aj tracey, a$ap rocky and the best of new music friday
Get your indispensable gui-De to music, with our singles of the week.
We knew AJ was something special when we declared both him, a then 18-year-old Jorja Smith, and the newly-graduated Rina Sawayama as the future of music back in 2016. Having dropped out of his anthropology course, Ladbroke Grove mummy's boy AJ Tracey was making plans and dreaming big. Almost three years on and he's racked up over 250 million plays worldwide, successfully experimented with Afrobeat and dancehall, and just confirmed the release of his long-awaited eponymous debut album, out 8 February 2019. Oh and he’s heading off on a world tour, hitting up Brixton Academy on 23 March too.
Next up is The Answer, a collaboration between Skepta and promising newcomer Daisy Maybe that charts a relationship breakdown. Cause of death: jealousy. Which brings us nicely to A$AP’s Sundress. You know, the one with the brilliant Kesewa Aboah-starring, Frank Lebon-directed music video centred around a crime of passion. The track samples Tame Impala, was produced by Danger Mouse and, damn, we love this new vocal direction from the fashion icon.
One-time OFWGKTA fans will be pleased to learn that Earl Sweatshirt is back with another release from his aptly named forthcoming album, Some Rap Songs. Inspired by losing his father, The Mint is lo-fi, introspective and predictably brilliant. So too is 18-year-old London artist AMA, who reckons that a life without her crush would be Monochrome and thus no life at all. Get to know more about her here.
Oh my god. In other news, Slowthai’s gone punk and it’s fucking great. His Mura Masa-produced new single Doorman is a vessel for his musings on social injustice prompted by the time he was "at some yard in Chelsea after a night out and saw 4.5 million pound paintings hanging on the wall and it made me sick. I went to the studio the next day and wrote Doorman. Doorman, let me in the door..."
There’s plenty more where that came from, including Wiley’s Flip the Table Freestyle, an exciting debut single from new girl band 303, an attitude-drenched single from Ashnikko, a whole mixtape from Tyler’s alleged bf Jaden Smith, the return of The Streets and so much more. We love it all and reckon you will too. Come back next week!