Saskilla – Godson 1.5 EP

“Ooh Ahh Saskilla”

The Greenborough legend (word to Tinie Tempah), Saskilla could be considered a pioneer, when we look back at the classic and definitive Grime anthems, Gash By The Hour is definitely in there. Since, he has given us sound upon sound, style upon style, to most recently, where has working heavily behind the scenes to push the culture forward. He’s definitely playing his part in laying the foundation.

And so he returns to the forefront, with Godson 1.5

The 5 track EP, providing an insight into Saskilla’s evolution as an artist. In an effort to further establish the British perspective, he kicks things off with something very British and relevant to the scene, JD Bag. It’s a great mural of past and present as spins through the production, bringing you up to date. A standout track possibly, Nuttin Like Us, featuring Lady Leshurr & Big Narstie, it has the feel of the ol’ days, but it’s a very current track, with all three delivering on their verses. In regards to his work behind the scenes, the next track is evidence of that, as he enlists the features of Maybach Music Group’s Gunplay and the Bawse himself, Rick Ross, for the DJ Cameo exclusive, also featuring Scruffizzer. Solomons Temple, a track that will definitely go off live, before finishing up with Fam, with verses from Canadian Tre Mission and the legend, Wiley.

Saskilla hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to the music, as ever a component of Grime, he’s certainly someone who has his finger on the pulse, as he looks to elevate the sound higher.

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The Article About Nothing: Wale, the underrated

After news that his newly released album, Shine, which has not been so prominent within the realms of the internet, was projected to sell under 30,000 copies in it’s first week, in comparison to Kendrick’s 500,000, the term ‘flop’ began to surface.

Most recently, Joe Budden highlighted the lack of support Wale received (being a major recording artist), citing the disconnect of the radio hit as a factor, and with the release of this effort unlike that of his 2011, Ambition (arguably his biggest album). It featured the street anthem of the same name, a personal favourite, That Way, and the massive (Miguel featured) single Lotus Flower Bomb. His 2013 release Gifted had a similar aesthetic, boasting the hits LoveHate Thing, Bad (and the Remix ft. Rihanna). And then once again, his 2015 Seinfeld concept, The Album About Nothing, the third instalment to his Seinfeld-themed mixtapes, The Mixtape About Nothing (2008) and More About Nothing (2010), The Album About Nothing featured two giant singles, Matrimony featuring Usher, and (the Jeremih assisted) Body. The point being that Joe Budden might be onto something, as there has been a formula and roll out, for his albums, lead with a distinct radio hit. Shine for some reason goes against that, rather than the obvious single choices, they started with PYT, a song which I was listening to the other day, and wondering if it would have been even bigger if say Chris Brown was on the hook? and it felt like an assertive decision from Folarin to push forth with DJ Sam Sneak. It did good, well over 100million plays overall on all platforms, yet still feels like it had more potential. Even the second single, now relying on the feature somewhat, linking with Lil’ Wayne for Runnin’ Back. Definitely an underrated single, it just shows that for some reason, the hype or demand is not there the same way, the moment is coming and going without impacting the masses. I still can go back to his 2009 debut, Attention Deficit, and listen to tracks like Shades, Chillin’, Contemplate, Diary, Beautiful Bliss, or Prescription and be reminded of that time.

The album release was put forward, and the press runs ensue, which was great for me, I wanted to hear the album, but My PYT peaked about 6 to 7 months ago, and so unlike Kendrick’s release with the lyrical warning (which did get air time for the alleged Big Sean diss), but then he gave us Humble, and everyone got behind it, 100 million+ views in a month, then an impressive Coachella set, before the video for DNA, which has only pushed the run further. Yes I know, K Dot is technically a bigger artist than Wale, but here’s the thing, whilst physical sales may be low, Shine has done well on streaming services. Kendrick’s streams are a lot higher, but I tribute a lot of that to not only the sound, but the execution of the roll out.

Bringing me back to My PYT, and the time in which the album was released. The fact that Rozay’s album came before, though it helped the brand, I don’t think it helped Shine.

Wale has been overlooked throughout, from the fact that he had been uplifting the people musically from the get go, even Nike Boots was more for soul than the sole.

A modern-day pioneer for the kick game, you were not checking for foamposites ’til him, even the shoes that followed, he was a big influence. All this is great, but is his name bigger than his artistry?! Has his personality transcended the music, to where, people feel they can speak on him as if he is not one of the most talented poets of his generation?! Is MMG no longer the force it was?! Or are people just not ready for Go-Go music?!

