February 7, 2014


Son Raw hit you with TSSS TSSS!

Zha, whose mixtape I recently shared, is starting a new Youtube series highlighting up and coming emcees. Now I usually wouldn’t post a freestyle video, lord knows there’s enough sites dedicated those if you want to trawl through gigs worth of aspiring rappers, but once he roped in Novelist for the first edition, he had my attention. Growing up (and pledging allegiance) to Hip-Hop, it takes a lot for UK emcees to impress me – for every German Whip there’s 10 bait road rap tracks that sound like Atlanta with weaker production values and different accents.

Novelist is the exception to the rule – at 17, he’s young enough to bring a new spin to Grime but wise enough to be a student of the game. Furthermore, he’s made it a point to spit on live radio sets alongside Slackk, highlighting a key area where London has an advantage over US rap: live competition. That’s what this video captures:  bars straight out the bedroom over raw, banging production. No punch-ins, no beat drops, no fluff. The fact that the results are compellingly listenable instead of a lyrically-lyrical circlejerk prove all involved are onto a good thing. Can we get a single?