The summer of 2021 has been rich with new projects: Little Simz, Dave, Fredo, Sam Wise, Enny, Unknow T, Sneakbo, Skepta, Blanco, Rejjie Snow, etc. On this playlist the biggest stars rub shoulders with newcomers and recent discoveries who (for the moment anyway) only have a few thousand followers.
Here you’ll find the lifeblood of UK rap: powerful phrasing on unstructured beats (Aïtch on the opening track); obscure drill, transformed by fierce, raging rappers biting the minimalist beats (DoRoad in a session with Fumez The Engineer for example); some Nigerian spice (Young T & Bugsey) and (as in all the best recipes) some Caribbean chillies thrown into the mix. There are also gems of old-school boom-bap, like Rejjie Snow unveiling the sweet “Cookie Chips” with MF Doom (!) and CamO’bi. There are also some reminders of the great garage and drum’n’bass of the 90’s resurfacing on songs by Hardy Caprio, Morrisson, and Lava La Rue.
On a slightly different note we can hear M Huncho – a sort of Travis Scott born on the other side of the Atlantic. He superimposes soaring layers of American trap with rough British sounds (“Breadwinner”). As for Brighton’s young prodigy Arr Dee (whose advent was predicted before he reached his first million listens on a previous episode of this playlist) he’s now chalking up golden records. Listen to “Oliver Twist” on which he unleashes his crazy flow. Several out of this world tunes punctuate this selection, like the collaboration between James Blake and Dave, and the brilliant producer Sault’s invitation to Little Simz where the Islington rapper repeats the title question ‘you from London?’ Not exactly, but my heart is.