Tag Archives: OneFáris

Meridian Dan – Vegan Chat

The bar has been set for Video of the Year, as Meridian Dan rises out of the fumes of his German Whip.

From undeniably leading the charge of Grime’s resurgence, Meridian Dan had found himself caught between maintaining that sound whilst growing as an artist, two things that don’t often mesh well. Having basically opened the door, you could say he was lost amongst all those that followed after, not because of him or his music, but just the way the game is, a lot of changes and transitions followed, and though he gave us a mature take on Grime, at the time, it was continuously compared to his breakthrough single. Still active, the limelight however had began to fade, with the numbers game churning newer acts, and the support seemed to have followed as such. It’s frustrating for any creative, and at one point, unless you were personally checking for Dan, you would think he was inactive. Where he provided the spark for our music to flourish, it also provided the avenue for sub-genres to re-emerge, UK Rap became more prominent, and almost put Grime to the back. None the less, you can’t keep a good man down, and fast forward to 2019, off the back of presenting Boxing segments and music with the likes of God’s Gift, having switched things up in his personal and professional life, the Meridian legend, brings that new lifestyle and energy into his music with Vegan Chat.

Very few artists still care about the creativity, or production value, especially with their visuals, or maybe that is just their personalities, one dimensional and basic. Not with Dan, those that know or have witnessed enough, will be well aware that he’s a charismatic and funny individual, blended with his pedigree and upbringing, it’s what made him stand out in the first place. I knew he lived a vegan lifestyle, but had no idea what to expect when I came across the title ‘Vegan Chat’ (Was he even releasing music, or was this some new cooking/talk show?!), all I had been told from a close source was, “he’s back”, and they weren’t wrong. Musically, it’s classic Dan, as he lays out the plan and intentions from here on, effortlessly flowing, citing his stance as a person and artist, as he looks to stake his claim as one of the elites.

“I’m a positive guy, I don’t do bad energy..”

Visually, it’s a masterpiece really, from the concept, down to the execution. Shout out to Pierre in the opening scene, safe-guarding the operation. It’s a constant journey, that whilst so different, remains in line with the premise. From the traphouse (bagging up vegetables), into the amazing transition of the joint to the boxing ring, knocked out by the bull, later revealed to be none other than hometown hero Dillian White, into the butcher scene, with Dan playing multiple roles, an ode to his self-sufficiency and the multiple positions he plays in his own career. This video shows more potential for Dan within the acting world, this could have easily been a Guy Ritchie movie, and it only gets more intense, from the slaughterhouse to playing detectives and the underrated scene where he’s torturing what appears to be Ronald McDonald for the hidden meat factories.

Though the video has done well, it most certainly is underrated, and maybe with Giggs’ Big Bad visuals and the impact he has, having somewhat overshadowed it, but when those lists get made in December, if this video is not mentioned, then they can all go fuck themselves really, because Meridian Dan most definitely kicked it all off, and I for one, look forward to what’s next.

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Wholagun – Sweets

The Croydon General cannot be faltered for trying. The large consensus is a lack of consistency, yet, if you actually checked, he’s been nothing but consistent. From 2017’s Solution To The Problem, to starting 2018 with his Savage Sunday series, not to mention, he’s dropped at least 5 videos in the past year. What the fuck more do people want?!

And so in 2019, it’s back again, with a track he teased towards the end of the year, Sweets

Linking up once again with Edixion Beats, the two have a chemistry, or at least a proven history of quality bass-heavy production that compliments the rapper’s vocals, so it’s no different here, with the calm piano sitting above the gritty beat, perfect for Wholagun to give us more flows, condensed street raps and a delivery to match the best. The video, serving as the visual aid, gives a bit of shine to Croydon, complimenting the track itself, the shoot looked like it was fun, with a good synergy amongst them, it’s one of the few videos I would have actually been in. I don’t expect Sweets to be a gamechanger, but it’s for sure a great start to the year, and progression is evident, with the track uploaded to the streaming sites too, something that was not always the case prior.

There is definitely a new project on the way, with these first couple tracks set to give some idea into the sound and direction, but as always, there is no lack in quality nor consistency. If you like authentic street rap, with wit and flows, then look no further, as Wholagun sets to take it up a level.

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Wave Chapelle – New Wave EP

In this era of fast food rap, a lot of the new acts have either been overlooked or struggled to gain the respect required, especially when they let their music do the talking, and not the online gimmicks/antics. One of the artists that has been caught up in the transition is Wave Chapelle, while his name has circulated for a while now, he has been learning first hand, the hurdles, as he looks to maintain consistency. Though his name may not be as prominent, his music certainly speaks volumes, with project after project, in the past couple years alone, and one thing evident, is the improvement.

With the New Wave EP, it’s a more reformed, polished version of the Milwaukee gem, with a crisper ear for production, and more clarity in his delivery. As if he’s found his style/sound, or at least closer to, the EP compiles emotion, determinations and desires within bars upon bars. Through the 7 tracks, there’s a variety of elements, from the lyricism, flows and cadences all layered to create such a well-rounded project. You can hear the effort, the boxes ticked, and that’s what makes it disappointing that there was not more praise for the EP. Away from the Yo Gotti cosign, this project is testament to Wave Chapelle’s self belief and hard work, as he’s taken a couple steps back, gained control of his progression, and the music has benefitted as such.

The EP is for sure one of the more underrated offerings from the up-and-comers this year, but while he is still finding his balance, it’s on his own wave.

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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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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 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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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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Folly Rae – Sniper

The singer/songwriter has been building up quite the reputation (amongst those in the know) as one of the more underrated talents, with her versatile sound and strong writing abilities. Possessing an abstract yet distinct style, Folly Rae has recently been enjoying a good streak with the success of her previous tracks, U, and i need u here (cortado), both songs though different, have a quality of captivating the listener like a structured chart-hit, whilst being as raw and refreshing as an underground anthem.

It’s made for a great foundation upon which she will continue to elevate, being one of the premier artists on label Portfolio Music, and recently being picked up by the forward-thinking music imprint that is Black Butter records. Much like the current heatwave in England, her talents look set to grace the country and beyond, especially with the potential summer hit, Sniper.

Just like her previous tracks, this has those very qualities, delivered with more definition and further showcasing her subtly impactful vocals. Beyond the catchy nature of the record itself, her voice emphasises the empowerment that this song represents, and she proves her worth as an artist because those soulful essences of hers are what really help execute the track so well. It’s one of those songs that should be heard everywhere (’til you’re almost sick of it), from constant radio play to commercials, with it’s heavy feel-good factor, it most definitely adds to the blue skies and sun’s rays.

The official video follows that mentioned feel-good factor and is able to match the abstract with the western aesthetics, presented in a more comical narrative. First couple watches, personally I’m not too sure if the video does the song justice, but the colour-scheme is appreciated and as you watch more, you get to appreciate Folly further, as she not only looks good but theres glimpses of her personality that come through, especially with the more dominant shots, from the stage performance, her strutting out onto the court (in the air forces), and with the horse. Complete with it’s range of colours and shots, it’s an entertaining backdrop for the song itself, and like the artist, it’s far from regular or what’s expected.

As Sniper continues to grow, it only increases the anticipation for a full-length project from Folly Rae, as she looks to establish herself as one of the more heralded talents to emerge from the country.

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Click artwork to listen on Spotify

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