No Hats No Hoods
The Square’s Blakie enlists the help of Jamaican MC Newbaan, someone Boy Better Know met on their trip to the island post-Culture Clash. ‘Which Part?’ is a rowdy AF single (produced by Restraint), that matches aggy vocals from the pair of emcees with a thunderous, snap-jawed beat. It’s a sterling reminder of Jamaica's influence on grime, and be sure to check Blakie’s ‘Bare Energy’ project when it drops later this year.
Chip produced by Lil Silva and Sampha?! Er, yes please. The focus here, though, is on the self-professed “grime scene saviour”s flow, which employs some razor-sharp lyricism, with some Star Wars and Fifty Shades Of Grey references dropped in for good measure. “Fuck these spitters with similar beats and the same bars,” he says — damn right.
No Problem Records
Abra Cadabra’s a joker for the title of this EP. Branded a ‘feature boy’, thanks to him cropping up on so many tunes you wonder how he has any time to do solo stuff, the rapper proves that he can take the lead on his own, stretching the genre of rap to its limit through a variety of drill beats and softer Afrobeats/dancehall flavours. You’ve only got to peep the cover art (where he’s clutching his Rated and MOBO awards) to see that Abra is going to go far, no problem.
Safone x Capo Lee
'Know Where I’m From'
Last year, Brum’s Safone and North London’s Capo Lee teamed up for the huge ‘Gyal From Brum’ — hailed as one of the biggest tunes of the year. The J Beatz produced cut employed a feel good flavour, and now the MCs are back at it again with the exact same team. ‘Know Where I’m From’ adopts a skippy, UKG-conjuring beat (hat-tip to J Beatz) for another breezy summertime staple.
Scrufizzer has years of experience in the bag, and the Ealing don steps back onto the scene through this six-track EP that sees him taking things to the new levels its name espouses. Tracks such as ‘Fizzy Flow’ see him getting his words out at 100MPH, while Prynce Mini hops on ‘Conquering’, a hectic single with an earworm chorus. It’s an incredibly welcome return from the veteran.
Sector 7 Sounds
Boofy and Lemzly Dale’s Sector 7 Sounds imprint welcomes a new face, Drone, into the fold, whose sound revolves around shadowy, low-end tones that take influence from dubstep, grime and beyond. Clattering drums and creeping synths are the order of the day here, and Drone shows a clear aptitude for making instrumentals that, quite simply, bang.
A sweltering three-pack of instrumentals here from Boxed mainstay and ex-drum & bass producer Trends, whose dark, lurching beats have earned him plaudits across the instrumental grime board. Out on Slimzee’s Slimzos Recordings, ‘Bitch Slap’ provides some pointillist mayhem, while ‘Sidewinder Style’ (featuring Slimzee himself) keeps the energy with some snake-like synths.
'Snake 2 EP'
West Country producer Daffy has been responsible for some mad instrumentals as of late, with his crystalline, ambient ‘Velour Tracksuit’ a highlight on Boxed’s ‘V’ compilation. On this new EP, ‘Deadly Intent’ and ‘Jade Warriors’ are all sino grime noises and kung fu film samples, while the title cut is a no-nonsense grime banger that’ll leave you clutching your jaw.
'Where I'm From'
Margs is out with a surefire summer banger on ‘Where I’m From’, which sees the Wiley-tipped Hackney MC eschewing a strictly grime flavour in favour of a bouncy, summery flex that blends trap with Afrobeats, drafting in TE dness for the hook and bottling the sound of the hotter months in the capital in the process.