XX17 Spotify Playlist

With us closer to the end of the year, I’ve curated another playlist, this time a selection of some of the best and underrated Hip-Hop, Grime, Alternative and R&B tracks of the year, thus far. The playlist hosts American, British and French tracks, that varies in tempo and style, featuring the likes of Giggs, PartyNextDoor, Post Malone, Wale, Sampha, Toro Y Moi & many more..

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Fumin – Quiet On Set (Produced by Dexplicit)

There is no denying the impact nor the now legendary status of the original Grime

anthem, Pow. So it’s with great excitement to see one of the standout MC’s return, reconnecting with the producer of the Forward riddim himself. Re-introducing (as a some of you might be unaware) none other than, Fumin.

Produced by Dexplicit, Quiet On Set rekindles a somewhat faded Grime feeling, and the return of Fumin is just that, with the nostalgic vibes of old Grime sets, the real place where you got to hear, where the respect was earned, where the name was made, before the transitioning of full on records, the pirate radio and club sets are embedded in the genre’s history. With this track, they bring you that very essence, that unrivalled energy pon mic.

I’m intrigued to see the reaction this track would get in a live setting, as it definitely would be more appreciated, or at least you would get to see it’s potential. More importantly, it’s great to see Fumin back in the mix (sounding like he never left), and I’m hopeful of more to come.

I encourage any new listeners to go check out his previous stuff, from features to mixtapes, beyond his infamous Pow verse.

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Pak-Man – Behind Barz (Take 4)

If you’re talking consistency, or one of the hardest out, you best mention Pak-Man.

There’s few going harder, as the South London rapper continues to elevate with the street rap. The lyrical wordsmith is one of the best with the entrepreneurial raps. With a variety of quotables, this doesn’t dip one bit, if anything, it just gets better as it continues. “Risking my life for this, rich..How i’m tryna live, it was embarrassing..when I never had a thing, now I ring dan..I need 8 grand to grab a ring, 20 on my wrist in the gym while I have a swim, still drippin’, roof still missin’ like Madeline..”. There ain’t many that can talk the talk, let alone as catchy with such a delivery, and maybe it’s a lack of features with notable names, but it’s only a matter of time when the rest will get it. Few are championing him and you won’t always hear the main ones speaking of promoting, but rest assured, with over 130,000 views within a month, Pak ain’t one to be held back and as much as many acts would love a core fanbase like his, he’s only developing it further, and you can see the growth over time, as he shows no signs of slowing down or conforming in his craft. Though the subjects may seem similar, the angles in which he approaches continue to offer versatility with bars like, “I’m sorry for the stress that I caused mum, I was out here tryna stack me some more funds, sorry that I couldn’t be the son that you wanted, you found drugs in my closet..then you flushed all the profit..”. 

“On the block with the junkies, got lost in the game like Jumanji, now my kicks cost me a monkey..”

If you haven’t, make sure you check out his latest release, Still Legendary, as for sure there is more fire to come from one of the hardest working acts out there.

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Phaze What – Neva Dat

Consistency might have been an issue for his fans prior, but never again it seems, as the rapper remains on course with his Thursday releases, entitled Burstdays, this time with Neva Dat..

Though his last release, Stone Cold was taken down for apparent copyright infringement, it did not knock him off, as he only went and dropped an even harder track, and if you’re checking for him on his social media platforms, has stated that there is more to come. The ambient track, produced by Blay Vision, a well crafted piece of production, with it’s choice of sounds layered, creating an almost atmosphere of it’s own, with the tempo allowing Phaze to highlight his intentions, “Me fall off..slack, Neva dat..”.

There’s definitely a new energy surrounding him and it’s only proving beneficial for fans as we’re getting an array of quality sounds, with visuals set to follow. If you’re new to his sound then you definitely want to stay tuned to the pioneering wordsmith and he looks to continue establishing his wave of style and sound.

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Naomi Wild – Lessons (Produced by Bizness Boi)

Some of the best music has been drawn from real life experiences and emotions, and Lessons is no different, introducing the talent not to be overlooked, Naomi Wild..

Lessons, produced by Bizness Boi (one of the best up and coming production talents available), with his musical ear, a versatile understanding of sound and an ability to establish not only an atmosphere but create a musical moment, he provides the beautiful singer the right vibe for her to really accentuate her feelings with this record.

The song itself, inspired by previous relationships, and developing an understanding from the lessons learnt through such experiences, a sense of finding one’s self and reassurance, Naomi tackles it with ease, with the catchy verses further emphasised by her enticing vocal tone. Not to compare, but if you were to categorise then she sits somewhere amongst the Kehlani’s of the game, as a fresh new energy, who is as dope with the pen as she is behind the mic.

Growing in popularity, Lessons has accumulated well over 40,000 plays within a month, proving not appeal and relatable-factor amongst listeners, whilst further justifying her potential as one of the ones to watch out for, as she continues to develop. I definitely would want to hear more collaborations from her and Bizness Boi, as it clearly makes for quality music.

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Donnie – No Money No Funny

It’s not long until the world recognises the Prime boys and in this case, the talents of Donnie. Following up to Been Through and Running, the Canadian comes through this new vibe..

