This year started off with a bang for music and to be honest it’s been a real whirlwind for the UK in terms of the quality of the music we’ve produced. Here is my breakdown of what has been hot so far; Albums, Tracks, Artists and all the bits in between here is; The LowDown on 2017 So Far.
Gang Signs and Prayer
I can’t talk about big albums without speaking on the masterpiece from Thornton Heath’s very own; Stormzy. Gang Signs and Prayer is still in the charts, being streamed like crazy and personally, probably 90% of the album is on my current playlist. This album was a gem and Stormz did himself and the Grime scene proud with this as his debut album.
Any Favourites? The whole album. Literally. It has nearly been 2 months and I’m still not tired of this.
More recently Drake dropped his long awaited album, (sorry, I mean Playlist); More Life and for me, he didn’t disappoint. Working with UK Producers like Nana Rogues for the banger that is Passionfruit and featuring UK artists might be seen by some as a rubber-stamping tactic by Drake, but for me, I see this as recognition of the calibre of talent that this little island has to offer.
My Favourites? Can’t really pick one. I love this album in its entirety. A solid body of work and I love seeing UK artists as just that; artists. Sampha, Giggs, Skepta and Jorja Smith we salute you.
J Hus – Did you See
J Hus has a knack for producing banger after banger. The cross-genre artist has been making waves and his highly anticipated album Common Sense is set to drop on 12th May. I can’t wait. If Did You See is anything to go, then by we have the makings of a great summer on our hands.
Kendrick Lamar – Humble
Kendrick didn’t come to play, but when has he ever?
With this track, K Dot is cheeky, daring and yet still appears to be very self-aware. So far I have yet to be disappointed by K Dot. and because of that, he can get away with being low-key smug and telling everyone about themselves while still being mindful and reminiscing.
Omarion – Distance
I was wondering when Omarion would grow up musically after Post to Be. (don’t get me wrong I loved that song when it came out, but now; its history) I was waiting for him to give us music that made us remember Ice Box Omarion. Music that makes me respect him. Distance does and matched with the visuals you really feel the essence of this track that you can definitely feel summer coming through.
And the Bits In Between
All hail The Don!
Late last year she dropped the “Real Ting” Mixtape and she came with straight fire. Steff set all games aside, late last month when she signed her label V-IV London as an imprint to Universal for the healthy sum of 1.2M then pulled a DJ Khaled and signed herself! A smart move by The Don, by keeping creative control and overseeing branding rather than being part of a big machine. Imprints may just be the future for many artists. Earlier this year she hooked up with the Landlord himself on the remix of her single “Real Ting”.
Her most recent video for “16 Shots” is out now.
The GUAP Team wish you all the best Steff! Congratulations!
GRM Daily – Daily Duppy – Wretch 32 #32turns32
So with the end of the legendary Daily Duppy, GRM Daily gave us a treat and had The Wordsmith himself, Wretch32 bless the mic on his birthday and end the series on an all time high. Before Wretch ended the series, Ghetts had held the title for the best Daily Duppy but Wretch definitely took the crown and it was well deserved.
R.I.P. Daily Duppy, my hopes are that GRM will give us Special Editions because this will most definitely be missed!
Don-E and Nado – You Alright Yeah?
“You alright Yeah?” by Don-E, was made huge by the cast of BKChat Ldn; which is definitely infectious. I literally wound my siblings, friends and anyone who would listen; up with the lyrics from the hook of this song. The song went global when Beyonce featured the track on her Instagram post which has since had over 7 million views!
I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has to offer. It’s been an interesting beginning to the year and I’m sure that there’s a lot more great music to come.