DialE – Atlantis

In the past couple years we have seen artists such as Ayrtn channel an new genre of UK rap known as ‘Chill rap’ or ‘Jazz rap’. In opposition to mainstream rap, such a genre has found its feet, through technological advancement providing artists with an ability to record from home and promote themselves independently. Acting against elitism in the music industry, we are seeing a wave of new independent artists paving their own paths and sound.

An artist that has caught my attention recently, is East London’s DialE. DialE fits in with this new genre of ‘Jazz rap’, leading with a refreshing & jazz infused production. His music follows this easy-going, laid-back sound, filled with wise and inspirational lyrics. His music is energising & mind opening.

DialE continues this in his new drop ‘Atlantis’.

“Diving in the deep end, no one to depend on but myself. Is it wealth over health or is it health over wealth?”

“Im tryna get my vision right, im tryna get my vision right”

Artan – Time Will Tell

North London artist Artan has released his new EP ‘Time Will Tell’. Ive been following Artan’s work for the past 18 months, after a friend sent me a link to ‘Whym I high?’. The thing that draws me to Artan’s music is how relatable and honest his lyrics are, and he presents them in a way which you can vibe to. Being able to do this is a talent in itself, and he continues this in ‘Time Will Tell’. In a period of time, where mental health is so important, Artan’s intentions with his music are very relevant. After bursting onto the scene with releases on platforms such as GRM Daily & Link Up TV, Artan has recently turned his attention to establishing himself as an independent artist within the UK scene, releasing the majority of his music on his own platform & promoting independently. 

ARTAN - Time Will Tell. Bleep.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Artan was releasing a new EP, with his latest project ‘Scattered Thoughts’ only being released in October of last year. In a similar vein to scattered thoughts, the album is heavily focused on Artan’s honest reflection of his thoughts and how he is feeling.

This theme is expressed in the bulk of the album. Interestingly each tracks touches a slight different emotion/feeling. Tracks such as ‘Rain’ & ‘I Try’ illustrate the doubts & negative thoughts that we tend to battle on daily basis, here Artan expresses his understanding that its important to try and remain present during difficult times, and that it can be normal too feel lost and unappreciative of what you already have, but again.. its important to ‘learn to dance in the rain’ and enjoy the journey that life provides.

‘Cause sometimes I get so stressed I don’t know what’s been going on, hope i’ll be fine. And sometimes I I am so blessed but I can’t see it through my eyes, but I try’ – I try

Moving onto latter tracks It’s Fine, Used To & Its not about. here I felt a change in the mood of the project, Artan narrates a period of maturation and progression in his mental state. In a complete fashion, these tracks seem to round off feelings expressed during the start of the EP. As a listener I was intrigued in the way that Artan seemed to complete such a introspective start to the album, by leaving us with some inspiring and positive takes on negative emotions and how he/and we can be more aware and feel more positive through forgetting about peoples opinions, and taking time to relax and reflect on our journey, and most importantly take each step at our own pace and find a healthy balance between work, money, and relationships.

‘Its fine, I know one day I’m gonna get in time, they won’t ever know how I’m feeling inside, I need peace, but Im in pieces still I know, Its fine. – Its Fine

‘Im living life, but I don’t know if its right but that’s ok’ ‘cause I used to feel so broke, but nowadays I’m on the mend, and I’m learning if your down and out it might not be the end.’ – Used to 

‘Act like no ones there to watch, I don’t care if they care if they care or not. It’s not about the time we lost its all about the time we got’ – Its not about

Lastly, Artan also manages to include a couple vibey tracks in High Life ft WIZ 36IX, & London Town which round of the EP nicely.

Craig Xen — Fall in love with me

“I make her, I make the whole motherf***in world goin’ fall in love with me”

Craig Xen is well known for his frequent collaborations with XXXTentacion, and Ski Mask the Slump God in ex Florida hip hop collective ‘Members only’. The Trio also famously appeared together in XXX’s interview on No Jumper in 2016. Its safe to say that Craigs music has been positively influenced by the likes of XXX and Ski Mask.

