/ CON / TENTS / issue 11
25 just banco
CONTRIBUTORS Founders -------Ibrahim Kamara & Jide Adetunji Brand Manager ---------- -Shanice Mears Music Editor ----- --- - Sade Akinfe Art Director ---------Shenell Poorman Creative Director __________ Regina Stephanie Jaiyeola Contributing Photographers _________ Filmawi Karis Beaumont Isha Shah Ollie Nordh Zek Snaps Stylists _____ Lottie Airadion & Seyon Amosu Contributors __ ______
Dimeji Layiwola Khadejia Ghislanzoni Zwelake Chibumba Georgia Devon-Spick Halie Chang
/ / /
Going in to the new year there were incredibly high expectations as 2017 literally left everyone grasping for more culture, more music and more iconic moments. As for us we’ve been busy making sure our role is being fulfilled within the scene, collaborating with NIKE as well as the ICA. Creating opportunities for creators and making sure we have the correct representation in these professional spaces. Our first issue of the year is always a big one for us. It’s our way of introducing the year and setting the tone of the culture from our perspective. The G-List was one of the first concepts we imagined when we started the magazine. A collation of the best emerging artists, all representing a different sound and unique style of music. From an external point of view it may seem as if though Drill & Afro-Swing are the dominant sounds of the UK right now. However, on the ground there are a plethora of other sounds and musicians making waves and we’re on it. Bringing a concept like this to life takes more than just a good ear for music. The logistics of getting all the people we wanted was tedious; as well as dealing with all the varying personalities and scheduling. Despite the odds, Issue 11 is here, hopefully we introduce you to your next favourite musician.
/ Jide Adetunji Founder & CMO
YIZZY This is life
new kId wIth the old school feel
Shirt: Reclaimed Vintage Jumpers: Asos Bottoms: Asos
yizzy “Witty lyrics, and aggressive delivery”
For those of you who don’t know Yizzy, you soon will. One of the rising talents within the Grime scene he looks like he could be the next big thing. At only 17 years old he had already achieved so much. He dropped his debut EP, ‘This Is Life’, which was shortlisted for Glastonbury’s emerging talent and performed at the festival, as well as representing London at the Red Bull sponsored Grime-a-side series making it all the way to the semi-finals. Beyond Grime-a-side he has plenty of experience doing clashes, radio as well as making songs over a variety of sounds. This level of grime education, as well as a style that can be reminiscent of artists from P Money to Tinie Tempah all mixed in with new flavour, make Yizzy a beast. With witty lyrics, and aggressive delivery he is the new kid with the old school feel.
Benny Mails is one of Londonâ€™s most unique artists. His sound encompasses a unique blend of hip hop, soul and jazz, and his brash and lyrical flow has caused many heads to turn in the past year. With the release of his debut mixtape, Aware, at the end of last year, he consolidated his place on the map, and has emerged one of the most promising artists to come out of South London. With experience in dance, acting and modelling, it is clear to see that his talents are broad and wide ranged. His versatile and classical style has brought something fresh to the UK hip hop scene, and he is definitely one for everyone to watch out for in the near future.
BENNY MAILS BENNY MAILS BENNY MAILS
Shirt: Billionaire Boys Club
Jacket: Billionaire Boys Club
Bottoms: Billionaire Boys Club
“I stopped caring about being judged which stopped me from living, from chasing my dreams and from being unapologetically me. All I ever wanted to do was release music and share my story with the world, but suffering from anxiety made it extremely difficult but now… I’m like fuck it, pun intended.”
EBENEZER EBENEZER In just a few years Ebenezer has built a roster of collaborations including Craig David, Jeremih, Ty Dolla $ign and Rejjie Snow. His debut release ‘Cliché’ was shortly followed by ‘Ask Around.’ Emotionally loaded R&B fused with remnants of trap, his sound is familiar but distinctive from a categorised genre. Sometimes he’s sonically a pseudo London Frank Ocean - but then he can non-comparable, it’s fun with narrative and Ebenezer certainly has an exciting career ahead.
EMOTIONALLY LOADED R&B FUSED WITH REMNANTS OF TRAP.
