This week 5 sees NSG finally drop their bouncy, long-anticipated track ‘Kate Winslet’ with Unknown T, Abra Cadabra’s heavy return to the limelight continues, as he builds the noise for his next project. Oscar #Worldpeace drops the ‘His and Hers’ EP with his missus, flush with wintry, space-age, production that sounds uniquely London. The barsy Flohio bares it all on ‘Sweet Flaws’ with typical finesse. East London’s latest star Scribz Riley links up with 6LACK with some soulful real talk. You might not have gotten your PS5’s yet. But this is the only 5 that matters so you’re calm.
NSG ft Unknown T – Kate Winslet
The Area Boys can’t miss. After dropping one of the songs of the year in ‘Airplane Mode’ and their debut mixtape ‘’Roots’’, NSG return with help from another artist enjoying a stellar year, Unknown T. As expected, the gang are out in a lush locale, yet they stay keeping it local – the whole community gets a moment to shine in the visuals. NSG has carved out a very unique lane – they are certified, wave curators. Each track has party playlist potential. The vibe is what they’re about. Seeing them link up with Nines and now Unknown T shows a willingness to adapt and keep their sound evolving. Unknown T jumps in juxtaposing the tropical backdrop NSG are in, spraying bars out of shipping freight to match his aesthetic. T jumps in with ‘’I quit stallin’ and give songs in abundance I’ve been tourin’ the big foreigns and bums-bums’’ – making reference to his work-rate since being released from prison and the new, victorious lease of life he’s experiencing. T sounds jubilant – NSG always does. Long may it continue.
Abra Cadabra – Show Me
Hot off the back of ‘Spin This Coupe’ Abra Cadabra’s back with another heater of a track. Surrounded by the gang and some girls, in an abandoned warehouse, Abz isn’t holding back. The icy instrumental, which sounds like the final boss level of a retro Sega game, create the ideal backdrop for Abra’s rhythmic, no-nonsense flow. It seems Abra got the Sega memo, carving the track open with: ‘’beat this corn make him dash like Sonic / This ain’t no cartoon ting like Wallace & Gromit’’. As the beat progresses, Abra stays on job, reeling off a Twista-esque torrent of bars “See a nigga in the corner lookin’ kinda didgy wid it / I just wanna party but I can get busy wid it / See my knifework different, spin man outta their beats, I’m dizzy wid it’’. Abra’s got a lot more in the locker. His next release ‘Product of My Environment’ can’t drop any sooner.
Oscar #Worldpeace – NEED
Oscar #Worldpeace drops in with a swift but highly replayable EP ‘HIS AND HERS’. Off that we have ‘Need’. It’s got garage kind of drum patterns, mixed in with space-age, futuristic bassline, on which Oscar makes it clear he’s down for his family’s cause. On the chorus he declares: ‘’tell me what you need / what you want’’ before dropping in “got my first child / lets make another one’’. At this point the beat switches up a bit, with some melodic Nokia 3210 sounds chipping in, and Oscar’s partner jumps in on a verse. Both their voices intertwine and mesh, with her deliveries adding a layer of soft sincerity to smooth the song out even more.
FLOHIO – Sweet Flaws
South London-based rapper FLOHIO is back with more bars. Hot off her collab with Kasien ‘With Ease’ Flo Flo pulls up with ‘Sweet Flaws’, produced by Cadenza (again). Known for her deep and intricate lyrics and unconventional song structures, in her new direction she maintains all of this, but it just feels more cohesive. With the dark and gungy production from Cadenza, which tows the line between experimental and trap-inspired, Flohio seems to have the production that balances out her firebrand delivery – which opens up her searing talent even more. She’s able to deliver commentaries with wit “they don’t wanna trust a G like me / cause a nigga like me got black face’’ – FLOHIO is a dark-skinned woman and speaking with pride about her blackness plays a big part in her music. Her new tape ‘No Panic, No Pain’ drops Friday 27th. Keep an ear out.
Scribz Riley ft 6LACK – Dim My Light
2020 has been Scribz Riley’s breakout year. Already a well-known producer with credits from Burna Boy, J Hus, H.E.R and Snoh Aalegra, Scribz has now jumped off the buttons, and onto the stage. One of his first singles, Mandy, released in August – has more than 800,000 Spotify plays. Scribz knows how to construct songs, and it shows. On ‘Dim My Light’ with Atlanta-based crooner 6LACK, Scribz illustrates his star potential once again. With the beat sampling Snoh’s ‘Whoa’, 6LACK raps introspectively before Scribz jumps on singing: “heard they wanna dim my light (x2) / you gon’ have to risk your life (x2)” to remind the opps, though he might be blowing up now, he’s still about it. It’s a song of quiet triumph, Scribz reels off the tough realities of achieving fame. But with all that, he’s staying grounded “they don’t understand me / they do it for the gram / I do it for my family’’. Scribz knows what’s important to him, and he has to keep his light shining bright for them.