Another week, and another joint list of fiery joints from Sam and I. The first Friday of the month has seen project releases from Hamzaa, Little Simz, Sam Wise, Backroad Gee and the Certfied Lover Boy himself Drake. We’ve got a balanced mix of local stars, rising talents and Canadian chart-toppers in our list this week.
Mamy Dope – MisFits
South Londoner Mamy Dope is an emerging talent whose charisma allows him to float across any genre. Whether it’s on drill, afroswing or rap, Mamy rises to the occasion and leaves an impression. His latest offering ‘MisFits’ is a playful example of that as he raps “still rolling like Limp Bizkit, bill it, I’m tryna get powers like MisFits”, a cheeky reference to the herb and favoured E4 show MisFits. With production by Milts, Mamy glides on the mid-tempo beat that sits somewhere between drill and rap, allowing him to get his flex on as he goes from flipping packs to football highlights.
The video starts with the Sierra Leone born artist walking into a bar, making conversation with the bartender before taking liquor shots. Once he hits the ground, we are taken to the instantly recognisable tower blocks where the E4 show was filmed. Visual effects and orange overalls complement the Braide Films directed visuals and are neat plays on Mamy’s concept and references. The F2D signee impresses with ‘MisFits’, the hope is that he builds off this and consistently provides ‘dope’ content.
Potter Payper x Suspect – Nothing’s Free
It’s good to see Potter Payper fulfilling his promise on only focusing on the music since his return from an untimely stint in prison. One of the UK’s primed wordsmiths has been dropping heat on us consistently since the release of 2020’s Training Day 3 – which lead to his deal with 0207 Def Jam. He is a man enjoying his moment and it is deserved off the strength of his craft. ‘Nothing’s Free’ follows ‘Topshottas Freestyle’ and ‘Catch Up’ with M Huncho and is undeniably one to rattle the speakers. With slick quotables and tough talk being laid on thumping production by Quincy Tellem, it’s only right that OTB’s Suspect features as he matches Potter’s energy.
Potter displays flashes of flair and braggadocious energy with lines like “he ain’t an opp but we ain’t sweet, I don’t do road on no beat, bet I leave him in a heap, I met her once, she let me beat” demonstrating that he’s not playing games on this track. Surrounded by mounds of earth and some recognisable faces in Fee Gonzales and Trapsick, their surrounding mirror the grit displayed by both artists on this unexpected collaboration. With his debut album Thanks For Waiting on the way, one can only imagine what else Potter has in store for the listeners.
Little Simz feat. Obongjayar – Point And Kill
Simbi Ajikawo has cemented herself as one of the UK’s finest musicians in recent years. Always a gifted writer, she has become more focused in her direction since the release of Grey Area in 2019. Back again with another LP titled Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, this project looks to be a more conceptual piece – possibly getting back in her Stillness In Wonderland bag but with greater maturity and confidence in her pen. ‘Point And Kill’ supported by Obongjayar is a cool take on classic black liberation feeling music. The video was shot in Nigeria, where both Simz and Obongjayar hail from, offering a proud snapshot into what looks to be a 1960’s, post-independence take of Nigerian culture. Simz’ mum even makes a cameo on the dancefloor. The bassline is funky, with a healthy smattering of highlife to really set the scene – and Simz floats for days.
Swapping between deliveries in pidgin like “Family no go suffer oh / Inna my lifetime / Dey be fine do am proper / No lie lie’’ back onto the realities of the templated, traditional Nigerian idea of success “Daddy say he want me to be lawyer abi doctor / Riff raff kini cohn”. Hearing pidgin, the short-handed version of English in music by artists from the diaspora is a sign of the growing pride snd resillience of Nigerian identity in culture. It’s a long time since we’ve heard about the ‘fraudulent Nigerian prince’ email scam tropes that were popular in the mid-late 00’s and beyond. Simz, among many other of her contemporaries, through their music and advocacy have been sure to point and kill those misconceptions.
Drake w/ Tems – Fountains
Drake has taken a leaf out of his on again, off again archnemesis Kanye West’s book of plucking the most hyped emerging talent to work with. In this case though, it’s not a flash in the pan kind of musician like say, Lil Pump. Tems is a certified (wheey) rising star with a legion of new fans after her stellar delivery on WizKid’s ‘Essence’, a song that was just last week announced as the most Shazamed in the entire United States. A clear sign of the growing curiosity that surrounds Tems and the growing popularity in the US of Afrobeats and other sounds from the motherland. Here on ‘Fountains’, Tems has been given a similar amount of latitude that Wiz gave her. On production fro TRESOR, Monsune and 40 that feels straight out of Drake’s tropical-inspired More Life era, the iridescent, amber-tinted sounds with its echoey synths feels like that split-second moment of introspection you might have on the dancefloor – when you’re arriving at a point of no return.
Drake echoes the sentiment “You got me losing my mind / trying to suppress my emotions / they’re bursting like fountains / baby”. Tems chimes in on the chorus with a wandering urgency, with a wispier voice – there’s a real push and pull between both artists on this collaboration. It sounds a lot like a guy chasing a girl who’s unsure but she’s warming up to the advances. Tems picks up the pace, more intentionally “I feel you in my mind / I want to dance tonight / It’s in the air tonight”. The way she can mix her vocal style, helps to carry the theme of this song – like she did on Essence, her subtle shifts of range are the real star of the show. Another one for Tems. And Drizzy.
M Huncho – Breadwinner
Huncholini is back. After teasing Breadwinner on his ‘Overpriced’ freestyle almost 7 months ago, the masked man delivers. When we saw M Huncho’s face revealed a few months back, many people thought he’d give up the ghost and go mask-free, like K-Trap did. But, he remained steadfast. Even K-Trap’s got the mask back on. For these artists, it isn’t really about anonymity as such, it seems more about creating a space between the artists they want to be and the people that they are. Surrounded by toasters, that are propping up pinkies instead of Pop-Tarts, Huncho sits there delivering flexes “Bread, butter, Hovis, that’s what I’m getting to”. Money is the motto here. Huncho says it himself “Never planned to be in showbiz / had my eyes on Forbes list”. He’s sounding very sharp on this. Patiently waiting for the next release.