R EN ZE EB EE
R EN ZE EB EE
JAZ KARIS “Jaz Karis fuses the sounds reminiscent of Lauryn Hill in a sultry blend of R&B and soul”
Jacket: Maison Labiche
Bottoms: Maison Labiche
INTO THE WILDERNESS
INTO THE WILDERNESS
Belt: Off White
South London’s rising star and Brit School alumni, Jaz Karis fuses the sounds reminiscent of Lauryn Hill in a sultry blend of R&B and soul. The 20-year-old has a voice beyond her years and a maturity level that captures her experiences as a woman. Her debut EP ‘Into the Wilderness’ put her firmly on the map in the R&B world and arguably can be considered one of the best female talents coming from the UK. An undeniable talent mixed with her relaxed and positive attitude makes her someone to watch out for in 2018. Whilst working with other UK artists such as Mike Musiq, Blue Lab Beats, Zulu and more she has made her way through the music circuits to give us a blissful sound of music. As UK R&B quickly gains more recognition its time the world wakes up to Jaz Karis.
Jacket: Billionaire Boys Club
Bottoms: Billionaire Boys Club
JUST BANCO. BANCO
TraPANese TRAP FLOW
Jacket: Billionaire Boys Club T-shirt: Billionaire Boys Club Bottoms: Jehu-cal
JUST bacno Manchester now has a firm place on the map of the UK scene, and one of the newest stars out of the 0161 is Just Banco. It’s clear his talents go beyond just his music; he directs all his visuals independently, and if you have seen his visuals, then you will understand how impressive this is. He has also created his own genre of music, titled ‘Trapanese’, so it is clear he is looking to make a lasting mark on the UK hip hop scene. He combines melody and harmony to his cutthroat trap flow, and it is this distinctive style that has made him one of the UK’s most exciting young artists.
A COMBINATION OF MELODY + HARMONY
“He combines melody and harmony to his cutthroat trap “He combines melody and harmony to his cutflow” throat trap flow”
S4U S4U 4
you A COLLECTIVE OF CREATIVES
RoSITA BonITA PrINZ GEORGE
Fur Coat: Felder Elder
“A merge of 90’s R&B rhythms with ethereal soundscapes”
S4U (Something For You) are a group for the future. A collective of creatives based in London, S4U are headed by Rosita Bonita on melody and Prinz George on pulse. Newly signed to Lily Allen and Theo Motive’s Bank Holiday Records, S4U already have backing from some of the best of British talent. Their music merges 90’s R&B rhythms with ethereal soundscapes and on top sits gritty vocals. Their songs sit somewhere between Aaliyah and Kelela but Rosita’s voice over Prinz’s intentional production distinctively carves their own lane. Having released a series of singles, headlined their own set at Boiler Room and now part of the g-list S4U are ready to leave their imprint in the next wave of British R&B. S4U’s next project will be out this year, follow their socials for the latest news. @S4ULDN
â€œThe varied sounds and harmonies she puts into her song are truly uniqueâ€?
Tottenhamâ€™s Taliwhoah has firmly established herself as an R&B star in the making. Although she originally hails from Tottenham, she re-routed to the US early in her life, and later, moved to LA. It is here where she planted the seeds for her career, as she was signed onto Rostrum Records, the same label which discovered Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. It is hard to define her sound, as there are so many different elements to it, and her debut EP, New Wave Order Vol.1, is the ultimate personification of this. The varied sounds and harmonies she puts into her song are truly unique and is reason why she has been touted as one of the hottest upcoming R&B artists out of the UK.
Top: Felder Elder
Skirt: Felder Elder Blazer: Teatum Jones Skirt: Teatum Jones
The rise of alternatIve
hip hop in the UK 808 Ink
Photo - via Facebook Words - Dimeji Layiwola
With the rebirth and entrance into the mainstream by UK grime in the past few years, it is safe to say that urban culture now has a firm foothold within everyday culture. The success of grime stars such as Skepta and Stormzy have propelled the scene upwards and upwards, and almost everyone is talking about grime right now. Recently, we have also witnessed the commercial growth of afro swing; artists like Kojo Funds, Yxng Bane and Not3s are producing high quality, high charting songs, on quite a regular basis. However, besides all this, there is another growing scene within the UK that maybe hasnâ€™t got the recognition it deserves; alternative hip hop.
With the rebirth and entrance into the mainstream by UK grime in the past few years, it is safe to say that urban culture now has a firm foothold within everyday culture. The success of grime stars such as Skepta and Stormzy have propelled the scene upwards and upwards, and almost everyone is talking about grime right now. Recently, we have also witnessed the commercial growth of afro swing; artists like Kojo Funds, Yxng Bane and Not3s are producing high quality, high charting songs, on quite a regular basis. However, besides all this, there is another growing scene within the UK that maybe hasn’t got the recognition it deserves; alternative hip hop. Hip hop has always been a firm part of British urban culture, and with the strength and growing of the brand of grime, the differentiation between hip hop and grime itself has become more widely recognised; before, it wasn’t unusual for people to incorrectly assume that grime artists were making hip hop or vice versa, but this isn’t the case now mostly. But now, there is a ‘new’ new school of hip-hop artists coming out of the UK, and they are definitely shaking up the scene. With the new artists who have popped up in the game, both in the UK and the US, it is safe to say that hip-hop has definitely become a lot ‘weirder’. Loads of wacky hairstyles, crazy lyrics, and eerie beats. But you’d be lying if you said that they aren’t making a positive impact on the game. This ‘weird’ stage that hip hop finds itself in has given much way for genres such as alternative hip hop to flourish. And flourish it has.