If you’ve been following Donnie for a while, or even if you’ve just heard the previous couple tracks, there is no doubt that money is the motive, as he looks to continue the run from last year (where he was racking up the plays with tracks like Pretty City, Heat ‘Em Up, Come Through and as part of the Full Circle gang), so with this Murda Beatz produced mid-tempo island vibe, Donnie gives us a similar concept to Running, as he sings, “Love don’t make no money”, he’s no stranger to catchy hooks and this is another one. Having really catered to the streets, records like these really offer more versatility, and you can imagine the girls singing along (in comparison to say..his verse on I Heard), “She always checking for my next style, snaked skinned belt like a reptile, I got all these stripes like a ref now..”, he sings with his signature flow.

In an era where so many just copy what is hot, it is rare to find acts creating their own sound that is sonically relevant, and the Prime boys have been doing just that. While Canada continues to pretty much dominate, for those expecting it to slow down, the Prime boys are basically the nitrous that will only push them further in the lead. If you’re feeling this, make sure you stay tuned, as there is definitely more to come from Donnie, and the rest of the gang.

Prime forever.

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Phaze What – Never Let Your GF

Having only recently dropped Situation, the European champ follows up with another laid back track, Never Let Your GF..

Within a week, Phaze What has another dope cut for his fans, with the rapper continuing to personify cool, and authentic in his approach, over this wavy Jon Phonics production, Never Let Your GF is from the perspective of the rapper, playing on stereotypes as he locks in, “she loves the bright lights flickering, milk bottle looking for your liquorice, dip between them n***az..you Pick N’ Mix”, as always he provides the witty lyricism which may go overlooked with his slick flow, similarly to Curren$y, who people in the past have likened him to.

Expect more to come as the London rapper looks to further establish his style and sound.

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Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

The V&A gallery is currently hosting the Balenciaga exhibit, a first ever in the UK, it’s a lot of insight on the life and creative mind of Spanish designer extraordinaire, Cristobal Balenciaga.

The exhibition, which marks the centenary opening of the brand’s first fashion house in San Sebastian and the 80th anniversary of it’s Paris fashion house, the £15 ticket (with concessions available) is ultimately worth it for two levels of past, present and future of fashion dominance from not only ‘The Master’ himself, but the many whom he inspired.


The exhibit dominantly features pieces from over the years, as well as visuals (pictured above), with an array of information on the forward-thinking designer, his pioneering silhouettes, exploring textiles and pattern-cutting which shaped the modernity of the 60’s and still hold relevance today.

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It could be argued that there is a lot of the information provided available online, however, the opportunity to see such a variety of pieces from different generations is not as obtainable, including the redefining ladies suit, not to mention many designed throughout the years by other established designers, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Calvin Klein, Paco Rabanne and more..

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The exhibit (which is running until the 18th of February 2018) is great for fashion fans and students alike, a chance to not only learn about ‘The Master’, but see some of the finest works, influence and adaptations within fashion today.


A great exhibit all in all, one I definitely recommend checking out, especially if you appreciate the finer details to Fashion.


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Wave Academy Exclusive

Having sold out on their Royal Wavy collection, Wave Academy have put their Limited Edition OG Script Tees on Sale..


Available in Black, and White, These slim fit tees feature the signature Wave Academy logo, plus detail, sealed and ready for you. Just click the images to visit the official site. Also readers and supporters can enjoy a further discount, by hitting up their Instagram, send a DM with your preferred Size and Colour, to pay directly through PayPal, with UK residents receiving Free delivery too!

Don’t miss out, join the wave!


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Phaze What – Situation

For those in the know, I work behind the scenes with a variety of acts, and in my A&R mode, have lined up artists with production, most recently WSTRN’s Louie Rei.

Having linked up with one of the front runners of the legendary Piff Gang, Phaze What, through conversation we discussed the reality of artists on the come up, the smoke and mirrors and false perceptions fed to fans, before playing him some production I felt he would suit. He liked one in particular, and I left him with it, only for basically a day later finding this in my inbox.

He’s always been authentic as a person, and that was portrayed through the music, however, on some what of a hiatus, with a couple gems dropped here and there, the European Champion of the rap game really pulled inspiration out of the realities, for this introspective and motivational cut. Phaze flows cool over the soulful production, courtesy of Nottingham up and comer, Ken Samson. Of late, we rarely get songs from such an angle, “still in the box-room..breaking down zeds, still in the bits, came back..but I left, that ain’t right, life hit me with the right..and the left”, he raps, speaking on the come up and his dip in and out of the game, further explaining, “snakes in the grass so I mind where I step, scarred from seeing my grandma die in her bed..”, I had to reload it, as a fan, this was rare, it’s an evolution for the artist, who does not always open to such an extent, following with, “battling my demons…fighting this stress, I’m a looney (luniz)..and I got 5 on that peng, Spark it! Can’t take me for no target, fuck the constable..and sergeant, see..I was going the hardest, then I disappeared like Wembley market”, it’s these local lines that had Brits hold him to such high regard, with the famous market in Wembley closing, leaving many disappointed, much like his fans as he went off the radar during his peak. As to why? He still confident as ever continues, “Real life got on top, but when it’s back to back, man know who’s top of top, sweet 16 make you stop and drop, I’m just waiting to flex like Big Poppa Pop”. It wouldn’t be Phaze without a wrestling reference, he’s been leading that Rap/Wrestling line with the likes of American counterparts Smoke DZA and Wale

I was heavily impressed, as are fans (who have his The Sweet Chin Movie still in rotation), with a good response to this insightful and personal offering. Stay locked with the Undertaker of rap, as he looks to drop more dope for your ears.

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