In this weeks 5, we have Atlanta-bred, Japan-raised rapper MadeinTYO link up with Chance The Rapper and Smino, the emergence of a crazy gifted singer-songwriter Sans Soucis, and the return of familiar face Kojo Funds. Rejjie Snow and Snoh Aalegra take us into Wonderland on Mirrors before Ramz links up with SK to round off a triumphant year of comebacks on Nella. It’s a bit of a varied mix this week, likely reflecting the mood of uncertainty in the air with more confusing lockdown restrictions coming into play. Luckily though, none of these are Tier 2 releases.
MadeinTYO ft Chance The Rapper and Smino – BET Uncut
The Atlanta-bred, but Japan raised rapper, MadeinTYO (Tokyo) links up with Chance and Smino to bless us with ‘’BET Uncut’’ – a woozy, glitchy affair produced by K.Swisha with three rappers who all boast a unique cadence. TYO carries the track with the classic clout rap bars ‘’I’m a mastermind, yeah I’m rockin’ Mastermind, Bag Number Nine, yeah you know my bih fine’’. Chance gets in on the act, with a bit of fan service for his day ones: he’s back on the legendary Acid Rap flow. That tape still stands as his best work. On BET Uncut, he steps out of his pseudo-pastoral/hometown hero bag and into one that fits the theme of the song: ‘’I’m so fuckin lucky that I’m not in a deal / I deserve some breakfast and some top in The Hills / Pigs in a blanket or some cops in a quilt’’ when Chance is on this kind of form, it makes you wonder: what if?. Finally – Smino, who can’t miss in 2020, rhythmically jumps on to round-off this triple-headed salvo, listing off his crushes: ‘’She on her shit / like Tracee Ross is / Oh how she love to laugh / I Keke-palm-her ass’’. Hopefully, this isn’t the last time these lot connect.
Sans Soucis – Air
Genre-defying, Italian-Congolese singer, Sans Soucis, drops ‘’Air’’ the first single from her new EP. The song is befitting of the title, its beauty might leave you breathless. A pulsating, classic electro-house bassline, underscores the textured and fractured vocals from Soucis, to create a sound that arrests the senses. Her music is both inspired by traditional Italian musicians like Fabio Concato, and equally, the rhythm and vibrant energy of the Congolese rumba. Despite the fragmented delivery, her vocals are crystal clear, sharp and delicate – at the same time. The idea for the track comes from the stress being in London during lockdown has placed on all of us. Musicians, creatives, everybody. She wanted to find a pocket between vulnerability and strength. She cracked it with graceful ease. Her debut EP is set to drop in 2021. Be sure to keep that clean air flowing this weekend.
Kojo Funds – Duppy
Hello, it’s me again. Kojo drops his new cut ‘’Duppy’’ and he’s back to the form that saw his name rise to be synonymous with the emergence of black artists dominating the pop charts – one of the first to make the transition successfully, and many have followed suit since ‘’Dun Talkin’’ took over the airwaves back in 2017. He’s on smoke with this one, seemingly taking aim at his rival, another prominent East London-based rapper ‘’dem dont wan beef me / dem dont wan beef me / dem don’t want play with fire’’ all said with Kojo draped in a bulletproof vest, engulfed in red lights while his chain hangs… Daring any challengers to try something. It seems Kojo is setting out a marker for what he’s on going forward. Expect him to make good on his word, he’s been done talking for a good three years now.
Rejjie Snow ft Snoh Aalegra and Cam O’Bi – Mirrors
You ever hear an unexpected sound and suddenly jump out of yourself to see what it is? Mirrors kind of sounds like the moments after you realise there’s nothing there. It’s got a very trippy, hallucinogenic energy without the paranoia. Rejjie, Snoh and Cam take us with them into this funhouse room of mirrors. Snoh sets the tone telling us ‘’there’s somethin’ knockin’ loud on my window’’ before Rejjie goes deeper into the looking glass ‘’Now look, I caught rabbits, way before rapping’’ a wordsmith capable of magic indeed, though Rej might be talking about his childhood out in rural Dublin. The beat has a kind of fantasy feel to it, akin to an aural rendition of Salvator Dali’s famous, surrealist, melting clock painting. Snoh’s effortlessly soulful vocals act as the water in Inception does: bringing the listeners back to reality, reminding us to wake up from those lucid daydreams.
Ramz ft SK – Nella
Ramz’ upward trajectory continues. After dropping a string of quality singles, showing us his lyrical prowess, Ramz links up with longtime friend SK to get into the rhythm bag. Nella sounds like a celebration, and it looks like one too. Ramz and SK bounce around a country manor, surrounded by friends, and lots of pretty women. SK carries the chorus – talking about the songs namesake ‘’chocolate like Nella / nobody do you better’’ while Ramz hits with slick bars that compliment SK’s smooth delivery and the jumpy drum pattern. Ramz’ comeback is a testament to hard work, will and self-belief. He’s a completely different artist and man to one who posted some alarming tweets just a year ago. When considering World Mental Health Day was only last week, Ramz’ journey is an inspiring one to look at. Every single stunt and flex on his verses on ‘’Nella’’ are fully deserved.