An attention-grabbing jittering sound comes piercing through first track ‘Automatic’, giving a bold introduction to FLY VON‘s latest mixtape, ‘FlyMix Vol.2’.
The prospective listener would be given if the seven-track set follows through with the jarringly-dope tone offered up in the intro track. However ‘FlyMix Vol.2’ changes direction and gives a smooth run of lack-laid slow jams vibing with a heavy bass that gives each arrangements that extra kick – with the exception of ‘Broke In A Minute’ which pretty much takes on a similar tone as ‘Automatic’, boasting a looping horn that goes rampant with fly’s flow oozing into the boisterous sound.
The mixtape eases down and concludes with ‘No Surprise’. With trance-like and hazy soundscapes, ‘No Surprise’ is a type of track that you kick back and roll up on your own or with some friends.
Fly Von always comes different and this mixtape is sure to ascend nicely on his ever-fly discography – get it? Oh never mind; Check ‘FlyMix Vol.2’ out below plus songs recommendations below…
What I find so appeasing about Bristolian rapper OLOFF is that you can never guess his next move. His second project of the year, ‘Expat’ took me a bit by surprise as it contain pretty slick uses of samples, ranging from retro soul, right through rock/90s grunge plus samples that has a twang of 50s Hollywood Glamour – see, I told his guy was so delightfully unpredictable!
One thing that’s not predictable is his infamous askew delivery which at times ferociously pierces through some of the most delicate productions (listen to intro single ‘I Don’t Breathe’, ‘Obvious/Someone’s Missing/Luigi’s Mansion)
I appreciate that ‘Expat’ isn’t everyone’s cup of tea or a one size fits all type of mixtape, but it’s definitely worth a go just to hear the juxtaposition of his wayward delivery against the varied arrangements.
Must Listen: I Don’t Breathe, Lord’s Prayer, Luigi’s Mansion
Since PROFESSOR PAWS arrival onto the scene just 18 months ago, he has quickly become a force to be reckoned with. His first release from his To The Bag EP, ‘Southside Girl’, was undoubtedly well received, obtaining praise from trendsetting magazine Notion. He then followed with the lead single and title track, ‘To The Bag’, amassing over 125,000 views and over 75,000 streams in the process.
With a musical approach that is second to none, Professor Paws creates a unique hybrid between new age R&B and a gritty UK rap sound for his new EP. The opening track ‘To The Bag’ portrays his distinct R&B style, highlighting an instant ensemble of differing melodies whilst delivering punchy lyrical content that we’ve come to expect. This release epitomises his approach this year as he sets his aims on getting ‘straight to the bag’. The next track ‘Southside Girl’ is the perfect blend to stir up the party feeling as the vibrant melodic chorus instantly captures your attention while the hard-hitting rap verses deliver the perfect contrast. This song captures the excitement and flirtations of a relationship blossoming in its early stages. Moving in to ‘Sillionaire’, Professor Paws continues the musical theme of the EP, providing an R&B influenced hook with the raw rap that has become synonymous to his sound. A strong sense of the London artists affluent lifestyle shines through the lyricism, as he proceeds to remind us that ‘he is the man’.
Heading through the tracklist, ‘Gold Touch’ tells the story of the rappers’ similarity with King Midas and his golden touch, with the track delving in to a wittier, personable side of the rapper. With his usual combination of melodies and raw lyrics, this song is destined to be blaring out of car speakers across the UK. The final track is an extended version of ‘To The Bag’, the first version left listeners with a cliff hanger and this version is the clarity to the story. As he continues the go-getter mantra, we get a full understanding of Professor Paws mindset with his latest collection.
Of Ghanian and European heritage, Professor Paws is influenced by his roots and is keen to ensure that diversity always shines through in his music. Being exposed to such a wide range of sounds and styles in a rapidly developing musical climate, has helped shape his sound to one that moves fluidly between varying genres, tones and styles. His endless hours in the studio behind the desk as a producer has seen him work alongside major name rappers, including Giggs, Fekky, Cash and Joe Grind, and has undoubtedly helped to navigate his own personal artistry as he has cherrypicked wisdom from the best and been able to apply it to his own sound as an artist, something which evidently shines through in the EP.
With the release of his debut project ‘To The Bag’, we witness the development and evolution of Professor Paws. As he continues to gather momentum and make strides with his unorthodox hybrid of rap and R&B, we expect to see the experimental musician becoming a pivotal part of the music scene.
If you’re regular passer by on the blog, the name REDD TUNES must ring a bell as he has been featured countless of times with EPs that takes you back to the golden hip-hop/boom-bap era.
As always, Redd Tunes pulls a stellar line up for his releases and his project, ‘Rhyme Slingers’ is no exception, as the guest artists gives some extra swag to the irresistibly melodic productions which, at times, takes on a old school soulful favour and modern psychedelic sound. New recruit, Isis Aset, gives off a blazing vibrancy against the woeful violins, creating an almost classical sound in second effort, ‘Crisis’. Old staple Cubian Pete, offers up his unapologetically Londoner flow in ‘Blurrr’.
As well as producing the project, the man himself teamed up with fellow veteran emcee and long-time collaborator TJ Chill for track ‘Pioneers,’ a smooth hip-hop/boom bap piece accompanied by sporadic runs of the piano keys which serves as the perfect platform for both taking turns to showcase their ballsy delivery.
Although this neat set of just seven tracks holds a very similar golden urban sound, Redd Tunes’ Rhyme Slinger, to me, also bursts with a fresh and boisterous sound that begs attention. Check it out below…
Must Listens: Crisis, Blurrr, Pioneers, Anagram of Goldz
THBENJ‘s latest project, ‘Breaking All Th Rules’, which follows up from his 2019 debut album ‘T.H.B – the blog’s number one album of 2019– and takes on a more sinister and darker route than its predecessor.
A downtempo bass runs along the airy (almost electronic backdrop), often accompanied by chant-like overtones are the main ingredients in the first half of the 19-track set, which somewhat has an air of melancholy. Further along the line, the downtempo grit is incorporated with smooth guitar plucks (in tracks ‘Y’ and ‘Thank You All’) which gives a fresher feel to the combo. The rich soulful undertones in ‘Just A Little More’ gives the album’s sparse theme a full dimensional urban feel, before leading out on a high with a tingling sensation from a melodic outro (Fkn Chill).
I’ve listened to tracks, ‘Y’, ‘Reasons’ and ‘Champagne’ prior to the release of this album, and nothing prepared me for what was coming. If you couldn’t tell from this review, I’m really digging this album and my hat comes off (once again) for this credible artist on-a-serious-rise. Check him out below
Must Listens: Different Sounds, Thank You All, Y Th F Do You Care, Flip IT, Nobody’s Gonna Give It, Rest Of My Life