THE RISE OF ALTERNATIVE HIP-HOP
Since 2016, we have seen the growth of several alternative UK hip hop/rap artists, such as Lancey Foux, 808INK, and others; some of which have received recognition not just within the UK, but also in the US. In more recent times, budding stars such as Octavian, Flohio and Benny Mails have come through, with a fresh swag and style that has brightened up the scene. And with the growth of platforms that is giving these artists exposure, such as Colors Berlin, these artists are breaking out of the underground scene, and slowly entering into the mainstream. It is these platforms, like Colors Berlin, that are the real MVPs. It is safe to say that grime is the dominant music genre within UK urban culture, with other new sub-genres such as drill coming further into the spotlight. These genres have massive platforms backing them, such as Link Up TV, and GRM Daily, but alternative hip hop does not share the same exposure potential. It is like the US; the YouTube channel, 88Rising, has given Asian rappers a platform to showcase their talent, within a scene and genre where their brand of music isnâ€™t given the exposure it needs. The growth of these platforms, and the increase of people in the UK that are checking them out, have birthed not just alternative hip hop stars, but also R&B stars too.
Other artists who have blown up out of the alternative hip hop scene are Daniel OG and Loyle Carner, the former having cosigns within the grime scene; this shows that despite the emergence of new genres and stars in the scene, there is still cross-genre cohesion, which is paramount for the prosperity of UK music as a whole. But beyond the artists, the producers must also be given acknowledgement, as more times than not, it is their earthy and euphoric beats that are really shaping these songs and fuelling the growth of the genre. Producers such as oneninenine and dxvl have shown their wide range of talents already despite their short careers respectively, and them, along with many others, are the ones really behind the growth of the alternative hip hop scene. But with alternative hip hop growing and growing, it begs the question; is the UK scene ready for it? Many new artists, such as Just Banco, have spoken on the scene not being ready for his brand of music. As said earlier, a large proportion of the UK urban scene is monopolised by grime music, but there has been an emergence of sub-genres in recent years, such as drill. Drill is a form of road rap, rooted within the Chicago music scene, which is starting to slowly dominate most urban platforms.
THE RISE OF ALTERNATIVE HIP-HOP
Songs and freestyles under this genre are accumulating millions of views constantly, and we know even see drill artists selling out tours, and performing at music festivals both in the UK, and abroad. The thought of UK grime/hood artists selling out tours and shows would not have been fathomable 3-5 years ago; how many times in previous years did we see Giggs concerts, Nines concerts and others, being cancelled and shut down by the police? The growth of both these brands of music in recent years, coupled by the scrapping of Form 696, which had been the cause of cancellation of various urban music events, has been a major factor as to why we see the scene prospering so well.
A common misconception of the term alternative is that it means ‘weird’ or ‘obscure’, but alternative hip hop isn’t just ‘weird’ rap; look at the likes of The Age of L.U.N.A, whose funky sound has gained them several plaudits, or Last Night in Paris, whose music regularly contains a chopped and screwed R&B sound, similar to the Toronto sound. There are artists within this genre that can appeal to all sorts of music fans, but it all boils down to exposure, which is something that this genre has, but not to the degree that is required. We don’t know what is going to happen in the future, but one thing that remains true, and that is that alternative hip hop is the next big thing.
But can alternative hip hop be the next big thing within UK hip hop? Can we see alternative artists selling out shows, performing worldwide? There’s no argument to suggest that the music isn’t good enough; it’s just an issue of the fanbase. As said before, there are various platforms that are pushing this genre forward, but in terms of cultural relevance within the UK, a Colours Berlin cannot be compared to a GRM Daily, hence why the majority of UK alternative hip hop stars are still underground. Colours Berlin is getting more and more UK viewers, but it just isn’t comparable yet. This stops artists from getting the key exposure they need, which stops them from being on the charts. 42
The U.K and the criminalisation of artists Photo - via Twitter
Words - Zwelake Chibumba
Since it’s hay day, hip-hop and crime have been interlinked for so long now, it’s not surprising the connection is still brought up today. However, where in the past hip-hop artist’s relationship to crime was almost a pre-requisite for them to speak on such issues times have changed. The content unfortunately hasn’t. This has allowed a stereotype to be perpetuated about not only Hip-Hop but also hip-hop listeners, as well as the race predominantly credited with creating Hip-Hop black people. The message that has only enhanced existing stereotypes that black people and in particular rappers, are violent criminals. Whilst other genres may incite violence or reference it such as heavy metal, it is only rap music and it’s fanbase that has continually glorified the culture of violence.
