Legendary Keyzz talks producing beats for the hood in Manchester, working with Rich the Kid and Soulja Boy and making trap beats

Legendary Keyzz is a producer from Manchester. Working with some of the biggest names in the US Hip-Hop game is just the start, but this 20-year-old has become one of the most respected producers in the Manchester scene.

While working in the studio Manchester artists such as Tunde, Meekz, K Don, Culps and many more, the next step for Keyzz is to move to the next level of stardom.

I sat down with the instrumentalist for a chat on his career so far, and why this producer is one that can be expected to be a producer to take over the UK scene.

Would you like to break down who you are, and what sort of producer you are?

“What’s good; this Legendary Keyzz and I’m a 20-year-old producer located in the UK. I was born in Manchester I’ve been making beats since I was 15.

“It started as I got into college, and it wasn’t until one of my friends from college came over to my house, and we sat down and he showed me the FL studio.”

How long have you been producing music for, and what inspired you to get involved in creating beats? Is there any other old-school producers who have inspired you?

“I have been making music for around 5 years now, and it all started when one of my friends from college came over to my house and showed me FL studio like I said.

“With the FL Studio, he loaded the software onto my computer, then it was the case of messing around with it, and seeing what sounds we could create because we literally didn’t have a clue how to use it.

“From there, I just started staying up all night and learning how to use it. Once I figured out how to, I just began to make beats as a hobby. I never thought it would come this far, so it’s a blessing because I was really just doing it for fun.”

Who are some of the names you have worked with before, and what name shocked you the most when you heard they would work with you?

“Yeah man, well I have worked with a lot of people now, off the top of my head I’ve worked with the likes of Rich the Kid, Jay Critch, Soulja Boy, Trev Mulah, Yung Dred, Tunde, K Don, Culps and loads more.

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Legendary Keyzz with Trev Mulah

“But I have to say the one that has surprised me the most was Rich the Kid. When I got the call I was semi gassed, because come on… It’s Rich the Kid.”

How did you find the transition from being a hood producer to crossing over and working with American artists and what was the most challenging aspect of it?

“To be honest, the way I started working with American rappers, and this is something for all up and coming producers should know – I started my whole career off through investing in a placement collaboration with Soulja Boy.

“Then it all kind of went from there, through my name coming up with the calibre of people I started working with, it was a natural transition where I then started working with UK artists. So I kind of did it back to front – but it’s worked.”

What is your creative process in the studio? What are your favourite sounds to work with, or do you like working with more variation and versatility?

“When it comes to my creative process I tend to just vibe in the studio, then whatever sound myself and the people I am with at the time are feeling, we just tend to move in the direction of the vibe.

“I love making all different types of beats really, I mainly make trap beats and Detroit beats, but I always enjoy making the Hood beats for artists of course.”

What other producers around the UK have you worked with and is there any other big producers from Manchester we should know about?

“I’ve worked with producers from Manchester such as Pezmo, who is Aitch’s producer for his hit ‘Straight Rhymez’. I’ve also worked with WhyJay too, both of these guys are dope producers from Manchester who should be taken in.

“As well as those, I’ve also started a lot of producers careers, where I have gotten them there first ever placements with major artists – not just in Manchester but also in Blackpool, Salford and over seas; all over the world even.”

Have you got anything new coming out soon we can know about, any big collaborations?

“I’ve got a lot of new stuff coming out with a lot of Manchester artists who are seriously popping right now, and a lot more industry artists from America… But I don’t want to say too much right now. I’m just going to let the music speak for itself.”

Keep an eye out for Legendary Keyzz in the near future, and be sure to check some of his links below:

 

 

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Tunde reaches designer levels with new single Fendi & Supreme

Photo: @tunde Instagram 

South Manchester’s Tunde has been making serious moves as of late. Reaching 1 million views on Mixtape Madness and absolutely bodying his Fire In The Booth were only the next stepping stones to achieving dominance in the UK Scene.

So after Tunde himself has supported this platform, which has got me gassed – I think it is only right to cover the new single ‘Fendi & Supreme’ which has been dropped on GRM Daily.

The beat is powerful. With the Fendi & Supreme ad-libs being prominent from the start, you instantly feel the vibe of the track within the first 10 seconds.

