In this week’s Rap Rundown: Kojey Radical’s ‘In God’s Body’ launch party, Shy FX’s latest track featuring Breakage, Roses Gabor and Ghetts, and Skepta’s collaboration with Nike.
Last Wednesday, ahead of the release of ‘In God’s Body’, Kojey Radical teamed up with Boiler Room to host a launch party, previewing the full length music project. As well as an exclusive first listen, guests were invited to join Kojey for a screening of Studio Time – an immersive, experiential film documenting the spoken word artist’s creative processes - which was followed by a Q&A in which Kojey elaborated on what was featured in the film and what fans could expect from the project.
After the visual introduction came the listening session. Now, I find that at a lot of listening sessions, you’ll look around the room while the tracks are playing and you’ll see a load of heads bobbing along to whichever track is being previewed, without really being able to work out whether the journalists and fans in the room are genuinely feeling the new music, or just reacting as they think they should. With ‘In God’s Body’, this wasn’t the case. There was a lot of head bobbing, don’t get me wrong, but it was accompanied by a facial expression – unanimous among the listeners – which said ‘I definitely f*ck with this’. The energy of the music was infectious and was amplified by Kojey’s silhouette which, as he danced in front of the projector, was cast against the Boiler Room studio wall.
In regards to the content on the project, although he might be referred to as a ‘spoken word artist’, Kojey demonstrates flows and delivery which could arguably eclipse the talent of a number of UK rappers. His versatility as a vocalist, rapper, poet and wordsmith is undeniable and with ‘In God’s Body’ he packages this into a product which fully showcases the extent of his artistry. In addition, the features are formidable, so if you haven’t already, have a listen here.
Ghetts, who also worked with Kojey on his new record, last week released a collaboration with iconic producer and DJ, Shy FX. ‘Chocolate’, which features production from Breakage and vocals from Roses Gabor, was previewed live at Notting Hill last Monday at Shy FX’s exclusive carnival party and has subsequently been named Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record’ and MistaJam’s ‘Jam Hot’ track of the week.
The track encompasses elements of a variety of genres with a dark, weighty bass suitable for Ghetts’s energy as well as Gabor’s haunting vocals, and its professional execution speaks to the combined experience of the artists involved. Commenting on his legendary status and his new music, Shy FX explained 'I’m blessed to have 20-odd years of musical history, and deeply proud of everything I've done, but as ever I'm always looking forward! Right now, I'm in a place where I feel like I'm a brand new artist, making music I've never made before... I want to create something that can't easily be put into a genre, mixing tribal elements, experimenting with grooves, arrangements, harmonies, and not forgetting VIBE.” Have a listen to the track below.
Last week also saw the launch of Skepta’s collaboration with Nike and to celebrate his latest fashion endeavour, the BBK MC hosted a pretty unique party. Rather than just inviting some bait faces to a bait venue to drink champagne and get papped, Skepta, with the help of Grace Ladoja, created a Moroccan souk/London market pop-up and invited friends and a select few fans to experience the settings he claims influenced his Air Max 97 designs and his MAINS collection.
The party also included DJ sets from Kenny Allstar, Crack Stevens and Sir Spyro and performances from Ms Banks, Daniel OG, J Hus, Stefflon Don and the man himself, fusing the culture of grime and UK rap together with fashion and design. You can see what happened in High Snobiety’s video below.
Words: Patrick Fennelly
Online Edit: Ra'ed Khan