As Hip-Hop crossed over into the shores of the U.K this trend didn’t particularly stop. Although the U.K sound almost started out as a watered down version of the U.S import it developed into something unique. Due to the blend of cultures coming into contact - the sound systems of Jamaican immigrants, the fast and percussive house and jungle beats, and suddenly the prominence of rap led to a breeding ground for creativity. Out of those roots, several styles came about early jungle emcees then became garage emcees, grime eventually succeeded garage and development has continued since. Now the U.K can proudly say that it has multiple distinct genres that involve rapping: Grime, Drill, Afro Swing, and U.K Hip-Hop.
Whilst the development of these styles has been great it has not always been the healthiest of processes. Grime, Drill & U.K Hip-Hop have all at various times been accused of having negative effects on its listeners. The claim that is most often made is that the music leads to an increase in violence. Many rappers, including 67’s Scribz, have come out to say that their music is a reflection of their lives and realities. They say they’re not trying to glorify the life they portray in the tracks but often this seems very questionable. The content of the songs has not progressed that far from early Hip-Hop especially in Drill. Drill songs almost have a formula to them with equal parts talent through unique flows, lingo, instrumental selection, and unfortunately violence. This is not to put Drill on the spot as long before rappers were having their videos pulled up in court cases. Tragically, we recently lost the life of an innocent and rising talent by the name of Harry Uzoka. At just 25 Years of age with a promising career in modelling ahead of him, having starred in campaigns for the likes of Zara and Mercedes, his life was cut short at the hands of a knife attack. His assailants were Jonathan Okigbo and George Koh. Whilst initially reported as being a robbery gone wrong it has now come to light that George Koh was also a model leading to speculation that there was more to it.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, social media was flooded first with messages of condolence and tribute. Then shortly after came the issue of knife crime and its solutions. At this point, you may be thinking what does any of this have to do with the U.K. and the criminalisation of its artists, others of you will know exactly what’s coming next. Dave. Dave sometimes referred to as Santan Dave weighed in on the topic of knife crime and part of a solution. Social media did what social media does best and went to task with discrediting and criticising the young star. So much so that Dave has deleted his tweets on the matter. In his tweets, Dave made the point that he thought that if implemented properly, without a racial bias or abuses of police power that bringing stop and search checks back would be a useful deterrent in people carrying knives. He added that this was his ‘unpopular opinion’ in this same tweet. Amongst the people saying he was too young to speak on the issue, saying he’d never experienced it and general distasteful comments towards him were the rappers. Now rightfully he was pulled up for the fact that he has songs discussing handling weapons and threats to those against him, making the tweets seem hypocritical.
THE U.K AND THE CRIMINILISATION OF ARTISTS
The surprising thing was the rapper who chose to pull him up on this, K Trap. The last person you would have expected to have spoken up on this would have been a drill rapper, especially considering the content of the vast majority of drill music. Shortly following this drill rapper Reekz MB was sentenced to serve 16 years in jail following a string of attacks involving the same firearm. You may be asking yourself “is this any surprise?” Well yes, it should be. Although there is a prominence of violent content being present across a wide range of artists, even Dave has the lyrics: “I don’t wanna dead no beef, I don’t wanna sort it out, I don’t wanna hear no words, I don’t wanna talk it out” Yet we wouldn’t expect Dave to be violent, would we? Well shortly after Dave tweeted his thoughts on knife crime a video surfaced of Dave supposedly getting stopped and searched by police. Now we don’t actually know what the stop was for or if it even was Dave but it was an interesting turn of events. This combination of things brought to mind the question ‘well what do the statistics actually say?’ Of course, there are no direct statistics looking at how music has affected rates of crimes so we have to look at things more generally.
