Featured Work

Joyce Wrice: Heir to the R&B Throne

“With ‘Motive’, I intended to make people dance and feel good,” Joyce Wrice tells me on a balmy Tuesday afternoon. The LA singer-songwriter is currently capping off the press tour for her latest EP, ‘Motive’ – an Afrobeat and dance-tinged R&B pleaser that revels in self-affirmation, flirty stanzas and audacious production, fronted by beat whiz Kaytranada. Joyce’s success with “Ice Tea” and “That’s On You” wasn’t overnight. If we cast our minds back to 2015 – an era rife with SoundCloud hits, Ins

Nas – ‘King’s Disease III’ Review: Hip-Hop Great Delivers Compelling Conclusion To His Album Trilogy

Nas’ ‘King’s Disease’ album series has proven to be something of a renaissance for the Queensbridge hip-hop great. The titular first part of the trilogy landed him his very first Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2021, while its follow-up served as a love letter to hip-hop culture that positioned itself as the thematic counterpoint to his 2006 effort ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’. The 49-year-old then squeezed in ‘Magic’, a surprise LP released on Christmas Eve 2021 that saw Nas and Hit-Boy further hone their ra

Ojerime & Mura Masa Link Up For The Project Pat-Sampling "Keep It Lo"

Unearthly south London R&B star Ojerime has tapped electronic super-producer Mura Masa for her latest single “Keep It Lo”. Constructed with a syrupy, throwback Project Pat sample, “Keep It Lo” is a love letter to US hip hop’s chopped and screwed/Dirty South era. Lyrically, Ojerime switches things up and channels her inner Three 6 Mafia and UGK as she alternates between scrambled rap-like stanzas and soul-imbued harmonies. In terms of production, Mura Masa once again demonstrates why he’s a production whiz.

Nippa: Fast-Rising Londoner Taking His "Hood R&B" Sound To The World

Hailing from Tottenham, the stomping ground of the pioneering likes of Skepta, Wretch 32 and Jme, Nippa is currently championing his “hood R&B” sound. Delivered with his soulful and playful charisma, the north London artist’s music, he tells NME, is “a combination of everything I grew up on, from grime down to my mum’s R&B CDs”. The 22-year-old, real name Jordan Adebiyi, properly introduced himself in late 2020 with the tracks ‘Squeezin’ Ya’ and ‘Change My Tone’, which were recorded when Nippa

AIM Awards 2022 Digital Cover: WESLEY JOSEPH

There are many parallels between music and film. Both creative mediums act as one’s vision fully materialised from pitch to production. While music is often entrenched in melody, cadence and rhythm, film is often underpinned by mise-en-scène, framing and performances. Roll sound and… action! Enter, Wesley Joseph. The Walsall-born, East London-based musician-director never set his sights on the UK rap scene, nor the UK music quarry in general. As a child, his gaze was deadlocked onto Pixar’s 1995

Giggs: The Godfather of Road Rap

My first memory of Giggs was at seven years old. Around this time, I was living in South London, and my cousins, who were in their late teens at the time, were preparing for a party. Everything seemed so much cooler back then, especially the fashion. My cousins were wearing Timberland boots, bright off-the-shoulder tops and brown shield shades: it was all very Y2K. I remember how excited I was to watch them pin their quiffs, put on their large diamond-shaped studs and take pictures on a shitty d

Brent Faiyaz: R&B’s Enigmatic Villain Redefining Cool

Frontline’s Niall Smith takes a deep dive into Brent Faiyaz’s latest album, Wasteland, its themes, and the rapper-turned-singer’s transition into an R&B superstar. They say a story is only as good as its villain, right? Whether it’s the space-age tale of Jedi vs Sith, cops vs robbers or contemporary comic books depicting Batman battling The Joker – we as a culture find ourselves captivated by morally ambiguous figures. For the longest time, contemporary R&B didn’t have a de facto antagonist. I

R&B Trio FLO Return With Their Highly-Anticipated Single “Immature”

Rising London-based girl group FLO are back with their anticipated sophomore single, “Immature”. The trio — comprised of members Renée, Stella and Jorja — made waves this March when their Y2K-inspired R&B-pop gem “Cardboard Box” achieved viral status globally. “Immature” takes things in a moodier direction. On the song, Renée, Stella and Jorja take golden-age R&B [Monica, Tamia, Mýa] — and inject it with future-bound trap quirks and subtle vocal layering. Teaming up with MNEK once again for t

454: the Florida rap star being championed by Frank Ocean and Denzel Curry

Hip-hop often goes hand in hand with progression. From its inception on the New York street corners of The Bronx to the current TikTok music revolution, the genre has always been keen to evolve and expand with the times. Few emerging rap stars have championed this journey quite like the Orlando, Florida-born artist 454. Born Willie Wilson, his music lands somewhere between the Y2K-era style raps of Lupe Fiasco and the glitchy, post-trap tidal wave that’s been dominated by Lil Uzi Vert in recent

Big Stepper: Analysing Kendrick Lamar’s New Double Disc Spectacle

Frontline’s Niall Smith delves into Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, its rollout, and the West Coast rap icon‘s past works. Where do we start with this album? It’s honestly remarkable the record had such a smooth debut in the age of tireless, tedious rap rollouts. Until recently, Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers only existed in the realms of fan-fiction as the rap cosmos hurtled towards the great beyond. In the five years since the Pulitzer Prize-winn

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