I once thought that it was because his vocals were not as clear as they used to be, but feels more like most media are too busy sucking up to those at the top, to actually pay attention.

Shine will definitely garner more listens over time, just not at the same rapid rate as the more popular names. I was disappointed to see the image of someone not of the culture, accusing Wale of capitalising on the current caribbean trend, for his WizKid, Dua Lipa and Major Lazer collab. Sounds more like Wale once again, pushing the culture forward.

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Wale, who recently became a father, he’s obviously sharing his time, and so maybe the process of it all suffered a bit, but regardless..he’s blessed, and that’s present in the music. As we have seen with Drake’s Views, and Kendrick Lamar’s TPAB, great projects, but still received criticism, leading to More Life, and DAMN. Similarly I hope Wale follows suit with his next project.

I believe in the album, it’s a quality project (might be up there as one of his best), and it will grow on you, so I realise, in reality, Wale’s discography is ahead of it’s time. As a fan, I do believe that him as a person has a part to play with things. He’s a real one. Generally, in working environments, university and so forth, some of us at times struggle with the lack of sincerity, the flakiness, leeching and so forth, for someone who wears their heart on their sleeve, not only do they tend to be introvert or anti-social, but it intimidates and only encourages the fakes to segregate further. You know the saying, “people fear what they do not understand”. 

Remaining positive either way, as the music is undeniable. I am definitely looking forward to more new visuals. I’m unaware of the budget etc, My Love obviously, deserves something special, but to be honest, each song could benefit with a video. Fine Girl has so much potential too, it just shows you the spectrum that the album is.

Big up Wale on a solid body of work, I’m definitely enjoying listening to it.

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Jimmy Prime – Bleeding Bull EP

While More Life reigns supreme, with Drizzy shining more light on the similarities with the UK, don’t for once think that the sea of Canadian talent was drying up any time soon. Step up, the 6’s most slept on, Jimmy Prime, with his new EP, Bleeding Bull.

Jimmy has been dictating the sound from the underground for a couple years now, yet to make the deserved breakthrough, however, as he continues to develop (and with this effort), he’s most certainly moving closer.

Kicking things off with the Wondagurl produced Intro, it’s more of a cinematic opening credit, as he establishes the magnitude of the wave commencing.

“You know I’ma make it baby, trust me..that’s for certain, come and see the life..take a peak behind the curtains”

My Way must be what she saw behind those curtains, as “Jimavelli” paints the abstract picture, filled with foreign whips and high-end brands, in some ways, that is sprinkled throughout the project, as he emerges (in an almost sub-genre of Fashion-Rap) amongst the likes of A$AP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert.

 “Screamin’ the world is mine..”

As if the Prime boy visualising his desires in I Wanna, was to get closer to them, Jimmy raps from a higher plateau, more focused than ever it seems, as the project shares hints of vulnerability in an overall confident display.

“They can’t believe I did it on my own..”

As I said previously, Jimmy has been more influential to the “sound” than credited for, introducing many to the likes of Eric Dingus and recently Murda Beatz. Continuing the trend, we’re blessed with the production of Arthur Mcarthur, though a seasoned veteran, he may not be as known, ’til now. Contributing to My Way and Pisces, the latter being potentially the biggest track from the project.

Something for the peng Pisces ladies out there. The closest thing to a ‘love song’ you’ll find on the project, though more of a ‘Playa’s anthem’, as he asks her how she, “really feels..”.

“As she’s…Pisces, she’s pure..and that’s what I need”, He auto-croons before making the flow look effortless, “I’m stackin’ bands, I cannot chill..I need to see a mil, running’ up a cheque..the neimans look like track & field”. Full of quotables, with this EP he’s captured a moment, sonically pleasing and most definitely well mixed down. The transition throughout helps create a narrative, though each track could separately connect with people. Digital Money sees Jimmy link back up with Murda Beatz, this time on a laid-back vibe, as the young bleeding bull sings out, “Don’t you know I try, don’t you know how I, care so much..I die, need you by my side”. Another fan favourite and also the the first visual released, Gucci Denim, an ode to the money being his priority over bitches.

Continuing to stunt, this project is certainly a middle finger to anyone that hated on or didn’t believe in him, and it doesn’t stop with the last track, Moscow Mule. Proving Jimmy and Arthur Mcarthur really have a solid musical chemistry, definitely a good contrast of styles.

“Codeine dripping’ on my Christian Dior, I’m just tryna get my foot through the door..”

