M Huncho – 48 Hours EP

As 2018 comes to a close, there’s talks of ‘Album of the Year’ as we look back at the best projects, and while the likes of Nipsey Hussle, Pusha T and (most recently) Meek are contenders, one project that I believe is in the Top Ten, or the conversation at least, is M Huncho’s 48 Hours EP. If we were to separate albums and EPs, then it’s Top 3 for sure.

I came across him late, when his name was originally circulating, I didn’t jump at it, but maybe because it was just the perception (I’m not on the obvious platforms like that), and even the ballie, you had an idea of what to expect, but I had yet to hear any of the music, and I so wasn’t expecting this. If I had known it was basically trap-centric R&B, I might have been more inclined, and it wasn’t until I had heard a couple tracks in the right place at the right time, that I visited the EP, and came across one of the most exciting artists to emerge from the country of recent.

I hope to interview the talent at some point, because I really just want to know who he listened to growing up, what artists inspire him and so forth, because as much as he is a rapper, there are a lot of artistic nuances, from the production used to the execution of certain melodies. With it’s street-heavy content, his delivery provides a polish of sorts.

The 8 track EP (which was created within a 48 hour studio session) is an array of moods, and from the Intro, he surfs over the soulful production, with a combination of wordplay and flow that becomes his niche. It sets up for Elevation, “rolling with my J, no Hus”, is a great example of the simplicity with which he can craft catchy quotables. With this track, I found myself listening to it when I was down, in need of motivation, or just lighting one under the sun. No doubt one of my go to tracks as I planned my moves for the year. Obviously if you’re accustomed to the content, then you’re definitely going to gravitate towards, but even if it’s alien to you, it’s that previously mentioned delivery, which will captivate the listener just as much.

Bringing us to Come Up, the third track on the tape, and it’s Huncho raising the level, as he compliments the production with an infectious flow, a track that is equally playable in the club as it is in your gym playlist.

Council Flat is confirmation that M Huncho is actually an artist, and justifies the buzz surrounding him. I say this because he shows consistency with his ability. It’s another flow, just as catchy, with more simple yet effective bars, and whilst I don’t know him personally, it’s a case of real recognise real, and further adds to the all-important authenticity.

“I don’t want no fake youts, I’d rather do up lonely”

And just like that, I Ain’t Fussed kicks in, I remember first listening to it and thinking back to my uni years, and then I hear, “Lost out on a nine, I’m raving in freshers…I lost all my uni fees”, and that was me sold I guess, because I got it. He’s able to weave raw subjects and wit within his lyrics, and it’s that variation that allows him to appeal beyond the expected audience. Track 6, ‘Mood’, might not be as good as the others, but you’ll still find yourself singing along, and it’s important for the EP overall, especially it’s positioning, with the levels raised again with Calm Days.

“They askin’ ’bout the masked face, I don’t like all the attention…I need calm days”

M Huncho had my vote for the Rated Awards Breakthrough artist of the year, and it does appear that he isn’t championed as much as he should be, but that could be a host of reasons, either way, it doesn’t take away from him or his craft in the slightest.

“labels moving naughty, tryin’ to offer forty, I’m sittin in a benzo..I don’t need that forty”

I love that the EP has a quality intro and outro, different styles but both as impactful and effective, further proving my point about his style, presence and talent. The outro, Sport.

“I see these goalies tryna play striker, brudda just stick to your own role..”

Overall, it’s a more creative take on the subject, something that the UK has struggled to do as effortlessly, or to this extent. 48 Hours is a great follow up and introduction for many to M Huncho, an improvement from his previous effort, whilst leaving room for more. A great offering, considering it was done within a 2 day session. I often listen to it and look to plan an event featuring him, just to hear those sounds and see that impact in a live setting. Much like the mask, he gives you enough to garner your interest, but also maintains the mystery. It’s my top 3 most listened to project this year alongside Nipsey’s Victory Lap album and Phaze What – I Ain’t Finished With You EP, and although there are others who might have more commercial plays or cosigns, it’s this EP which I hear blasting out of cars across the country, in studios, events and trap houses, with some of the most certi bumping the tape. Regardless of the perception, M Huncho is one of the country’s leading acts on the rise.

Definitely awaiting the new album, and have high hopes, so you can potentially expect him to be in the conversation for Album of the Year (again) next year.

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R&B King Que

So yesterday morning, I saw a video from Jacquees, claiming he’s, “the King of R&B, right now, for this generation.”, I didn’t think much of it, and went on with my day, by the end of the night however, I logged back into the matrix, to find the shit trending, and everyone discussing who the King of R&B was, with the obvious names such as R. Kelly thrown in, plus the typical people desperate for validation, mentioning whichever names had not been said thus far, with Carl Thomas and Donell Jones amongst them.

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Fuck it !!!