“All gang in the Supreme and the Fendi, looking all trendy”

He comes in strong, with the Tunde flow running the beat effortlessly, the energy is undeniable. Transitioning smoothly into such a catchy hook.

With the video being dropped on GRM, its a given that the visuals were going to be cold. They compliment the track so well, with the visuals and the track just perfectly fitting hand in hand.

You can see that Tunde is evolving. Coming from the first singles of ‘Say Less Do More’ and ‘Mob City’, all the singles have been hard. But I feel like this is the first of many future singles which have the capability of ringing off in clubs all over the  UK.

“Lion piss on the work just to get the bricks back”

Tunde 

All we can do now is wait for next injection of Tunde content. But from his words on Instagram I don’t think we will be waiting long.

As he is enjoying a long spell in the States, could we expect another Joe Blow and Lil AJ colab?

NEXT UP EP #3 – Blue Room Mafia talk recording with their college microphone, music inspirations and experimenting with different sounds

Photo: @zak_yhs

For episode three of #NEXTUP, I spoke with the dynamic group of South Birmingham MC’s, Blue Room Mafia. The group have been working relentlessly for the last three years or so, and the growth so far has been sick.

The sound coming from Blue Room Mafia is something that has been missing, this group fit together to create their own genre, with the kind of self-produced beats that just haven’t been heard in the UK scene before.

I spoke with the six artists to see how their career is going so far, and it is definitely a given that these guys are driven and hungry.

So, do you guys want to go round and tell me your names?

“Yeah, we’ve got Lauren Ralph, H1, Ninioh, Kojay, Silence and Pshay”.

Where in Birmingham would you say you’s are based?

“We’re all from South Birmingham, we all live within 10 minutes from the Blue Room studio, which is Lauren Ralph’s attic”. 

What would you say makes each of you guys different?

“We all come with different inspirations within music, and we come with different energies and personalities, which just lets us bounce off each other. 

“We all bring loads of different elements to the group”.

When did you all decide to start making music together?

“We started making music about three years ago, we started when Lauren Ralph was lent a microphone that we still use today from his college teacher. 

“He started recording people in his local area, then shortly after, H1 came up with the name Blue Room Mafia because of the link to Birmingham and the blue walls of the studio that we use”.

Blue Room Mafia’s most viewed video came in July 2017. The video is clean, and really seems to have put the Birmingham MC’s on a platform for their music to be received by a bigger audience, although it still is underrated.

With a beat that is so effortlessly rememberable, it’s hard to keep this one out of your head. The catchy hook separates the verses smoothly – with vocals that compliment the whole mood of the track.

And with just short of a million streams on Spotify last year, it is safe to say that the listeners are taking to the sound.

How has the reception been on the music so far?

“We have had a good reception from a lot of people, from all over. We have had love from Spain and Australia, and bare other places.

“I think people appreciate the different style of Rap and the authenticity”.

What music influences do you think you have taken into your own sound?

“We are all inspired by a lot of different artists and we all prefer different kinds of genres.

“I’d say we have taken all the different influences we have got and moulded them all into one sound. It could be seen as a new genre”.

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Photo courtesy of @zak_yhs

One of the main things I have noticed in the music is the different kinds of beats that you guys use, how does the production process usually pan out?

“Usually, Lauren Ralph plays a selection of beats, or he just makes one on the spot and we go from there really. 

“We love to just mess around with different flows, and let our energies bounce off each other”.

So are we only hearing Lauren Ralph’s production in all the music then or do you work with different producers occasionally?

“Lauren Ralph is our only producer. Which definitely plays a vital role in the Blue Room Mafia sound. He uses a wide range of samples from different genres of music, from anything from Classical to Latin Funk”.

“Bad B she wanna fuck, bad B she wanna chill, gotta hit it twice so I know its real, she wants a man from Brum ‘cos she loves the thrill”

– Blue Room Mafia, Bad B

Blue Room Mafia’s latest single, ‘Señorita’ which features Erick the Architect, brings even more different vibes to the Blue Room Mafia sound. One that could be easily be played for so many different moods. It contains a sound which uncontrolably just makes you want to move.

