#BlackLivesMatter Mixtape: June 9 Edition

Honestly, it’s been a struggle keeping up with new music considering the state of the world right now, which is why we haven’t posted anything new these last few weeks. Given the current circumstances of the pandemic, the world has faced yet another challenge of injustice to its black people.

Unfortunately, this has been an ongoing issue and the uproar began when George Floyd was single-handedly killed by a police officer last month. There have also been other stories that have surface documenting the deaths of innocent black people doing normal activities like jogging around the block or sleeping from the comfort of their own home.

We’re still doing our best to educate ourselves on how we can do better for BIPOC but for now, this is a work in progress for almost everyone to be informed about the ongoing struggles they face when it comes to their own cultural identity. It’s important to hold those accountable who are part of the problem when it comes to the racial discrimination of BIPOC.

The next couple of mixtapes will solely focus on BIPOC artists because it’s important to recognise that their music does matter to help inspire the next generation of BIPOC musical talent.

This week we focus on the UK rap artists that are making moves right now with their careers.

AJ Tracey – “Quarterback (Secure The Bag!)”

If you recognise this song from the TV crime-drama series Top Boy, then you may have been acquainted with 26-year old rapper AJ Tracey already. Tracey has been making waves this year, creating stunning collab tracks with Aitch and MoStack. Last year, he released his self-titled debut receiving universal acclaim from music critics and it’s within good reason since he sets the bar high when it comes to his work.

“Quarterback (Secure The Bag)!” is taken from his EP, Secure The Bag! which was released in 2017. Let us tell you that this song has aged like fine wine because it’s still fresh AF so don’t be surprised when you find yourself listening to it more than once.

Skepta – “No Sleep”

Skepta is by far one of the most versatile rappers in the UK rap scene and he isn’t afraid to dabble in music projects that highlight his natural talent when it comes to creating music that reaches a wide audience. This year he released a collaborative album titled Insomnia with Chip and Young Adz but before this, his fifth record Ignorance is Bliss came out last year. “No Sleep” is taken from this album and the beats and flow to this are flawless. The delicate synths make it such a delight to listen to and should ideally be part of your workout playlist.

SL – “Tropical”

Another gem of a track that came out in 2017 is SL’s “Tropical” and this too was featured in Season 3 of Top Boy (the series has got good taste in music, no doubt). With over 21 million views for the song’s music video on YouTube, listeners have resonated with this song due to its chilled beats and great rhythm. It’s also worth mentioning that SL was 15 when he dropped this track, showcasing how it’s possible to achieve big dreams at such a young age.

Dave – “Black”

UK rap artist Dave is notable for his amazing storytelling and emotional intellect when it comes to his music. If you haven’t come across his debut album Psychodrama then it’s best to get familiar and be amazed by his raw approach to music, touching on some dark themes throughout the record. “Black” is an important track and explores the struggles of BIPOC when it comes to racial and social inequality. Dave does not hold back, making you love him even more for his candour.

Stormzy – “Audacity” (ft. Headie One)

Finally, if you want a song that is absolute fire, Stormzy’s “Audacity” hits the spot. If you’ve had a rough day at work or simply want to tune into a track that understands the intensity of your rage-fuelled emotions, listen to this. Stormzy has been turning heads since last year with the release of his excellent sophomore record Heavy Is The Head. Also, Headie One’s verse complements Stormzy’s bars so perfectly in this.

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