Usually associated with more of an EMO rap sound. Craig shows us a different side of him in his blissful single ‘Fall in love with me’. The single was released initially on since deleted album ‘Protect me from myself’ which contains unreleased tracks that were not included in his most recent project ‘Broken Kids Club’ (which by the way is extremely good).

Craig releases a bundle of positive affirmations, inspiring the listener. Opening up his mindful side he leaves us with a heap of inspiration, expressing his impressively positive mind state. “The Universal Laws are always workin’ my favour cause I feel great think it and I say it and that makes it real intangible for me, cant you see? I was down bad took my rags turnt them into riches”. Reading up on Craig recently I learnt that his artistry name ‘Craig Xen’ relates to a highschool phase he had when he was into Spirituallity and Hallucinogens.

“Xen (formerly Zen) came from — I was in a — when I was high school, I had a uh, I had a phase where I was really into, like, spirituality and hallucinogens and shit like that. And so after all that, I would, like, meditate, and then I always uh — that’s when I started, like, developing my uh, my mindset of, like, ‘I can chase my dreams and I can do whatever I want!’ and uh, and so I was Craig Xen because I would meditate…I am in my f**kin’ Zen when I’m creating.” (Craig Xen interview with Adam22 on No Jumper)

Safe to say Craig definitely enters his ‘Zen here,

“Ima write a book this year because i feel like and you gon’ buy it then i’ma be a best selling author”

“i move forward and despite the f**king odds, kept fightin’, i’ma titan in my minds eye, give a f*ck who don’t like it, i’ma keep expressing my feelings till i die.”

Personally, this song inspired me a lot, and got me feeling limitless, thanks Craig.

Sam Wise- Sorry You Were Saying

Born and raised in Kennington, and prominent member of South London rap collective House of Pharaohs, Sam Wise is one to watch out for. He’s making a positive statement in the UK scene, featuring on Octavian’s ‘100 degrees’ last year and has also received acknowledgment from JME for his song ‘Rack Up’.

Sam expresses an effortless & upbeat vibe in his music, and his material brings with it impressive visuals. His debut mixtape ‘Sorry You Were Saying’ proves that the Kennington native is one to keep an eye on.

Speaking to The Face about his new project. He explains SYWS as an introduction to himself and what he wants to contribute to the UK rap scene. This is represented quite brilliantly within the first few minutes into the mixtape in ‘Velour intro’ “We will prosper we will conquer, despite this I live in sonder, humble trust me, love me, hug me, correct me, but let me be me”. Expressing a will to succeed but acknowledging the importance of remaining humble, and remaining single minded and true to himself.

The deepness of his lyrics is consistent throughout the EP, in ‘Frustrated’ a melodic, guitar and synth-heavy production is another great moment, with the talented rapper talking about frustrations in terms of relationships and the negative habits which society impose on us. “Money money money, doesn’t make us happy but we all chasing money” / “The trap made me buy Gucci, the culture made me buy Gucci, I didn’t even like Gucci, am I brainwashed am I choosy?”. If i’m honest I could sit here for days and dig out his lyrics, a testament to Sam and the insightful messages which he is trying to deliver in his music.

The features on the album are also impressive. Fellow South London native Blanco appears on ‘Follow the Leader’ reflecting on his mental health and experiences growing up in London and the harsh living environment that it can present. ‘Follow the leader’ offers a different side to Wise, who you wouldn’t really associate with a darker drill beat, but clearly provides an example of his talent and versatility. Masterpiece is on ‘Loophole’ which is an introspective track talking about love and its frustrations.

My personal favourite on the EP has to be ‘Birdseye view’ which brings with it impressive visuals, which show Sam standing tall above the skyline as he inhales his successes and lays waste to doubters.

Sam wise has shown that he’s no average UK artist. An ability to jump on different genres, deliver meaningful lyrics while also maintaining an upbeat and refreshing sound.

