Rap Rundown: BBK Takeover
Following a catalytic couple of years for Boy Better Know and furthermore grime as a culture, the genre’s international ambassadors have announced a one-day takeover of London’s O2 on August 27 where they’ll curate an amalgamation of music and activities, ranging from video gaming to sports events. The event was announced via a bat signal-like projection of the BBK logo on the dome in Greenwich but what sparked the full level of excitement for me, reinforcing the significance of the event, was the various Instagram posts and accompanying captions from Beats 1 London anchor Julie Adenuga. The first was an image of the projection on The O2 with the caption ‘LOOOOOOK AT THISSSSS FFS! WWW.BBKTAKEOVER.COM THE O2! 27 / 8 / 17! I. AM. DONE. Theeeeee Ohhhhhhhh Twoooooooo you know!!!? I need a drink!’ which was then followed by a few more uploads with one caption stating ‘Nowhere near being over this! Fxxking hell man! This is crazy! This is crazzzzzzzzzzzzy! I'm booking a holiday off life. I need this to marinate’.
As you can tell by the capitalised exclamations and the over use of punctuation in the Instagram posts from Skepta and JME’s sister, this is pretty exciting news. Exciting not only for fans of Boy Better Know, but for fans of grime culture and UK music. Although the details remain scarce, I think it’s safe to assume that to some extent, the event will be a celebration of grime in various forms and through the synergetic concept, in which they are said to be taking over the venue’s bars, cinema and restaurants, it will prove grime’s commercial legitimacy and its undeniable cultural appeal.
As well as the announcement of the BBK takeover, believe it or not, last week there were other movements in UK music. One of the highlights for me being Renz’s new track ‘Ya Dun Know’ and the accompanying video which has been circulating since it dropped last Thursday.
As we come to the tail end of spring, Renz utilised the hopefulness of the beginning of the British summer to create a vibe that I can imagine blaring out of multiple convertibles on the roads of south London. And, just as he did with ‘Boom Bye Bye’, he put together a minimal, melodic masterpiece with a catchy hook and a barrage of quotable bars, again creating a UK rap anthem for the new generation.
Speaking of the new generation, Novelist, one of its pioneers, last week released his latest project ‘Be Blessed’. However, considering the fact that we haven’t received a substantial body of work from the young MC for a while, the EP may have come as a surprise. Not only because it was an unannounced release, but because it was purely instrumental. Of course, fans of Novelist will know that he’s not just an MC, he’s also known for his production, but after a reasonable wait for new music, his supporters may have been expecting something with some lyrical content.
For me, this doesn’t necessarily feel like a disappointment, however. For me, it feels like an appetiser and a suggestion that Novelist has been grafting in the studio and could potentially have something else on the way. I may be getting ahead of myself here and being a bit too optimistic, but, we are coming up to festival season and I’d be surprised if Novelist didn’t want to bring something new to the stage this summer.
Check out Novelist’s ‘Be Blessed’ EP here.
Words: Patrick Fennelly
Online Edit: Ra'ed Khan