In 2017 there was a sharp increase in violent attacks after June according to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report. Some would see this statistic and likely try and make the connection between violent music and the incidences of violence. They could even centre in on knife crime, which is often the go to type of crime when looking at this topic. There was a 26% increase in the rate of knife attacks since the previous year reaching a total of 36,998 offences. With this case of evidence building, it would be no surprise that some may make the link between music and crime when such practices are so glorified. But we don’t expect every rapper to go to jail. Nor do we expect all of their fans to be criminals. The reason for this is because we understand that rappers are for the most part performers first and foremost, with many making significant amounts of money from their craft. As such we take their work to be an expression of art, in the same way we would a Van Gogh painting. We appreciate art, use it for its positive elements, and most of us don’t imitate it. Of course, there are those select few that do - but these are the anomalies. What also helps this case is that there was a general rise in crime not just is violent crimes. Overall there was an overall 13% increase meaning the increase in violent crimes follows the trend of crime in general. We can’t blame rappers for the rise of other types of crime so why place blame on them for increases in violence?
THE U.K AND THE CRIMINILISATION OF ARTISTS
Well, there are factors at play on each side, sometimes out of the rapper’s hands. For example, a rapper of any genre may not necessarily consider him or herself a role model but in the eyes of the public, they are. This means that some feel that artist’s words and actions should reflect this outside as well as in their music. Whilst this is understandable when there are people who do strike a balance in maintaining their grittiness without necessarily promoting the negative, like Wretch 32, the issue is not everyone can be Wretch. What all of this leads to in the end however is a stereotype. Due to lack of diverse representation and the way people are fascinated by the negatives more than the positives, a picture of not only rappers but also their fans are formed. This negative stereotyping is what has led to past incidents like Scribz being given a ban from making music for 2 years, Giggs having been denied the ability to perform for years, and most famously the 696 form used to stop artists performing due to police intervention. What it also leads to is ignorant situations as in the case of Stormzy. Stormzy has become one of the most popular artists in the country over the past few years, gaining instant noticeability. Yet off the back of him winning a MOBO award, that was televised nationally, he was dealt a rude reality check. On February the 14th 2017 police knocked down the door to Stormzy’s home in West Brompton after a report was filed that there was a burglary-taking place.
It turns out a neighbour had thought Stormzy was breaking into the property when seeing him enter via the front door. Here Stormzy was unfortunately painted with the most negative of brushes and it is likely that his race and career played a role in the incident as at 6’5 he is easily recognisable even at a distance. Now, this is a topic that is much broader than I could fit in the confines of a single article. But as some concluding thoughts let’s look at things in a big picture way. Hip-Hop, Grime, Drill and Afro swing are all doing incredibly well and creating careers for not just the artists but friends and family around them. This, in turn, removes these at risk people away from the negative sides of life and into a positive force for change. Yet it is during this transition that they face the full weight of not only the public but the police and media’s scrutiny. It is at these moments that our stars are torn down and made a spectacle of, almost as if to try to hinder their successes. Equally, however, there are some artists who do not seem to make the correct transition, as their music is not progressing beyond music, which could be labelled war cries and outright confessions of illegal activity. It is impossible to pinpoint which side is right and which side is wrong - and we shouldn’t be doing that anyway. No side is necessarily wrong, in terms of the artists, as every career is different and has its own path. As such we should celebrate the creativity but also take the negatives associated with some46
THE U.K AND THE CRIMINILISATION OF ARTISTS
Ghetts Photo - via Spliff TV
of that creativity with a healthy grain of salt and self-reflection. If rappers are the role models for our children, whom they are said to influence, that we want to hold seemingly to higher standards than anyone else, what does that say about us as a society?
Is comedy rap the next big thing? Jazzie & Arnold Jorge Photo - via Twitter Words - Zwelake Chibumba
With the recent success of the likes of Michael Dapaah, Mo the Comedian, and before them Kayode Ewumi, comedy has come back to the vanguard. Something the three aforementioned stars have all used, as a medium for their comedy is music. Whether it’s the short and snappy Instagram videos featuring one of Mo’s many characters, Kayode’s ‘R.S’ character or Michael Dapaah’s ‘Big Shaq’ - all three have achieved varying degrees of success from that stylistic choice. Whilst Mo may not have taken it to the same levels as Michael and Kayode, choosing to imitate rather than create a unique rapper persona, rap and comedy have been linked for a long time now. Whether it was caricatures based on real-life rappers, parodies of situations involving rappers, or even the simple parody covers of popular tracks - comedy has consistently drawn on and interacted with hip-hop culture. Undeniably the reason this style of comedy has come to the attention of many is because of the Big Shaq character. It is important to note for anyone out of the loop that Big Shaq is just a character, or persona if you prefer, he’s not a real artist. Big Shaq was simply one of many characters Michael Dapaah developed in his highly successful #SWIL series alongside others like Dr. Ofori and MC Quakez. But it was Big Shaq that stole the show when Dapaah was invited down to Charlie Sloth’s Fire in the Booth. At the time of writing, the video currently sits on 2.7 million views, having only come out in October. On top of this, the follow-up video of Man’s Not Hot has amassed 213 million views at the time of writing.