This song shows that the group from South Birmingham have the versatiliy to be able to move in and out of different genres. It suggests that this group really are heading in the right direction to increase their fan base and really move towards bigger attentions.

Blue Room Mafia come with a sound that I will definitely be following closely. With a rawness that comes along with their creativity which really takes us back to the old school styles of UK Rap.

The authenticity is something that can not go unnoticed, and the originality is the key that I believe is going to take these MCs to the next level, sooner rather than later.

Check out the link below to listen to some more material from Blue Room Mafia and be sure to keep an eye out for more new music this year.

 

NEXT UP EP #2 – Kiddus talks growing up on Bob Marley, producing Drill and Trap beats & annoying memes

Photo courtesy of Alex Karunis

For my second feature of #NEXT UP, I welcomed the extremely talented Kiddus through for a chat on his music career so far. This artist/producer comes from Cardiff and offers something for our darker moods.

The ear for music and the willingness to learn from Kiddus came from a young age, with his dad himself being a musician, so it was difficult for Welsh artist to avoid eventually moving into the world of music for a career.

When did you first start making music?

“I was involved in music since I was born because of my Dad. But I only started taking music seriously when I was 17, so about 4 years ago now”. 

How do you find your music has changed as you have gotten older?

“I started off making hip-hop beats, but then started writing my own stuff and changing the sound. I’d say my own sound now is experimental R&B/Funk with a lot of African and  Caribbean influence.

“The music I make has changed over time as I’ve found new artists that I want to rip-off basically. When I first started taking music seriously I was basically making MF DOOM and Flying Lotus type beats, and as I’ve gone through different phases with the music I’m listening to, I’ve picked up all the bits I’ve liked and put it into one thing.

I have just started a side project of House/Ambient/Jungle sort of stuff called Photoshopper too”.

What was your early music sounding like then as a 17 year old?

“My first few projects on Soundcloud were super depressing. And when I switched up to using my real name I made a conscious decision to lighten it up a bit. 

“I still wanna talk about how I feel but after doing a whole mixtape about wanting to die, I had gotten bored of writing about it. Teenage angst isn’t really cute once you’ve turned 20. So the newer stuff is going to be a lot more varied in style”. 

“I’m really just trying to master every genre, Punk is next”

– Kiddus

Who have you grown up on that has had the most influence on your music?

“Growing up on Prince, Bob Marley and George Clinton were basically The Holy Trinity in my house. I wouldn’t even rank them as my favourite artists, they’re more like the scale I rank everyone else on. 

“When I was little I was really fucking pretentious and only listened to conscious Hip-Hop and refused to listen to mainstream music. Theres an artist called K-Os that I was obsessed with that I can see pretty clear influence from in what I do now. 

“Also there was all the Punk and Indie music I would hear on skate DVDs at the time. Theres loads of people I could cite especially because the way I make music is usually just downright trying to copy people and failing, and ending up a different sound entirely”.

So as well as working on your own music, you are a producer too. Who have you worked with so far?

“My good friend Ed Riley from Canada, we made a double-single over FaceTime that came out a while ago and we have more stuff coming out too. Another good friend, Ben Coryell, we did a track called ‘Heart’ and made a remix too that’s out soon hopefully. 

“I did a track a while back with Billy Lemos who’s just recently getting a lot of deserved attention. I’ve got a lot of collabs and production for other people happening at the too moment, so I don’t want to spoil anything but hopefully you’ll see my name cropping up next to some bigger names very soon”.

Do you see your main career path as a musician being the voice of the music or within the production side of if for other artists?

“I see it being pretty 50/50, recently I’ve been going hard on production mostly because I’m starting to get people asking for it now and I’d like to work with more Drill and Trap people, so I’m trying to get better at making those kind of beats.

“I like people like Pharrell that have a distinct sound on their own that’s still noticeable when they produce for other people. Even if my name’s not on the song, I want it to be obvious I worked on it”.

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Photo: Alex Karunis

How important is your image when it comes to creating a brand for yourself?

“I used to think about it more than I do now, I used to try and figure out how I was going to balance chatting copious amounts of shit like I do in real life and being the cool, mysterious, Frank Ocean type. When people started taking interest in my music and getting in touch with me, I realised that they’re individuals, not marks.

