In this week's Rap Rundown, we've got Giggs's latest mixtape, new visuals from Kojey Radical, and Stormzy’s 4PM IN LONDON freestyle.
Due to Giggs’s recent, not-so-cryptic Instagram and Twitter posts - including images of his mixtape artwork being projected across some of London’s most famous landmarks - news of the south London rapper’s ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ mixtape and the buzz surrounding it was unavoidable. Rumours of heavyweight US collaborations only added fuel to the fire and by the time the track list had been unveiled, featuring the likes of 2 Chainz, Popcaan, Lil Duke and Young Thug, the campaign had fully snowballed and, on October 6, UK rap fans were ready to receive their Landlord follow-up.
The project begins with 'Gully Niggaz', providing you with the intro you probably would have predicted; a greezy, hard-hitting, one-line-flow monologue consistent with the sound you've experienced throughout Giggs’s extensive back catalogue. However, he then throws an international spanner in the works when he introduces 2 Chainz on 'Ultimate Gangsta', who matches his hard-hitting bars and playful narcissism. This collaboration quickly sets the pace for the project, suggesting it will include that familiar UK flavour, but with an additional imported seasoning. This idea is then reinforced by the inclusion of British veterans D Double E, Footsie and Donae’O, as well as the US’s Young Thug and Jamiaca’s Popcaan.
Giggs’s popularity in the UK is already undeniable and, following the development of a new brotherly relationship with Drake, he's beginning to make an impression on the American scene - even if that impression is purely a conflict that has our friends across the pond confused as to whether they like the SN1 rapper. Regardless, Giggs is a name that is now recognised in the states and Canada and in my opinion, 'Wamp 2 Dem', and the collaborations on the project, were a clever response to this recent intercontinental ascent and an attempt to utilise this global spotlight in order to tap into a competitive market.
If you haven’t already, you can grab your copy of ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ here, or if you just fancy a preview, press play below and check out his track ‘Linguo’ featuring Donae’O.
Following the September release of his full length project, 'In God's Body', Kojey Radical has continued to bring its narrative to life with the accompanying visuals. The concept of the record and its internal conversations were enlightening and progressive - sonically and socio-politically - and Kojey has maintained that innovation with his latest film, a video for his track '700 Pennies'.
Featuring Shaé and directed by The Rest, ‘700 Pennies’ highlights one of the more sensitive sides of 'In God's Body', addressing the complexities of young love and 'hyper-masculinity' within UK rap, with the emotions and expressions manifesting in an ever-immersive performance from the spoken word artist. Speaking on the track, Kojey explained 'I wanted to create a love song that described my experience of having to love someone at a distance and telling them even if this was my last I would spend it all on you'. Check out the visuals below.
Another video you would have seen circulating on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and countless online platforms last week was Stormzy's 4PM IN LONDON. The south London rapper teased the freestyle with a couple of snippets online at the weekend, before unleashing it on Sunday (Oct 2).
With all the talk of Love Island collaborations and the release of his directorial debut, you would be forgiven for forgetting about Stormzy's impactful freestyle videos - which acted as a catalyst for his commercial success. But before his fans had time to anticipate the next move in his convoluted musical excursion, Stormzy dropped one of his hardest hitting videos to date. Shot by Kaylum Dennis, the visuals are minimal and enigmatic, purposefully drawing all the attention to the rapper's bars in which he confronts and lyrically bulldozes any doubters, whether they're just everyday haters or people within his circle.
His flow, delivery, punchlines and performance are all pretty perfect and as well as refreshing the faith in anyone who may have been disheartened and distracted by his Little Mix feature (yes, I'm talking about myself), Stormzy also suggests that he's actually just levelling up and the sophomore LP is due to be as seminal as his debut.
Words: Patrick Fennelly
Online Edit: Ra'ed Khan