This makes Man’s Not Hot the biggest song of the year from the U.K. These are the kind of numbers you would expect from the likes of Justin Bieber, not a comedian having a stab at music. Beyond that in the official video, there are appearances from world-renowned artists like DJ Khaled further showing the heights reached by Dapaah. What this shows is that there is a demand for it - but only when it’s done right. To further back this up we can look at Kayode, who did almost the exact same thing beforehand. Kayode created the single character of R.S for his series #HoodDocumentary. The character was a self-proclaimed multi-talented creative and ladies man. As such of course the R.S character dabbled in rap, this was even explored in the #HoodDocumentary series itself. Again off the back of this success, Kayode was invited down to Fire in the Booth. We, of course, know what happened - it went viral. The video gained huge traction and likely played a roll in the BBC deciding to pick up Kayode’s #HoodDocumentary for a second season on BBC Three.
However, as mentioned before, this is nothing new. Long before the internet was the real dominant force for making or breaking stars, established comedians working the circuit were experimenting with the medium. Before YouTube was bringing in the enormous numbers it does now all too regularly, before Snapchat, Instagram & Twitter videos,
and the now departed Keek and Vine platforms which we all became so familiar with, the chances of things going viral were not as high. This is not to say that things couldn’t go viral, there are plenty examples on YouTube from years ago that completely took over corners of the internet and crossed over into the mainstream, but these were few and far between. During this time just before social media really began to fast-track the process of videos gaining recognition, a few tried their hand at making comedy more accessible by putting it on sites like YouTube. Yet it is almost as if this era of comedians has been forgotten or overlooked by the masses, maybe down to the fact that their work didn’t get that social media push that brought it to the forefront of people’s minds. But some excellent talent was pushing out diverse and engaging content paving a way for the likes of Michael Dapaah and Kayode Ewumi. This is not to take away from them either, as they in their own right have paved their own ways through their own content which they worked on and put out long before they achieved the successes that they have now. But before these guys, there was Eddie Kadi, Jazzie, Arnold Jorge (A Squeezy), Nicholas Marston, and more. All of who either developed a character that was a rapper or took part in parodying rap songs long before it was popular. Whilst parodies themselves are nothing new to comedy, having been an aspect
of the medium for as long as it has been around due to it being a simple but relatable and effective comedic tool, these are some of the few who really utilised the mediums potential. These early pioneers took over little pockets of the internet and now with the success of the newer comedians, it is a nice time to look back at the work of those who preceded them. First up there is the phenomenal Eddie Kadi. Now out of all of the names mentioned he is the one most likely to be instantly identifiable as a comedian first and foremost, whereas the others have gone on to do other things. Kadi has been performing stand up since and has featured in films such as Anuvahood to improve its credibility in the comedy world. He has dabbled in music whether it was featuring in rappers videos – for example, his parking inspector character features at the Beginning of G Frsh’s ‘Flygeria’ video, or performing comedy freestyles on TimWestwoodTV. He was one of the first to really do this and was definitely the first comedian in the UK to have performed on a well respected platform for rappers. In Eddie Kadi’s effort, he parodied the grime classic ‘Pow’ with his version being called ‘Pounded Yam’ putting his typical Congolese spin on things. Whilst not the most credited for taking this leap he was a true pioneer of the medium. He likely influenced fellow comedian Afrikan Boy into making his classic ‘One Day I Went To Lidl’.
Following on with some equally early starters in this comedy-rap blend was Nicholas Marston. He and collaborator KG created a number of sketches parodying not only rappers but more specifically the so called ‘hood’ rappers that became so popular around the same time. The pair would likely be most recognised for creating the Shadrack and the mandem series of sketches. This created a real storm especially their track Guns and Pork. The sketches worked on were some of the most interesting blends of comedy and rap due to the fact the lyrics don’t appear to be jokes until you listen more closely. Rather than genuine jokes it relies on satire and taking the image of what would today be called a “roadman” to its extremes. It is a more nuanced style of comedy but the videos really clear up that it is all in jest, as without the videos it could be quite confusing to those not paying close attention. It was likely ahead of its time but still has accumulated 1 million views showing that it has gained some recognition. There was once a time where whenever a huge track came out there would undoubtedly be two people you could rely on to parody it: A Squeezy and J Weezy. The pair is more commonly known as Arnold Jorge and Jazzie but it is as their alter egos that they were really reaching the heights of their recognition and popularity. Now whilst not as early as Kadi or Marston they still took things to new heights at a time where social media still wasn’t being used efficiently as a market 50
ing tool and word of mouth was relied on a
a tweet stating “For now the #HoodDocu-
gap in the market in doing their parodies of
genres and explore our creativity” and since
lot more. During this time they filled a vacant songs and it was refreshing to see it done.
