Here at UK Underground Rap, we're committed to connecting the scene in any way we can. That's why we've linked up with Posted UK to bring you a monthly round-up of underground music!
As the end of 2021 is quickly approaching, we’re back with our 3rd instalment of The Wrap Up! Over the past week, we’ve seen everyone sharing their Spotify/Apple music/However you choose to listen to your music, wrapped for 2021, but how about a little update of what’s been happening over the course of November?
In terms of pop music, November brought us two of the most talked about albums of the year with Silk Sonic’s (Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars’ latest offering) self titled release and Adele with “30”. So it’s very understandable that a few releases might have flown under the radar this month, but there've certainly been a few standouts from some of the UK’s very own that deserve more than just a spin!
Big Buddies - Buddies in Paris
SOFY - LADS! LADS! LADS!
Safiyyah, KeepVibesNear + Nikhil Beats - Days Like This
LEN - TwoTwo’s
Ashbeck - BRR
Monét + OG KEMi - hunnitdegrees
Big Buddies - Buddies in Paris3
This month brought us something I’ve been looking forward to for a little while now and that is Big Buddies’ debut single; “Buddies in Paris”. For those that might not be aware, this West-London based group is composed of Maana, D’Aygo, Kavo, Jet and Alexander. With this their first single, Big Buddies have certainly set the tone for their upcoming tape, bringing us effortlessly smooth flows alongside this elegant string led instrumental.
Big Buddies really are on their “lavish shit” and it’s an all-round simply enjoyable listen. Jet says “it sorta fell into place”, and you can feel it through the song, there’s a particular relaxed presence and energy the group carries themselves with on this one, as their chemistry stands out prominently. If “Buddies in Paris” is anything to go by, this upcoming tape will raise more than a few eyebrows. You won’t want to miss out!
ODEAL - OVMBR: Hits No Mrs
Namani + El Londo - Text Language
Chrissi - Back In The Day
BXKS - Hack The Planet
Tariq Disu - G.W.
Nippa - Nippa
BXKS - Hack The Planet
In all honesty, if I was going to make a list about my favourite EPs I’ve heard so far this year, all of these listed above would be included without a doubt.
But if I’ve really got to talk about just one, for me it has to be the latest project from Luton local BXKS with “Hack The Planet''. Following the release of her debut EP, “Full Time Daydreamer” earlier in the year (again another very worthy mention in itself for EP of the year) BXKS brought us “Mean Amount” and “Bones 2 Pick” in the run up to “Hack the Planet”.
With this EP, comes 5 brand new tracks alongside these 2. BXKS doesn’t let a second go to waste, from the get-go with the track “4DaKidz” displaying (in my opinion) her biggest strength as an artist, her lyricism. All while employing rapid flows that’ll leave you going back to this one for the lines that went over your head on the first listen. The following track “L.U.V”, brought my favourite instrumental on the project thanks to @finnwigan, where BXKS has this fast-paced skippy flow that will easily stick in your head.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from “Hack The Planet '', it's that BXKS is fast becoming one of the promising artists the UK has to offer. And we can’t wait to see what’s in store for her in the future!
MANNY DUBBS - 100% Loaded
Ruby Francis - Archives
Big Nate - Chronicles of Nate 2
Ruby Francis - Archives
And finally, just over half way through the month we were gifted with Ruby Francis’ debut album, “Archives”. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to a full length project from Ruby Francis since first hearing “What’s The Problem” (featuring Kadeem Tyrell) in September 2020, and it’s definitely been worth the wait.
The appropriately named “Archives”, includes 6 previously released tracks ; “All of The Time”, “What’s The Problem, “Jasmine”, “Stuck Right Here”, “Let Me In” and “Procrastinate”, with the addition of 7 new songs that all gel perfectly together to bring us this concise and brilliantly composed project. Ruby Francis truly establishes her sound on “Archives”, the album is bouncy and light but also warm, as everything blends perfectly with Francis’ versatile vocal ability.
A clear highlight of “Archives”, comes in the form of the short and sweet ”House Party”, it’s the simplicity of the track that makes it, with an infectious groove and gentle vocals from Francis that creates this endearing almost nostalgic feeling for the listener. And with a gig towards the end of the month at Jazz Cafe, it’s definitely been a year to remember for Ruby Francis.
04/11/21 - AYRTN, Smith Blxck, Johnnie Darko and JTR @ Events Next Up, Bristol.
We kicked the month off with a visit over Bristol to catch a serious line-up of familiar faces. Johnnie kicked the night off with JTR following up to blow the roof off and get the crowd hyped for the night.
The drinks were flowing and the atmosphere was immaculate as Smith took the stage, his whole set really brought everyone together with a really social performance of cult classic 'Feeling'. This man knows no boundaries of talent! Ayrtn came through to cap the night off with quite a lengthy set back to back brimming with unreleased bangers and all his well known riddims. Big up Next Up everytime for putting on these amazing shows.
24/11/21 - UKUR @ 'The Underground Project' in Sevilla Mia, SOHO.
YES that's right, we held our first show this month and it went OFF! After a month of selling tickets and spreading the word, we couldn't wait to present you all with our all-star line-up of underground talent!
Our main goal for this (and all our events moving forward) is to make sure we all have hell of a party... We wanted this one to be a statement of intent to solidify what we envision for the scene, everyone getting together to experience the greatest music and elevate each-other. The love was truly felt throughout; artists, fans and venue staff all vibed out together, drinking and skanking until the early hours of the morning.
I don't want to say too much as we have it's own content on the way as we speak, more to follow on that very soon!
26/11/21 - Lemfreck and friends @ Noctown in the Cltvr Lab, Cardiff.
To end the month perfectly we visited the Lemfreck-led, Noctown event on a rainy night in Cardiff. If you were ever looking for an introduction to music of black origin in Wales, THIS was the place to be. With acts such as Juice Menace, Luke RV and InfamousIzak, we knew this couldn't be missed. Mace the Great and Kiddus supplied two great sets that lit the room on fire underneath the surround 4D cinema screen experiance
With a guest appearance from Underground fashion king Benzy, man like Minas on the decks and big Lemfreck to finish, Noctown and co really put on for Welsh music like hasn't been done in a long time, we really hope to see more of this internally and across the UK...
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Words by: Jack Gibbs
Edited by: Jack Slade / @jsld_____