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See this is exactly why I did not think much of the video when I saw it, because Jacquees, who is prepping for the follow up to his 4275 album, knew everyone would latch at the bait and they damn sure did. It reminded me of the time when T.I. jumped out the gate claiming to be, “King of the South”, and people were outraged, until the South basically confirmed it. If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know how highly I rate Que, while the majority may have only been introduced to him through the ‘Trip’ controversy, the young crooner has lead a resurgence of R&B today, amidst the Hip-Hop wave. While he may appear to be reaching, having only released his debut album this year, he’s not entirely wrong.

If he said Prince of R&B, nobody would have disagreed as much, unless you’re one of those people that just loves to argue anything. However, the miscommunication is when he says, “this generation”. (Aside of the controversy), R. Kelly is undoubtedly the King of R&B, many had heralded Trey Songz as the successor, as he stood alone in modern music, as someone that could actually sing. You also have Jeremih, or the phenom Chris Brown, who has the accolades to back it, but because they’ve been around for so long, they could be considered veterans, almost not of this generation, which brings us to the new crop.

In the past five years, Hip-Hop has continued it’s ascension (albeit backed by club anthems), while R&B has glimmered through rap’s melodic phase, with Drake leading charge, and while a case could be made for The Weeknd, he’s also transitioned into that popstar realm, which would see him out of the conversation. so then you have the likes of Ye Ali, TyUs, Brent Faiyaz, Daniel Caesar and Jacquees, while the first couple names are still relatively unknown on a mainstream level, just under Brent Faiyaz, the three have yet to make that commercial leap, where as Canada’s Daniel Caesar has had a great run of late, but has just been praised for his soulful music, beyond the genre, which leaves us with none other than, Jacquees.

I’ll even throw Tory Lanez in the mix, but he would be more so under that Drake umbrella of both Rapping and singing, unless he decides to challenge this and sing his way into contention, which by now, nobody would be surprised, because he is skilled in both sets, but it makes sense to consider sole R&B acts for this.

As much as I would like to cement that statement, especially with the unnecessary outrage, there are at least three other names who have really carried the torch for R&B in recent times, one being Miguel, who has given us consistent R&B with hints of experimentation and strong vocals. Ty Dolla $ign, who has provided soul throughout the charts, from production, songwriting, to even crooning adlibs for some of the biggest records of the year. Last but not least, PartyNextDoor. The latter can really be credited for the recent rise of R&B, from his contribution to Drake’s projects, his choice of samples, to penning the biggest hits for the biggest artists, but even through his own catalogue, it’s been modern day R&B with classic essences.

I’ve felt like PND was the new King of R&B, before I even heard Jacquees, and there is still some debate, with Jacquees being one of the more natural vocalists. If there was ever to be a sing off, Lamborghini Que would be a tough opponent, and with Party somewhat MIA at the moment, it would appear justified for Jacquees to feel like he is the King of R&B, right now, for this generation.

There is also room for the understanding that Jacquees is of a darker complexion to most of the recent ‘stars’, he isn’t the tallest and there are no other tricks or gimmicks (unless you count his statement as one) other than his ability to sing. You also have to consider the recent Soul Train awards, where you had the legendary Jon B and Donell Jones perform, yet Jacquees might have got the better reception for his performance. I enjoyed his album, and look forward to the next, but while he rides high off his recent success, the many talented and respected R&B acts who have struggled to make/maintain the impact he has had of late are unlikely to champion him, and so he most definitely has to deliver as such. Also a lot of the names being mentioned, like Donell Jones (who is on his album), have clearly passed the torch/encouraged him enough to feel this way.

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Whatever the fuck this is – DOE edition

In place of the fourth volume, here’s an exclusive, featuring some scenes from Black The Ripper’s recent Dank of England pop-up store, in Southampton. The event was a peaceful and fun exhibit of the potential this movement brings. Amidst the diverse crowd, I had locals approach me and applaud us for the turn-out but also commend us for the excitement we brought to the area. Thank you to all those that turned up, cooperated and most of all, enjoyed. Peace!

Special thanks to Black, Screech & Liam. Lucid and Nousha Lounge in Southampton. For info on up and coming events, stay tuned to the socials.

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Whatever the fuck this is – Volume 3

The third instalment to the visual magazine. Featuring  new music, artists to watch out for and more..

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Whatever The Fuck This Is – Volume 1

“Some sort of visual magazine, featuring some talented people.”

A new non-narrative visual magazine, blending all sorts, inspiration, music, artists and skaters to check for. Volume 1, out now! Check it out, hopefully you fuck with it, if so, Subscribe to the channel and all that good stuff.

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Wave Academy

New Wave Academy collection

Royal Wavy Tees are back in stock: (Also available with large logo print on back)

The OG tees are now on SALE for a limited time:

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Introducing, the tribute collection:

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OUT NOW at Wave Academy

You can also access the store via the homepage.

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Smiler – Too Much To Ask

“Straight from the Woolwich republic”, Smiler follows up the re-introductory Gangsta, with one of the best songs to recently come out of the country, or at least one of his best, with the introspective Too Much To Ask..