They did a number of tracks ranging from a cover of Rick Ross’ ‘F**k With Me You Know I
Got It’, to Yungen’s ‘Ain’t on Nuttin’, Future’s ‘Jumpman’, and many more right at the
heights of the successes of the tracks. This
pushed not only themselves to the forefront of the minds of the audience very regularly
but also shone a light on the existing tracks successes. They amassed well over 1 million
views across their videos with most having
mentary will take a break as we pursue other
the release of the second season of #Hood-
Documentary we have not seen ‘roll safe’ since. However this is not to say that come-
dians will shy away from the musical avenue, they may just take a different approach to
it. The best speculative example of this is Yung Filly who is most recognisable from his YouTube videos where he asks members of the public trick questions. Filly has recently broadened his horizons into the musical lane with the release of his track ‘Take Time’.
This has no comedy to it at all, it is almost
hit over 100,000 views and quite a few being
just an expression of Filly flexing his crea-
just how good a parody could be and the fact
everything. It is a great effort for him and the
in the 700,000 views range. The two showed they don’t do them anymore has left a void
in the market, the fact that no one has really taken over from them would suggest that the time of the parody is over. Hopefully, it
is not and we’ll be treated with more in the future as they were hilarious and all in good
fun and are something that is missing in the scene at the moment.
Now that we have taken time to celebrate the success of both the stars of the medium,
past and present, let’s take a quick look at
what we could have in store for the future. Of course Big Shaq, R.S and Mo the Come-
dian still have plenty of time to drop more music I think this group will avoid this angle so as not to get typecast as just one specific character. Case and point of this is Kayode
Ewumi who has put his R.S character on hia-
tus twice, originally in December of 2015 in a 51
tive skills almost as if to say that he can do track itself is a bit of a sleeper hit. What’s
extra impressive is the extent to which Spanish is used, which works perfectly with the
smooth vibe of the track. What he shows here is that when it comes to comedians, expect the unexpected. Hopefully, we continue to get great content from these guys and
more in whatever shape or form is next for
them, just don’t be surprised if rap and com-
edy combine again at some point. Only this time, you’ll know all about the journey that made it the success it is.
O n es - to - watc h Words - Sade Akinfe
As we get settled into 2018, we have witnessed a number of artists emerge to the forefront of the UK music scene, the 2018
G-List issue is to celebrate artists who are breaking barriers and building a cult follow-
ing around their own unique sound. With previous g-list candidates such as J-Hus, and
Nadia Rose proceeding to wave the flag for British music, it was only right to present five
extra artists whom each represent the sound
of tomorrow curated by Shay Sade, Music Editor at GUAP.
O n es - to - watc h
“CREATING MY OWN SOUND IS PROBABLY THE BEST THING" Kadiata is one of Britain’s most unique new artists hailing from South London, pushing the genre ‘Art Trap’. Self- described as a ‘council estate visionary ‘, Kadiata has a string of skills underneath his belt where he produces, directs and writes his own tracks making him a quadruple threat.
Tell us a bit about yourself I’m Kadiata, an artist from Pimlico South London and I’m 24 years old. How would you describe your sound? The genre I’m embodying is something I call ‘Art Trap’. Art Trap is a blend of ratchet ignorant trap with a classy sonic structure, and a relatable substance driven subject matter. Best aspect of your career so far? Creating my own sound is probably the best thing. Even when I produce for other people, the fans are like “wow I’ve never heard you on something so different” and then they find me and hear my stuff and it all just clicks into place. What can we expect from you in 2018?
This year I’m going to take the whole
‘Council Estate Visionary’ to the next
level. I’ve got so many concepts that I’ve been planning to execute so you will crazy innovation very soon.
Where can people keep up to date with you?
Everywhere you can think of, but subscribe to my website where you can
find the exclusive drops, Kadiata.com or @kadiata93 on social media. What makes you a G?
My beliefs and my attitude to what I
think the world should be like, but I
owe it all to God anyway so God is the real ‘G’.