“Why would I put on this affectation to push some sort of brand when I’m just talking to people who like me and my music? I used to wear a mask to brand myself and that’s where the red skin thing came from – trying to create a brand.

“I used to worry that what I was posting was off brand if I didn’t have the red skin or whatever. But eventually I clocked I don’t have to try so hard. Because I make everything, the art, the music, the videos, everything is going to look and sound like my brand because I’m the only one involved. Me creating a brand is done subconsciously now.”

This is a sound that I have not heard or related to before. Coming with something that could be compared to Jaden Smith’s ‘SYRE’. It is fresh, and really offers something different to the UK scene.

Can you tell me the story behind ‘Vapid Me’?

“I was on Facebook and I saw how people share relatable memes, and quotes from songs, and clips from YouTube videos as surrogate for actually having a real personality or opinions. People would post a gif of Ariana Grande doing something and be like “this is literally me”.

“So thats where it all started and as I wrote it I started to think about idolisation and ‘stanning’ as a concept and the commodification of personality etc, etc. The one thing I really, really didn’t want to do was make a song about how stupid other people were and how bad social media is. Thats why its written mostly in first person”.

In your music I can hear a lot of raw emotion and honesty, do you find that music is a way to offload certain emotions sometimes?

“I’m glad you hear that. When I started writing I was surprised by how therapeutic it was and at this point its become a necessity really. When you write stuff out in any context it can help you figure things out, and when its a song you start connecting dots between verses and sections and melodies that can give a lot more clarity to what you’re thinking. Even when its not that deep.

“Also when I write sad songs I’m more self aware about sounding annoying and moody so I’ll usually add some hopefulness to it which helps with putting things into perspective”.

So as we finish, do you want to tell me your goals for 2019? And do we have any new music coming?

“I’ve got two EPs coming and a load of live shows. I want to do way more producing for other people and more features. I wanna do music for a skate tape, and I wanna get some merch. Oh, and I’m gonna try and get a real job, and a girlfriend”.

The music coming from Kiddus is something that I would not normally gravitate towards. But the rawness, and the theme of all the layering, with the selection of melodies just works for me.

Keep an eye out for more Kiddus coming in 2019, and be sure to keep a look out for his name on a number of Drill and Trap tunes that are coming soon.

Instagram: kiddus_

 

Dave is back at his Santanbest

Dave has just dropped his new track, ‘Black’ during the USA’s Black History Month, and its safe to say that Dave is back on top.

Produced by Fraser T Smith, the pair have come together to create something just short of perfection, discussing the ins and outs of what it is like to be black.

With an instrumental which is first layered with ambient piano keys, it gives the perfect foundation for a boom-bap kind of beat. The two come together well, mixing classical piano chords with what to me sounds like 1990’s US Hip-Hop drum beats.

Dave’s rawness seems to be oozing in this one, taking us back to the days of the passionate and emotional sounds of “How I Met My Ex” and “Picture Me”.

The visuals are clean too, juxtaposing the lush lifestyle that Dave is now living, and the other ends of the scale. Raheem Sterling also features in the video, with a short shot of the famous gun tattoo that Sterling still stands by. As he should.

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Raheem Sterling has faced racial slurs in the media as of late, triggered by this tattoo

Following the release of the track, and video, Santan has let twitter know that this is the first song he has released from his forthcoming LP, ‘Psychodrama’.

If the album carries the same intensity, attention to detail and all round individualism associated with the Santandave brand, then we are in for a treat.

In all honesty, I was starting to forget about Dave as we haven’t had a full released project for a while. But this song has done more than grab my attention. The raw talent and passion for the music is something you can’t miss, and I am sure that the upcoming album will reach some serious heights.

 

NEXT UP EP#1 – TY Real talks his music inspirations, working with GRM Daily and what makes him different

Photo: @tyrealting Instagram

‘NEXT UP’ is a new series where I will be talking to fresh, up and coming artists around the UK, and I welcomed West London’s TY Real to be my first guest.

I was first introduced to TY Real when I stumbled across a short preview video of one of his songs on Instagram, and it surprised me that the tunes hadn’t received as much recognition as they deserved.