Bleeding Bull is a smart concept, it’s fun, easy-listening yet vastly musical, with depth in it’s seams, a variety of actual structures and patterns, flows and styles, tastefully encased in it’s luxury fabric, woven together as a well executed project.

As always a shout out to the people behind the project, but this time not just those behind the music, but the artwork and overall aesthetic of this art-piece of a project. No doubt Jimmy Prime is only just getting started, and expect more to come. Prime forever.

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“Hit you wit’ that clothesline..like Luke Harper, and backstrap my plants with the Magna Carta” – Phaze What

Since Piff Gang’s breakthrough, the collective established a variety of waves, and not often credited for. Like some legendary myth, the group are on (I guess what could be described as) a hiatus, as fans hope for them to one day reunite. The members are still active within the scene, ranging from music and fashion. Bringing us to one of the standouts, who I would say is in somewhat of a transition as an artist, as he continues to record, and keep fans eager with the exclusive drops (such as this), with the anticipated follow up project to The Sweet Chin Movie and the Real Spit EP.

“One cheese, One sour, 2Pacs…I Get Around”

Definitely a “zoners”, best enjoyed with some plants, as Phaze What flows cool over some Trip-Hop production from New Machine. I say Trip-Hop, simply as that’s how it sounds feels. You wouldn’t often hear those sounds meshed together, and so crisp, the beat and synths separately sound like their from two different eras, yet they compliment together. New Machine is certainly on the up, as he cements his sound and brand, and you can hear why, providing Heartbeat’s laid-back vibe, on which Phaze What rhymes (what sounds) effortlessly.

“N**gaz hate me like I was Mugabe, real n**gaz love me like I’m Marcus Garvey”

Phaze What is underrated with the flows, similarly to Curren$y, and though the discography is not as vast, (much like Spitta) it is definitely varied. As much as I might want to hear something more upbeat, or for him to tackle a more relevant beat so that others can hear how good he actually is, with this release (amidst the previous), you realise, he has the ability to take you to his world, bring you into his zone. An artist, who pours charisma through clever raps, giving you different styles, all authentic.

Ahead of his time, you never know when the next project will drop, with a couple visuals to come too, so stay tuned to the wave.

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“I don’t wanna waste no time, I wanna take what’s mine..” – Jimmy Prime

From his entry with Northside, the Canadian talent Jimmy Prime (formerly known as Jimmy Johnson) made his mark, not only establishing a sound with producer Eric Dingus, but then introducing his collective, Prime, on the squad anthem, I Heard. Not long after, he sonically experimented further, with core-favourites such as I Wanna, Red Ferrari, and the personal favourite, Winters End (which has been removed off the internet, for reasons unknown), and more. Proving he has an ear for hits, collaborating with producer Trapmoneybenny on the Block Boy project, before giving the people some new waves with the super-collective Full Circle, as well as with one of the producers to listen out for in 2017, Murda Beatz.

Despite being overlooked at times, the Prime boys have proved to be a force, with each individual bringing their own styles to the table, from the young superstar Jay Whiss, to Donnie, they have been consistent with quality, including visuals, with the assistance of their in-house director, Tristan Prime.

Having recently featured on the Murda Beatz banger Drop Out, he returns, with the aid of Donnie, and another Canadian up and comer, Halal Gang’s Smoke Dawg, for the infectious, Humana.

Murda Beatz showing no signs of slowing down with the hits, once again providing a wavy composition with the hard-hitting beat, allowing Canada’s Quavo, Donnie, to give you that catchy hook, “I’ma take addy tonight, might fuck a baddie tonight, humana humana..”, with his distinct tone and unique style. It provides the perfect balance between Jimmy and Smoke’s verses, as they effortlessly stunt. It is a similar feel to the Full Circle joints, but that’s hardly a bad thing.

Shout out to Halal Gang (Ahwoolay!), who recently tore it up here in the UK, with a sold out show. Definitely be on the look out for more from the Prime boys, as they continue to establish their wave globally, and rightfully so. Big up Jermaine, D’Boy, Koba, Scotty and everyone helping the vision come to fruition.

Prime forever.

 

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“She just want a saviour, Girl..I cannot save ya, I just want the paper, you just want to lay up..” – Reese La Flare

New from Reece LaFlare:

Produced by Foreign Teck, the wavy cut is further proof that Reece is not looking to slow down any time soon. The Atlanta rapper caught a lot of ears with his 2015 offering Gold House, and he has remained consistent, with the Been Had Boyz EP with Key! released early this year, and his solo project Reece Vs The Universe, on the way.

