In this week’s Rap Rundown I take a look at some pretty substantial releases from the new generation of UK Rap and Grime..
In this week’s Rap Rundown I take a look at some pretty substantial releases from the new generation of UK Rap and Grime, including Avelino’s new single ‘Welcome To The Future’, Novelist’s collaboration with Chase and Status on ‘NRG’ and the visuals for Bonkaz and Stormzy’s ‘And Dat’. I also take a look at the latest track from one of the UK Rap scene’s most talked about new groups, 67.
The recent regeneration of Grime has a lot to do with the new wave of artists, who grew up when the genre was conceived, recreating the sounds of their childhood. Just like how artists like Kano emerged with a nostalgic influence from the Garage scene, the new generation of Grime and UK Rap artists reflect on the birth of Grime in their music and use that to build on the sound.
A perfect example of this is Bonkaz’s track ‘And Dat’ which features Grime’s international poster boy, Stormzy. The visuals for the track, released on March 27, don’t have too much to them to be honest, but still somehow embellish the track with energy and a raw Grime aesthetic. More importantly, the bars and flow transport you back to the creation of this exciting enigma that encompassed a large part of Britain’s youth culture through style and anarchic lyrics. If you you were a fan of Grime from the beginning, the references, quotes and samples will remind you of how your relationship with the genre began and reignite that interest if it isn’t already there. Also, if that isn’t quite enough, I would probably say this is Stormzy at his best. Check it out below.
Last week also saw a collaboration between the infamous Chase and Status and 19 year old Grime prodigy, Novelist, on ‘NRG’. Their previous collaboration ‘Bigger Man Sound’ was tailored perfectly to the Lewisham MCs style however with ‘NRG’, I feel it is more of a Chase and Status track. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean the track is any less of a banger, it just creates more of an electronic music sound rather than the minimalist, Grime you usually hear from Nov.
For me, ‘NRG’, along with Chase and Status’ track ‘Control’ featuring Slaves and the whole of their ‘London Bars’ project, was intelligently created for the festival season. Each of these tracks has an abundance of energy and were definitely created for the stage and I look forward to seeing them brought to life in the summer.
Next up on more of a low tempo, UK Rap vibe, is the latest instalment from Avelino. By now you’ll be familiar with the north London rapper due to multiple collaborations with Wretch 32 and an historic Fire In The Booth. But his recent solo release ‘Welcome To The Future’, produced by Raf Riley, sees Av showcasing his wordplay and lyrical complexity without any distractions and gives you an idea of what to expect from his forthcoming project, FYO.
There are a lot of UK rappers experimenting with a synthy, low tempo, Bryson Tiller type sound at the moment and I am rating a lot of them but I feel Avelino is creating something more eloquent. He’s talking about real experiences with a progressive mentality and his music seems to consist of a lot more substance than a lot of his contemporaries. He isn’t trying to emulate someone else’s style or follow the formula of another artist, he is just absorbing what’s going on around him and creating music that encompasses influences from all genres.
Finally, following their first sold out headline show, 67 released the visuals for their new track ‘Things & Stuff’. The low budget video, the production and general lyrical content create a road anthem for the underground UK Rap fan and reintroduce that raw, slightly darker vibe that the genre emerged with. The up and coming collective definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea so I’ll leave you to make your own mind up about them. Check out the video below and let us know why you think 67 are one of the most talked about underground acts in the scene.
Words: Patrick Fennelly
Online Edit: Ra'ed Khan