When first conversing with TY, I wanted to know how long this MC had been creating music.

When did you start making music?

“Music has forever been one of my passions. I’ve always enjoyed using my creativity to influence the mood of others. 

“The first time that I ever put pen to paper was probably when I was nine years old or so, but the first time I posted a song was some time in 2016. I was 16 at the time”. 

How has your music been received since you started releasing?

“The response to my music has been very positive, especially by those who are not in my circle.

Its always a bonus when those who are not in your circle message me about my music because I know its real love. The support has been great and its only going to get bigger”. 

What makes you different to other MCs who are trying to break through and make a real stamp on the scene?

“I think I’m more conscious about my lyrics. I can’t really name many other artists who are able to maintain quality punchlines with a range of flows”.

How would you define your sound?

“I’d say that my sound is alternative rap that incorporates unique bassy beats with lots of hard-hitting lyrics and punchlines”.

TY Real seemed focus, switched on and clearly has a vision of what he wants to achieve. The versatility is something that I noticed straight away within the music, and the versatility is definitely something the North-West London rapper wants to emphasise.

“NO TY REAL SONG SOUNDS THE SAME, I FOCUS ON THE ART ITSELF RATHER THAN THE BUZZ. I ALWAYS REMIND MYSELF WHY I STARTED”

– TY REAL

Visuals are an important part of the TY Real brand. With music being dropped frequently, the importance of music videos is seen as a crucial factor nowadays, for anyone hoping to make an impact on the music scene.

How was the experience working with GRM Daily? 

“It was an okay experience, but I would rather post music on my personal page rather than GRM. 

“Its difficult for people who are used to Afro-Swing and Drill to understand the levels of the underground”.

Who gave the most creative input when it came to directing the visuals?

“I gave my director a few ideas for the video. He chose the location but I told him how I wanted it edited”. 

Ty Real comes with a sound that I have not heard before. Its unorthodox and really pushes another boundary when it comes to the many different styles of UK Rap.

What inspirations have you taken into your music?

“Where I’ve come from, the experiences that I have been through, and the successes that other people have had who come from a similar background to myself, without a doubt inspires me. 

“I’ve been inspired by many different artists from different genres, whether they be UK based or overseas. 

“These artists range from Giggs, Angel and Dave, to Meek Mill, Tee Grizzley and Sheck Wes. The link between these artists is that they are not afraid of the opinions of the public, whether it be the controversial facts in their lyrics, or the out of the ordinary videos.

“They all possess something unique, which pushes me to want to become even more creative”.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

“I’d say, Popcaan and Jorja Smith. Popcaan as he’s one of the biggest artists from my native country. 

“Not many UK artists tend to collaborate with those from the Caribbean today, although there has been an increase”.

Be sure to check out some of TY Real’s links down below, and keep your ears pealed for the new single ‘Nuff Said’ which will be available on all major streaming platforms this Friday.

Instagram – @tyrealting

Twitter – @tyrealting

 

 

Manchester season: Tunde features on Fire In The Booth

South Manchester’s Tunde has linked up with Charlie Sloth and Beats 1 for an exclusive episode of Fire In The Booth with Apple Music. And it looks like Manchester is even firmer on the map than ever before.

Tunde comes in with confidence and a new ruggedness which seems to have been missing from the Manchester scene for a minute.

After impressing the scene with his appearances on Link Up TV and P110, the MC from Manchester has brought levels of pure Grime to the Manchester scene which haven’t been seen since Bugzy jumped into everyone’s playlists.

With a fresh, new and different sound, Tunde has emerged onto the scene as the new thing. The accent, the look and the all round trap-lifestyle that the MC emphasises in his bars, appeals to the audience massively – as you can see in the numbers.

“I’ve got a passion for these phones theres no debate, why you think they gave me trapper of the year four years straight”

– Tunde

Tunde comes with a new look, unique to his own brand, with a new sound and flow which really compliments the Manchester accent to it’s full potential.

Charlie Sloth and Beats 1 have pushed this Fire In The Booth heavily, and seemed to
have backed Tunde to make some serious moves after this opportunity.

However, it’s not that Tunde needed this Fire In The Booth, the videos that have been released prior to this have reached some serious heights.