Where many artists face a struggle in crafting a meaningful track, full of expression that is able to motivate the listener, Smiler has found the balance and then some. Too Much To Ask is a great indication to the direction he’s taking with his music, it’s art. It has a similar tempo and feel to his breakout single Enza, with a more current feel, and the honest portrayal he provides displays the growth with the content itself mirroring the man he is today.

“If it’s love, let it be real, is that too much to ask?..”

While he may have been quiet musically, working behind the scenes with his imprint and the acts signed, he appears not to have missed a step, if anything there’s improvement as he’s flawlessly delivers an abundance of quality lyricism. What I enjoyed most is the way the song only strengthens in substance as it continues, beyond the catchiness of the record, amongst the flexes, there is a lot of meaning. “This verse is for Cyntoia Brown, the likes of Tamir Rice, lost in the fight for freedom while they held him for dear life, theres a catalyst for every drama, also consequence and heavy karma, I take a breath for Eric Garner, feel me or deal with me, they won’t kill me or Emmett Till me..”such revolutionism flows naturally, as he passionately rhymes from his heart and soul, more reason as to why Smiler is a true artist, capturing emotion and relevancy, executed with finesse.

Whilst the track has been doing well, it is disappointing that this track will be overlooked in comparison to many others, especially with it being so relatable and inspiring altogether. Smiler has certainly found his rhythm and with more music and projects to come, it’s certainly musically exciting times ahead.

“Through the pain and hardships I look above and laugh, ‘cos you give your toughest soldiers the biggest tasks..”

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Young Spray – Realer Than Most Vol. 4

Mr RTM, follows up the classic series, with the fourth instalment.

A compilation of some of the recently released material, kicking things off with DPMO, what can best be described as Rider music, with it’s synth heavy production, it most definitely sets the tone. Compiled with tracks like Nowadays, Be Cautious and Rat-At-At-At, show Spray in his element, and provide the project with a foundation in regards to sound and style. While his album Invisible Tears was a mix of aggressive but more polished tone, this is it’s rawest form.

I wasn’t a fan of the Rita Ora initially, but after a couple listens, I like the steel drum sounds, and it’s contrast, not just with his vocals but the tape overall. Back to the greaze with Savages, a lowkey underground banger, setting up for More Champagne, which rightfully sits in the middle, and is a great idea of where Young Spray is with his music, while it’s predominantly gangsta music, there’s a lot of emotion being expressed. With it’s common theme, tracks like Asbestos stand out so much more, lead with a strong hook courtesy of the feature Frass, it’s definitely one of the highlights and reminiscent of his album material as well as his ability to craft a more club-centric record, but just as you’re in that zone, it switches to Eye For An Eye, with him resuming back to regular transmission.

There is a common theme with RTM Vol.4, a blend of straight punch in the face music, to sit down and open up vibes, with the likes of Most High, followed by Badder Than Bad, before another standout, Do Your Ting. Another example of the versatility within such genre, it’s more expressive, a mix of retrospect and heartfelt from the most authentic of places.

While the majority of the project is more mixtape, rugged, street-themed gangsta rap, it’s these couple tracks that stand out, and end up holding the project together, as we come to the end, one of the more emphatic tracks serves as the outro, the heartfelt, Mummy Won’t Cry. He’s been vocal about the loss of his mother, and you could be the hardest, the coldest, but losing a parent, especially a mother, is a pain like no other. As someone who fears losing his mother, this track has Spray open up and portray his true strength as he poetically reminisces.

It’s not his best material overall, but has some of his better tracks of recent, and more importantly is an indication into the work ethic as he continues to craft audios and visuals, and no doubt there is more on the way. Personally I hope we get more retrospective Spray, as there’s a lot of lessons to be learnt, a lot of wisdom to be shared, that the younger generations can definitely benefit from. Stay tuned, and follow him on the socials, for more to come.

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Dukus – Dolly Parton

If you’ve been following up on the posts for the past couple weeks, then you’ll no doubt  be aware of Dukus, who has been dropping weekly, and with the previous couple tracks serving as the foundations, he lets loose a cut from his forthcoming album ’88 Keys’, titled Dolly Parton

You can instantly hear the difference in quality, and as one of the more underrated mixers in the game, it only makes sense. The song itself, it’s choice of sounds dictate the tempo, from the kicks in the drums to the well-aligned bass, with his melody steering the direction. It’s a blend of little pieces, from the flow pattern, to the lyrics itself, “she listens to Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, she callin’ me Randy..such a Savage”, catchy to say the least, it really gives a modern blend of soul with the trap-sound, a more conceptual feel. One thing that stood out was the way that it hits hard, and has a heavy sound yet it’s easy listening, which gives it that playback value. Furthermore, it gives some insight into what you can expect sonically from the album overall, and though I’m sure there’s an array of tempos and melodies, you can be certain that it maintains this level of quality.

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Click artwork to listen on Spotify

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