I’M THE GOAT WITH A CAPITAL G “my sound is very at- Nottingham’s answer to a blend of The mospheric with a wide Weekend/ Post Malone with a touch of Afro swing, Hex firmly puts Nottingham range of melodies and on the map with this distinguished, fluid flows” melodic sound. As he captures the eyes and ears of radio and the media so early into his career, this can only be the start of timeless things to come from Hex. 55
Tell us a bit about yourself My name is Wxvey and my last name is Hex, I’m from the 5ive aka Nottingham and I’m 20 years old. How would you describe your sound? I would say my sound is very atmospheric with a wide range of melodies and flows. Best aspect of your career so far? I think the best part of my career so far is right now because I’m just building and working hard to improve and just show people what I’m about so it’s a very interesting time for me. I’m just trying to piece everything together. What can we expect from you in 2018? In 2018 you can expect to see me experiment with different sounds and genres but it will still sound like me because I’m HEX either way it’s going to be a wave. Where can people keep up to date with you? @wxveyhex everywhere What do you want people to know about you that they don’t know already? I want people to know that the ‘wxvey’ in my name isn’t a coincidence and if you don’t believe me, then you should listen to my music. What makes you a G? I’m the Goat with a capital G
OLIVIA S M O O T H , YOUTHFUL AND CATCHY
â€œMY SOUND IS SMOOTH, YOUTHFUL CATCHY.."
Rising R&B soulstress, Olivia Nelson reminds us why R&B in the UK continues to reign. At only 21, Olivia has already worked with Soulection legend, Jarreau Vandal on tracks, ‘Someone you Love’ and ‘Hideaway’ amidst her headline show announcement. Olivia is coming for the crown. Tell us a bit about yourself I’m Olivia Nelson, 21 and a singer from London How would you describe your sound? I would say my sound is smooth, youthful and catchy. Best aspect of your career so far? Seeing the reaction from people when they discover my music. I get messages from supporters in other countries saying they like my songs, it blows my mind. I’m just a girl from London doing what I love. What can we expect from you in 2018? Brand new music and some cool live shows. Where can people keep up to date with you? You can find me on Soundcloud, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify with the handle @oliviajnelson and on Facebook its @oliviajnelsonofficial What makes you a G? Doing you and being the best version of yourself
NSG, the six-member group representing Afro swing are the group to watch in 2018. With their track ‘Yo Darlin’ released in 2017 reaching over 12 million views, the group have also managed to work with Liam Payne from One Direction on track ‘Bedroom Floor’. The boys are bringing a refreshing and exhilarating sound to UK music, following the likes of J-Hus and Burna Boy.
“GrITTY UK SOUND WITH A BLEND OF AFROBEAT.."
Tell us a bit about yourself OGD - 20 - Hackney Papii Abz - 22 - Hackney Mojo - 23 - Hackney Kruddz - 22 - Hackney Dope Boy - 22 - Hackney Mxjib - 20 - Hackney How would you describe your sound? The NSG sound can be broken down into different genres depending on the vibe we’re going for. For example, we have the gritty UK sound with a blend of Afrobeat sounds, we also have that dark club sound with melodies over it. That’s just two examples, but all in all I’d say we have a worldly sound.
Best aspect of your career so far? Abz: The release of ‘Yo Darlin’ Kruddz: Playing to a sold-out Brixton O2 Academy. Mojo: Shutting down Nottinghill Carnival. What can we expect from you in 2018? Apart from loads of bangers, 2018 we really want to make a name for ourselves and build the foundation for our global domination. Everything we did last year, we’ll do it 5 times better if not 10. Look out for that international booking as well, we feel like our music has travelled enough to give us that opportunity. Watch out for our videos as well. Where can people find you online? Twitter: @NSG Instagram: @NSG_Music Facebook: @NSGMUSIC
LOUIS III GOLDEN BOY
LOUIS EXPERIMENTAL bEATS & vISUALS
Croydon’s newest golden boy, bringing candid, alternative pop to the musical forefront gives us a taste of what’s to come in 2018. Louis III debut track ‘Fever Thoughts’ received an immense amount of love and demonstrated his experimental choice of beats and colourful visuals to match. The more reason to keep an eye out for Louis III in 2018.
Tell us a bit about yourself I’m Louis III and 23. How would you describe your sound? Left of centre, beat driven pop that pulls from RnB, Soul and Dancehall. Best aspect of your career so far? Planning and shooting my music videos - seeing the ideas you had in your head when you write a song turn into visuals is surreal. What can we expect from you in 2018? Dropping new music with visuals every couple of months. And then I’m going to be playing live which I’m hyped for. Where can people keep up to date with you? Twitter: Louisiii Instagram: LouisIIIOfficial Facebook: LouisiiiOfficial What makes you a G? I get to do what I love every day and wake up after 10am most days
Published on Feb 20, 2018