his talents and his infectious tongue-in-cheek charisma with his co-collaborator JM to deliver the ultimate house party anthem, Mad One.

After a solid serving of sun-bleached acid house beats, Fats subverts the transcendently tranquil tones with his wit-sharp garagey rap bars and bass-drenched rhythms. Between his cleverly enticing cadence and his lyricism that carries the perfect amount of antagonism, there’s no resisting the magnetism of the monolithic drop.

If anyone deserves to go as viral as the Blackout Crew did in 2009 with Put a Donk On It, it is Fats. A month after the drop of the official music video for Mad One, it has already racked up 95,000 streams on YouTube and has been added to plenty more high-profile Spotify playlists.

We would usually say get on it while the hype is hot, but it’s unlikely that Mad One will stop being the hottest EDM drop of the summer anytime soon.

Review by Amelia Vandergast