Northampton’s Izzie Gibbs returns following his ‘96LS’ EP, embracing his grime roots and firing out his characteristically lively flow on ‘Lit’. Dubstep producer Trolley Snatcha contributes an all-guns-blazing instrumental that’s liable to take your eyebrows off. With plenty of releases in the pipeline for 2019, it’s unlikely to be the last time we’re hearing from the energetic MC in a minute.
Swindle & Ghetts
Unlike the name might suggest, this isn’t a drill track — multi-instrumented virtuoso Swindle and OG MC Ghetts prove they’re a match made in heaven. Shouting out Plaistow, Custom House, East Ham and the rest, the veteran mic man lays measured, carefully crafted bars out over Swindle’s string and gunshot-filled, dubstep-leaning production.
'Fire x Frost'
Like a growing amount of grime we’re seeing, Syer B gets more introspective on this new EP. ‘Blessed Or Cursed’ features the repeat refrain “now the drink don’t work”. Tapping up a who’s-who of grime production, including Filthy Gears, J Beatz and Syer himself, silver-haired legend Devlin crops up on ‘Madman Skills’, providing a hefty, lurching closer to the record that should really do numbers.
Capitalising on the current trend for Spanish language tracks, one third of YGG PK plates up a spicy Latin-flavoured cut with a salsa-inspired instrumental, name-checking Dora The Explorer as he unravels his characteristically cheeky flow. Dropping lingo like “excelente” and “mamacita”, it means you can neglect your sobbing Duolingo owl this week.
Gen represents the next gen of grime talent. Following his Road Rage freestyle on JDZ Media that blew up, he’s also just been announced for Lord Of The Mics 8, and it’ll definitely be a clash to watch. On the RMDY-produced ‘Nottingham Trent’, the London MC gives a nod to the Midlands university, while showing off his silver-tongued mic skills.
'Paradox feat XP'
Drafting in President T collaborator XP on mic duty, the heads-down, hoods-up ‘Paradox’ was produced by Dubzta, who constructs something that sonically moves between a cute video game soundtrack and a murky dubstep rave.
'The Naughty Norties'
Ok, this is great. The Bow MC takes to a wide selection of beats, including a Justin Timberlake re-rub by DJ Cable, a Ludacris edit from Neffa T, plus a heartstring-tugging R&G number (‘Wheredugo’). It’s enough to tickle your ‘00s nostalgia and get you hyped, thanks to Shizz’s versatile mic-wielding. More noughties R&B grime in 2019 please.
'The World Is Mine'
Frequent Jon E Clayface collaborator Popzzy English has been stepping up his work rate as of late, keeping a constant stream of material flowing. Featuring Popzzy roaring into his mic on the title cut, the four-track EP (complete with low budget artwork) distills all the raw energy of a live grime show into one record.
While we’re in list season, Aitch is one of the artists being tipped for big things in 2019, and with support from Virgil Abloh and Kenny Allstar, it seems that might just happen. Still riding off the success of ‘Straight Rhymez’, latest track ‘Wait’ finds him really hitting his stride, with whYJay on the keys. It’s a much more laid-back, stoner hip-hop sound, but the Manchester MC shows he can surf all kinds of beats.