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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

Rising Artist BXKS Shares New Drill-Tinged Single “Collateral Damage”

Luton rhymer BXKS is back with a fresh new drop titled “Collateral Damage”! For the new offering — produced by SusTrapperazzi — BXKS fuses speaker-blitzing drill elements, old school grime touches and her own unique flavour to the two-minute banger’s skeleton – ensuring it’s worthy of a reload. On “Collateral Damage”, BXKS can be heard morphing her flow with every stanza; shifting her sound from sharp and incisive to cool, calm and collected in a matter of seconds. “Collateral Damage” is BXKS

Morray interview: ‘My music represents rising above all of life’s challenges and knowing you’re bigger than what you’ve been through’.

Southern rap crooner Morray talks to Frontline’s Niall Smith about his new music, what it’s like working with J. Cole and his recent GRAMMY nomination. 1992 was a mythical year for hip hop. Outside of the socially conscious discourse in the rap community surrounding race relations, the Los Angeles Riots and police brutality, 1992 was a year that spawned many transcendent moments now etched into rap scripture. Over on the East Coast, then-underground acts Nas and Wu-Tang shared their debut sing

Rasharn Powell & Ojerime Connect In Monochromatic “Play 2” Visuals

Rising R&B powerhouses Rasharn Powell and Ojerime are back with visuals for their duet, “Play 2”. Pulling from both the ‘90s R&B and futuristic playbook, the track is a psychedelic bolt of energy. Produced by Niels and Sam Taieb, “Play 2” sees both vocalists glide over the minimalist beat effortlessly. For the visuals — directed by Preston Tietjen and Rasharn himself — both artists can be seen traipsing across an arid, movie-like desert captured in black and white film. Speaking on the video,

A1 x J1: TikTok-dominating duo crafting an addictive brand of throwback pop-rap

Thanks to platforms like TikTok, UK rap has underscored numerous viral moments over the past few years. West London rapper Central Cee’s ‘Commitment Issues’ hit the Top 20 in February 2021; drill star SR’s ‘Welcome to Brixton’, meanwhile, recently surpassed 100 million Spotify streams. But despite the app ushering in a new breed of content creators, few have amassed the reach and star-power of Coventry-via-Kent duo, A1 x J1. The pair, made up of 16-year-old A1 (born Phineas Waweru) and the 18-y

Premiere: Clavish Drops Verbal Gems On New Heater “Sold Out Dates”

Rising north London rhymer Clavish is back, blessing fans with his new single dubbed “Sold Out Dates”. After ending last year strong with his five-track 2022 EP and icy cold Plugged In freestyle, Clavish shows no signs of slowing down with his latest speaker-buster! Backed by an ominous, bouncy instrumental, Clavish levitates over the beast on “Sold Out Dates – dropping lyrical jewels from front to back. For the visuals, Clavish is depicted traversing across local biomes, rapping atop a theatr

Rema: ambitious afrorave pioneer with fans in FKA twigs and Skepta

Benin City lies 40 kilometres north of the sun-pierced Benin River. Standing as the fourth largest city in Nigeria, the city is a living, breathing cultural monument, and ancient stomping ground of pre-imperial monarchs. Enter, Rema. On the cusp of sharing his debut album ‘Rave & Roses’ (due March 25) with the world, the 21-year-old artist – who was born in Benin City – has already amassed an international legion of fans. Armed with the support of Don Jazzy – the Nigerian music scene’s resident

Kojey Radical - Reason To Smile

A raw, poetic scholar in the purest form, Kojey Radical has teased his debut full-length LP like one would a soap opera cliff-hanger. Radical’s latest work reads like an exploration of the Black British experience in musical form. Oscillating somewhere between socially conscious brainstorms and bravado-filled outbursts, Radical feels more musically liberated than ever before. Unshackled from genre-bound conformity, Radical laces his rap gems with elements of gospel, party rap and silk-woven R&B

Dave live in London: a star-studded and heartfelt celebration

After setting this same stage ablaze with his ‘In the Fire’ performance at the BRIT Awards last month, it’s hard to imagine how 23-year-old Streatham rapper Dave could possible elevate his artistry any further. But with the O2 Arena in temporary disarray after Storm Eunice left the iconic dome resembling a pair of frayed boxers, Dave’s show doesn’t suffer as a result of past postponements. Instead, his headline show at the colosseum-like venue is the true embodiment of his artistic prowess and i

Sainté & BB Share 2-In-1 Visuals For “Queen / Aim”

Leicester’s finest Sainté is back with a new bb-assisted single and video for “Queen / Aim”. Tapping long-time collaborator and producer bb, the new track sees Sainté deliver some sharp, coldly-assembled rhymes in act one of the track. Halfway through, the Leicester MC switches things up for a more melodic, trap-focused approach. For the visuals, Arran Ashan takes up directorial duties. In the video, we catch the rapper spit game over contorted, trippy visuals before Sainté takes things seawar