It’s something about this hard, gangster-ridden Grime – from up North which just seems to captivate such an audience.

South Manchester has been stamped on the map after this Fire In The Booth, and with the platform reaching heights and an audience that it has not been able to access before, Manchester’s Grime scene is being pushed in the perfect direction to take it to the next level.

What’s next from Tunde? Who knows. But this Fire In The Booth is another big step in bringing Grime from up North onto the same pedestal as the talent coming from London.

Cadet: A rapper gone too soon

I woke up this morning to see that the unconventional and unique story-telling wordsmith, Cadet had tragically died in a car crash on the way to a show.

With this being said, tragedies like this can not be brushed under the carpet, and the talent of this incredibly underrated MC needs to be appreciated for its worth.

‘Closure’ is one of Cadet’s most intense, and enticing stories that the MC laid down for Link Up TV. Touching on the reasons why he dropped previous freestyles such as ‘Slut’, it really pulls out all the stops to intertwine a number of narratives within one track.

Cadet comes with honesty, emotion and raw realism within this one, his attention to detail brings everything together to keep us, as the listeners, hooked on this story.

“See, word I was still in love when I wrote slut, just words, them scars weren’t closed up”

– Cadet

This is one that can be related to. Relationship issues, heartbreak, and just real raw emotions that the majority of people seem to lock up.

“If you take a girl from someone, she can get taken from you”. Is one line that stuck out for me on this one.

The realness of this song really hits home. This is relatable and is one that again pulls as hard as it possibly can on your heart strings.

Freestyles have a certain rawness to them, and Cadet just seemed to have a natural ability of being able to put together effortless pieces of art for his listeners.

Emotion and personal matters are things that Cadet puts together effortlessly, and although the majority of Cadet’s freestyles were in this style, there is nobody with this style and absolutely nobody who can deliver a story in the way that he does.

Cadet himself calls himself an ‘underrated legend’ in relation to his ‘Underrated Legends’ record label. And I don’t think the South London rapper was wrong when picking this name.

‘Letter To Krept’ is my favourite Cadet song. From one rapper to another, I seriously enjoyed the back-and-forth that Cadet and Krept blessed us with.

Sending for another rapper is entertaining, yes. But, there was something about this exchange between Cadet and Krept that opened a lot of eyes.

Using emotion and love as fuel to put into lyrics offers so much more than just a regular, generic send with a load of ‘your Mum’ bars. This freestyle is timeless.

We have lost a key figure in the UK scene. Cadet had his own sound, that can not be touched by anyone.

 

 

Review: AJ Tracey drops his first independent album

AJ Tracey has just dropped his highly anticipated, fully independent, self-titled album, and the newly converted ‘country star’ has delivered a project with plenty of different sounds and energies for his ever-growing fan base.

The 808-King opens up his album with what he claims to be his oldest song on the record.  ‘Plan B’ is two years old according to the Tottenham man, but it opens the album well, with a darker, and intense sound that we have been missing from the MC recently.

This song is targeted towards a variety of emotions that the rapper was going through at that time, with AJ first experiencing some real money and success. It all ties in together nicely to bring us into the next track.

Track two is ‘Jackpot’, coming with a light, smooth sample on the beat, AJ Tracey tackles this one with an iconic, catchy AJ hook.

AJ is lyrically solid on this one, with multiple references to his lavish lifestyle, which still seems to be slightly intertwined with his life before all the fame and money.

“My wrist look like a Skepta ad-lib, but my fans love me ’cause I’m interactive, you sell tracks ’cause of who you rap with, givin’ beef, how many of your features backed  it?”

– AJ Tracey, Jackpot

‘Wifey Riddim 3’ comes in for track four, as the third part of the Wifey Riddim trilogy.

The hook is catchy, with what sounds like a slight afro/carribean influence on the samples, the boy from Ladbroke Grove puts this one together nicely. Sharing vibes and good energies as the album progresses.

Track five is ‘Double C’s’. This is one of my favourites off the album, one that can be listened to for any mood.

It rings off well, with another very catchy hook to get stuck in your head. The beat is so nice for this too, where it ends with a short interlude from an answering machine – which seems like the go-to thing to do when dropping a project nowadays.