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Fire In The Park went Platinum

With just under now over 50 million views, this shit is amazing.

Congratulations to Stormzy and his team, with Shut Up now officially certified platinum. Not entirely sure if this has happened before, but it’s a big win, not just for Big Mike, but all those who helped pave the way before, as what is essentially a freestyle, (in this streaming era) is now officially certified platinum.

I don’t get excited over too much, however, not long ago I saw the official charts tweet a picture of a smiling Giggs, announcing Landlord as the second highest selling album in the country, and now, two years after it’s debut, a freestyle video does such numbers, further denting and pushing the limitations that often felt placed upon our scene. It’s something a lot of us have worked towards seeing.

This moment definitely proves the powers of good music, the scene and the unified support of the people, as the sounds reach new ears, taking the underground over. Many artists turned away from freestyles, focusing on original songs that could generate a profit, streaming might just have changed that, imagine how many times we would have streamed the Wiley or Skepta ‘Westwood’ freestyles?!

Big up the Section trio, Flipz, and all the mandem in the video, you’re all a part of history still. And a massive shout out to, “my man over there with the pouch”, you’re forever certi’ (well at least to 50 million+ people).

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Introducing: Arielle

No lie, I just came across her on LinkedIn, and something told me to search for the music, and here I am now, writing this.

The scene has been doing well of late, it’s looking healthier for our rappers, we even have a strong run of representatives for the women too. Unfortunately, whilst it’s allowing the veterans or the underrated to reemerge, it’s still quiet for the soul side, with it strangely being tougher (at times) for our R&B acts to breakthrough.

If we’re talking potential, then we might just have a woman break that barrier, as Arielle steps forward with that new wave. Her tone is unique, her style is current, blended with that sexy ol’ skool vibe, she’s able to deliver something refreshing. Introducing, Arielle:

There is definitely room for growth, but that just makes this an even more exciting prospect. The visuals may not entirely justify the track, but you get to see her beauty and presence, whilst I enjoy seeing a group of strong women doing their own thing, in comparison to the average objectified video-girl. Having heard some of her earlier material, the potential was evident with All For You standing out. There is a lot of versatility for her vocals, not just R&B, and we certainly have few producers who could really help take her artistry further. Definitely keeping an ear out for more of this wave, with her next visuals for Sauce on the way.

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“Actions is what’s going to change the world, not words..” – Mr Oshodi

After previous insightful interviews, featuring the likes of Morgan Keyz, Kayo and Euro Veezy return with another quality podcast, featuring the wise words of Mr Oshodi.

One of the most positive and influential people our culture has to offer, Mr Oshodi, has made the transition and currently serves as one of our top entrepreneurs. What makes him more than just any businessman, is his spirit, his desire and purpose, as he shares all his lessons, setting up motivational events amongst other things, to help pass the knowledge and encourage whilst he still is on his journey.

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“I’m afraid of myself more than anyone else, I’m still lookin’ in the mirror when in need of some help” – Rockie Fresh

One of Rick Ross’ later signings, he (and the likes of Tracy T) may have found themselves in the shadow of the MMG starting line-up, however, for those paying attention, they would come across versatile bodies of work. One thing that has stood out, is his consistency. He has delivered a variety of new age classics, leading up to his most recent project, a clever concept, The Night I Went To, which was a combination of his trilogy of the same name, with the three editions being, Los Angeles, New York, and his hometown Chicago. Complete with quality visuals, he shows no signs of stopping, as he drops this introspective cut.

Pray 4 Me, is a good example of how Rockie can take his inner thoughts and emotion and effortlessly express them with essences of poetry. Production by one of the most talented up and coming producers, Bizness Boi, providing Rockie Fresh with the soulful canvas to lyrically paint pictures. He begins with a very sincere and personal note, “I’m afraid of myself more than anyone else, I’m still lookin’ in the mirror when in need of some help”, something not everyone shares so boldly. Beautiful music, the song has an uplifting tone to it, as he touches on different topics, even something everyone can relate with, “Lookin’ at these n**gaz like why we can’t stay friends, I pray Meek Mill and Drake work again..Amen”, referencing to their previous hit, Amen.

Despite his success thus far, he is still having to try harder, and that’s evident in his music, and is proving to assist him in creating even better music, and visuals to match. Whilst many may be sleeping on him, he most certainly has a core support in his corner championing him, as he progresses on his path for greatness. He is working on the follow up project, the sequel to his popular Electric Highway. As one of the most underrated rappers, I’m intrigued to hear the direction of Rockie Fresh’s sound, as he continues to elevate.

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