Check out SYWS below

Potter Payper – 2020 Vision

Potter Payper is wasting no time with the release of his latest EP ‘2020 vision’. After spending the past few years incarcerated in HMP, he has recorded and released in the space of a couple days upon he’s release. The past few years have been tough for Potter, and he would have seen the UK scene grow and grow (.. with even couple Brit awards to show for it). Potter has been a huge part of the UK street rap scene, way before drill made its mark. Endorsed by the likes of Giggs, Skrapz, Stormzy, and DJ’s such as Westwood and Charlie Sloth. Potter is certified in the UK rap scene and fully warrants a part in its current make up. It appears the Barking resident is more serious this time around and has shown appreciation for the opportunity he has in front of him.

2020 vision brings with it what you would normally expect from Potter. Lyrics filled with pain, realness & lyrical depth. The EP serves as a breath of fresh air for street rap fans. Potter’s wordplay and ability to drop clever bars smoothly is second to none, and he has certainly been missed in the scene these past few years.

The EP begins with ‘never left’

‘Guess whos back like I never left payper first I aint ever been second best’

No lie this bar definitely hit me (in a good way) its been way too long. Potter brings a heap of energy and enthusiasm in this one on a heavy energetic beat produced by 5ive. Here he expresses his realness and loyalty.

‘Never see me clout chasing on the net, see me live in the flesh’

‘I got pride and honour and I’ll die my friend’

Moving onto ‘2020 vision Freestyle’ which has been released on YouTube, amassing over 800k views so far. Coming with a remixed version of the instrumental for Jay-z’s Holy Grail produced by Cage x AJ. Here, Potter paints us a picture of his journey so far, in rags to riches type narrative. Touching on his trapping background, to balancing this with his life as a rapper.

‘I’m rapping and I’m trapping I don’t know what I prefer’.

‘Filthy Free’ switches up the vibe, with a more mellow beat. Here, Potter pays a touching tribute to his friends who have passed away, and those who are in prison. He also criticises some people who have not been there for him 100% through his journey so far.

‘Man was saying free me, but never sent me a penny’ ‘real gangsta’s don’t snitch looking death in the face’

He also expresses his views on some artists, questioning their legitimacy in what they say on track compared to the life they live.

Like, are you a gangster rapper or you just rap you’re gangster?
‘Cah if you ask me, I think all these rappers are jezzies
They’re dick ridin’ and pic likin’, I sit silent
I been fist fightin’, big knifin’ and spliff lightin’

Finally, PMW (Pussy, money, weed) Potter continues in similar vain to the mood set in ‘Filthy Free’. Here, we see Potter in full.. lyrically deep, pain felt lyrics. Again, in a rags to riches like fashion, Potter details his journey, reflecting on his pain felt from childhood to trapping, to his time in prison and also how this has impacted his relationships. He expresses pain felt from those who have betrayed him in the past and hopes that now he will have more positive energy around him.

‘For 3 whole years a lot of people didn’t check for me, so now I’m home I just hope you keep the energy’

Potter also highlights the severity of the violence in his area, but the also deep inflicted passion for trapping which is still embedded in those around him.

‘Barking and Dagenham bodies just dropped like fashion, and we got an OT passion’

2020 Vision is testament of what is to come from Potter. Training Day 3 will be one of the most anticipated UK releases for the coming year. 2020 has been a tough one but at least we can smile that Potter Payper is back and producing music. He was at studio with M Huncho the other day also..

Check out 2020 Vision below.

Potter Payper — Round Here

Potter Payper has dropped his first single from Training day 3 ‘Round here’. Produced by M1onthebeat, Potter gives us a taste of his forthcoming project which is to be released on the 18th September.

Potters work rate has been impressive since he’s been released from prison, TD3 is gonna be big, & i’m buzzing to see him finally getting the level of exposure he warrants. In ‘Round here’ again his word play is impressive, this time featuring a series of links to US rappers and films throughout.

I call it “New Crack City”, round here
BK you know I’m Biggie round there

Hungry, starving, they’ll stick you round here
Rico and Money Mitch you round here

His consistency is ridiculous, to release several singles in such a short space of time which are all solid is not easy. He’s bringing new levels to everything he puts out. Keeping it short, say less i’m looking forward to TD3, and can already predict its gonna make a statement.