AJ Tracey told Beats 1 that his album would include his take on Country Music, and he wasn’t lying. Track six comes with a Country sampled beat, which combines the classic AJ Tracey flow, with arguably some Nav-influenced vocals on the hook.

I wasn’t sure on this one at first, but it slowly seems to be growing on me.

AJ Tracey’s latest single off the album, ‘Psych Out!’ arrives on track seven. This has been received well by his audience, although I really can’t deny that I think this sound has taken a massive influence from Nav, especially in the video.

But, it fits into the album nicely and transitions really well from ‘Country Star’.

I like that AJ Tracey has switched up his sound as his career has progressed, but I can’t be the only one that misses the heavy Grime, ‘Packages’ AJ Tracey.

Track eight comes with an American collaboration with Jay Critch. Its smooth, trappy and has a slight sound similar to Gunna, which I really like.

From this point in the album I was surprised at the versatility that AJ has shown, a number of different sounds have been put together, and they all some how work as one playlist.

Jorja Smith features on the vocals of song number 11 of ‘AJ Tracey’. The summery, garage sampled ‘Ladbroke Grove’ brings sunshine and just a load of good vibes to the album.

This is my favourite song off the tape, which I’m quite surprised at considering I was expecting something a lot Grimier to take the crown.

Its then followed by another one of AJ’s singles off the record, ‘Doin It’ comes in for track 12, and I really don’t feel like this is one of the South London rapper’s best tunes.

To say this is supposed to be one of the Grimier tracks on the album, its left us all a bit disappointed in that respect.

However, the album doesn’t take long to regain the high standard it has carried throughout the large majority of the album, with the Landlord, Giggs being the next on the feature list for ‘Nothing But Net’.

This is definitely one of the strongest songs on the album, with the beat sounding like it was just destined to be playing into a pair of Giggs’ headphones in the studio.

AJ delivers really well on this one, running the beat well and switching his flows up to 140bpm when deemed necessary.

But Giggs comes and takes this track, and turns it into his own. Coming with an effortlessly sick verse, which just emphasises why this man has been at the top of the game for so long.

Track number 14 takes us back to the AJ Tracey ‘The Front’ EP days, with a beat that could easily slide into that EP if it wanted.

This is a sound that we haven’t heard from the Rapper for a while now, but it works so well, and seemed to bring back so many memories from the times of the up and coming AJ.

The album closes with the 15th track, ‘Triple S’ which teases us for a good minute before the beat actually drops.

Its hard, its one for the car and really does eject high energies out of the speakers. This is one that would be mental at one of AJ Tracey’s live shows.

As a whole, the album is very strong, it comes with so many different sounds and really does captivate a lot of what AJ has been thinking about/going through since his career really blew up.

As an independent album, this one is definitely one that you could back to make some history in the charts.

There are songs that could be deemed radio-friendly, but theres also a lot that just reflect the amount of different influences that AJ Tracey has had during his time as a musician.

AJ has evolved since the start of his time in the music game, and it is exciting to see what else the he has to offer in the future.

Rating: 4/5

Has Octavian already dropped the track of the year?

Octavian has dropped yet another banger. This time he has teamed up with Michael Phantom on ‘Bet’, and it works perfectly.

“I just made your girl, a sket, she repped the set” is the opening line to this head-nodder. It comes in with sauce, energy and a contagious feel of absolutely having to nod your head when this comes on.

I have already been Octavian’s biggest fan for a while now. His latest album ‘SPACEMAN’ is flawless start to finish. And after this unorthodox rapper picked up the BBC Sound of 2019 award, we have all been waiting to see what came next.

Octavian then premiered his single ‘Stressed’ where he works with Take A Daytrip to put together yet another solid playlister.

But this new song, is the one that I really think is going to catapult Octavian to the next level.

The song has already started a killer trend, where fans are attempting to replicate this already iconic music video.

This song was my first time in listening to Michael Phantom, and it just seems that he said everything he had to say.

The music video is something different. It couldn’t work any better with this song. The transitions are crazy, and for a video that looks so simple to make, it could not be more effective.

‘Bet’ is my favourite song of the year so far, and I will be highly surprised if this does not get massively recognised.