Released on Valentine’s Day, “Short” is the first single and formal introduction to UK-based producer, J Rick. While this might be considered his first solo outing, J Rick is most notably known through his work with Octavian as part of their collective, Essie Gang, previously producing “Party Here,” "Hands,” and “Lightning.” The video for “Short” — directed by Armin Druzanovic — is a conceptual piece looking to capture the essence of summer; scenes revolve around a house party, a half-pipe, and a general sense of thrill-seeking. It’s the perfect precursor for the warmer months to come. What’s more: last year, I described “Hands” as being somewhere between a James Blake and Mount Kimbie production, and “Short” holds true to that statement with a glitchy, samba-inspired, instrumental. Look out for J Rick’s upcoming mixtape, No Retreat No Surrender, coming out soon.
Baby Keem probably isn’t someone you’ve heard of before and he’s seemingly appeared out of thin air, but after a few placements on TDE’s Black Panther soundtrack, and Jay Rock’s Redemption, Keem is slowly becoming more of a household name.The Sound of Bad Habit is his newest release — executively produced by CardoGotWings — and it’s a short but sweet project that immediately grabs your attention by how ignorantly fun it is. The high energy production complements the knucklehead lyrics perfectly, and to be honest, it’s hard to stop listening with a replayable runtime of 22 minutes.
Subversively enigmatic as ever, ✘O ✘V ✘T is back at it again with the Halloween release of his latest EP, 001. I still don’t know much about the Montreal-based artist but lately he’s been releasing things with a bit more structure and consistency than usual. Hopefully, he keeps things up and his presence only increases from here on out.
Octavian has been having quite an amazing year: he's released "Party Here," "100 Degrees," "Hands," "Little," and "Revenge" to the universal acclaim of fans and peers alike; received cosigns by Drake, Stormzy and A2; walked in Virgil Abloh's inaugural Louis Vuitton show while also having Abloh "design" the cover for his debut project; featured on Mura Masa's new single "Move Me"; and just recently signed with Sony/ATV and Stellar Song. In short, he's the new wunderkind of UK rap and he's capitalizing on all of the attention with his new breakthrough effort called Spaceman. Stream it here:
Effortlessly cool in everything he's involved with, A2 is like the Mahershala Ali of rap. His musical output might best be described as it "comes to him naturally" because he really is just smooth like that. Purple is his umpteenth EP providing listeners with a small vignette of what the Croydon rapper is capable of. It follows in the footsteps of last year's Blue wherein A2 introduced himself at length and his production and songwriting skills were showcased in full. Purple gives another good look at the uptempo and mellow stylings of one of south London's best. Stream it below: