New Gen – New Gen
Caroline SM has been spearheading the progression of upcoming artists in the rap, grime and R ‘n’ B game in the UK through her show ‘New Gen’ on Radar Radio. This show was quickly gained popularity and began to see special appearances from some of the most exciting names in the UK music scene from 67 to AJ Tracey to Bonkaz to Chip. The popularity of the show and the work of Caroline SM led to her becoming an A&R for infamous label XL Recordings. At XL Recordings, she is continuing to push the underground rap and grime scene, first by signing Harlesden-rapper Nines, and the release of one of the best compilations albums the scene has had in years.
Featuring the likes of Ray BLK, AJ Tracey, Bonkaz, Avelino, Jevon, Tiggs the Author, A2 and more, this New Gen compilation is a fantastic display of just how much talent there currently is in the UK music scene. It also shows the diversity of talent, from sweet R ‘N’ B songs (WSTRN – Loose) to gritty, drill rap (67 – Jackets), but the quality of music never dips and the project is thoroughly entertaining throughout. It is a must-listen and an important album for the culture.
Sampha – Process
Sampha is an artist that came to many people’s attention when Drake sampled his beautiful song ‘Too Much’ and listeners were immediately mesmerized by his unique, soulful voice. The south London singer/songwriter has gone on to work with a range of artists such as Kanye West, Jessie Ware, SBTRKT and Solange and produced a couple great EPS, but the start of 2017 finally sees Sampha release his debut album.
Process is an absolutely beautiful album which shows off, not only his distinct voice, but his overall musical talent. Sampha shines the most when production is limited to simplistic instrumentation such as on the track ‘(No one Knows me) Like the Piano’, which, as the track suggests, is just him and his piano leading to amazing results.
Migos – Culture
It is very likely over the last few months you’ve inappropriately sang ‘Bad and Boujie’ out loud because of just how damn catchy it is. This is a prime example of the absolute genius of Migos and how talented they are at making catchy songs.
In their new album ‘Culture’ they show no signs of them slowing down and it has turned out to be one of their most impressive releases so far. The progression of the Atlanta trio has been outstanding and they have managed to have a new song circulating the clubs every few months. Culture doesn’t see them pushing any boundaries musically, but shows Migos doing what they do best and why they are the current kings of Atlanta.
Wiley – Godfather
We head Straight back to the UK, as the innovator of ‘Grime’, Wiley, blessed all his fans with the long-awaited album ‘Godfather’. Godfather is the grime veteran’s 11th album and in addition to all the mixtapes he has also released, shows just how much of a contribution the emcee has made to, not just grime music, but music in general.
Godfather stands as proof that the aging rapper has not missed a step and is probably his best release in the last decade. This album is reminiscent of the old, ferocious Wiley that made him stand out in the early days of the scene, and with the eski-sound prominent throughout the project, it brings a certain sense of nostalgia for early grime fans. Wiley sounds hungry on this album and the pace barely slows down, which creates probably the most entertaining grime albums to be released in a long while.
Davinche – #Powers
Many grime fans will recognise Davinche as the producer of one of the greatest grime songs of all time, Kano’s ‘Ps & Qs’ and even 13 years later he is still able to make some of the sickest grime instrumentals. Davinche’s talent for making epic sounding grime beats has made him a legend in the scene and powers is a great example of his capabilities.
This album sees the producer gather some of the hottest talents in the scene including Big Tobz, Ghetts, Scorcher, Capo Lee, P Money, Elf Kid and Merky Ace, with each of them complementing the veterans beats perfectly. If you are unsure if this project is for you , take a listen to the title track ‘#Powers’ which reunites movement members, Ghetts, Mercston and Scorcher. This track is an absolute banger and the three veterans going back to back will have fans eagerly anticipating a potential Movement album.
Nadia Rose – Highly Flammable.
2016 was a very progressive year for Nadia Rose with her popularity taking a sharp rise and the release of the banger ‘Skwod’, which also went on to win a deserved MOBO award for video of the year. There is something very charming about the Croydon emcee and the confidence she exudes in her music along with her witty lyrics make her one of the most compelling rappers in the country.
This hype from the previous year was followed up in 2017 by the release of mixtape ‘Highly Flammable’. The tape was far from disappointment and featured the same witty punchlines that grabbed fans in the first place alongside many dancehall-tinged instrumentals. Tracks such as ‘Tight Up’ and ‘2H2H’ are infectious and will have listeners moving. Her choice of production is what makes her music so fun to listen to. However, she is not reliant on beats, the way she flows so effortlessly over the instrumentals is impressive and she honestly sounds like her talent for rapping comes so naturally to her.