Raveena - Asha's Awakening

On her sophomore LP, the Queens-based vocalist delivers a sun-soaked wanderlust framed under airy R&B, lush South Asian grooves and futurist pop. When we last heard budding songbird Raveena on her 2019 debut studio record ‘Lucid’, she left quite the impression. The 12-track LP was the culmination of years of stellar EPs and singles—namely 2017’s ‘Shanti’—resulting in a triumphant, introspective honeycomb of cosmic R&B. After dispensing one single last year (‘Tweety’), fans of the Indian-Americ

By Design: Virgil Told Us We Could Do It Too

Following Virgil Abloh’s tragic, untimely passing, Frontline’s Niall Smith explores the late fashion designer’s influence on the music industry and his pantheon of creativity. It’s been just over a month since the news first broke that Virgil Abloh had passed away following a private battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. In that time, the world has mourned the loss of a seminal Black creative. Although textiles and pattern cutting were hard-wired into Abloh’s DNA, fas

The 100: Essential Emerging Artists For 2022

If trepidation was the prevailing emotion I felt when publishing last year’s edition of The NME 100, this year, I feel a huge amount of hope. Things will be totally different wherever you may be reading this from: many of you are yet able to see live music again. But this past year has proven that rising artists can not just make inroads during uncertain times, but soar. Fan communities from around the world have rallied around newcomers and supported them by buying records, grabbing merch, watc

Nas - Magic

What a year it's been for Nasty Nas. After kicking the year off by winning Best Rap Album at the Grammys for his 2020 album 'King's Disease', the hip-hop titan quickly followed up with the critically adored . 'KD2' further cemented the ironclad bond between the 48-year-old MC and instrumental-crafting tour de force we know as Hit-Boy, stitching the connective tissue between all of Nas' latest releases. Dropping unexpectedly on Christmas Eve, Nas' fifteenth LP 'Magic' might be one of the stronge

Elliot Edusah: Challenging Black British Identity Through Film

If you were to arrest Elliot Edusah for a crime, it would likely be for his scene-stealing tendencies. In the six years since his first major acting gig, the London-born performer has anchored himself as one of Britain’s most prominent rising stars. So far, Edusah has graced our screens in BBC’s acclaimed anthology series ‘Small Axe’, the shrapnel-filled war epic ‘1917’, the emotion-driven drama flick ‘The Habit of Beauty’ and now the Reggie Yates-directed love letter to UK garage ‘Pirates’. Fro

Headie One live in London: a star-studded run through the greatest hits

The UK rap pantheon is a sprawling and varied landscape full of innovation, trendsetting sounds and speaker-busting anthems. Within it, 27-year-old Tottenham wordsmith and OFB frontman Headie One stands tall, backed by a slew of well-received projects: from his 2019 mixtape ‘Music x Road’ to this year’s ‘Too Loyal for My Own Good’. That said, even with a stacked resumé behind him, Headie’s debut LP ‘Edna’ – which came out in 2020, and is rich with a travelled range of bangers – still stands as t

Tems: Afro-R&B’s radiant leader planning a global takeover

Over the summer, it felt impossible to go 24 hours without hearing Tems’ emotive vocals on WizKid‘s hit single ‘Essence’. The 2020 track’s huge success across streaming platforms this year led to a subsequent August remix which featured guest vocals from Justin Bieber, before Tems was then tapped to feature on Drake‘s chart-topping sixth studio LP, ‘Certified Lover Boy’. The end result, ‘Fountains’, came across like a stripped-back sibling of ‘Essence’, but the collaboration was more notable fo

The Home Office Has Reportedly Only Compensated 5% Of Windrush Victims

The British government has only compensated 5% of the Windrush Generation in the past four years since the scandal was unearthed, according to reports. In 2017, the Windrush scandal emerged after hundreds of long-standing UK and commonwealth residents—many of whom were of Black Caribbean origin—were unfairly and wrongly detained, stripped of their rights and faced deportation despite living in the UK for serval decades. With the Windrush Generation arriving on Britain’s shores from the end of

Raheem Sterling Unveils Youth Foundation At His Former North London Secondary School

Raheem Sterling is a man of the people. The 26-year-old Manchester City and England star recently revealed The Raheem Sterling Foundation at his childhood secondary school—Ark Elvin Academy—in Brent, North London. The organisation seeks to spotlight the next generation of youth talent across the UK, Jamaica and surrounding nations. Backed by The Power of 7, symbolic of Sterling’s Man City number, the Foundation will champion greater social mobility, education opportunities, personal accountabil

Nippa Drops Self-Titled Debut EP, Shares Visuals For “Pay The Price”

Amidst a number of viral hits in his corner thanks to “Situation” and “Ride Or Die”, the 21-year-old R&B-trap singer has shared his self-titled, six-track debut. With production from Anti Wave, Lou Xtwo, TobiAitch, Zuri Beats, 6 and Elijah Melo, the set boasts the aforementioned two tracks, as well as enough new material to keep fans and new listeners hitting replay. The EP opener, “I Know”, kicks things off with a stripped-back beat as the artist croons with his sing-rap flow as he recounts hi
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