Dublin rapper Kojaque’s new single is an ode to his hometown's potential

‘Town’s Dead’ and all the best new music this week in one i-D approved playlist.

by Frankie Dunn
23 April 2021, 5:33pm

Photography Joshua Heavens Onabowu

We introduced you to Kojaque back in 2018 as “the Dublin soft boy rapping about shitty jobs and Irish life”. And while the world seems to have collapsed in on itself since then, some things have remained reliably and reassuringly the same. Kojaque still lives in Dublin, he’s still running the brilliant Soft Boy Records with his mates and he’s still making music about his motherland. But something’s shifted. On new single “Town’s Dead” — taken from his forthcoming album of the same name, due 25 June — he’s done wallowing, he sees the potential all around him and he’s convinced that change is possible.  

“I think so often the city grinds you down,” he says. “It takes your hope and your ambition. I know that it can change because so many of my friends express the exact same wants, desires and frustrations with living in Ireland. If so many of us are on the same page, then I know that things can change — there just needs to be some sort of catalyst to kick start that change and for me, that’s always been art and music. Time and time again, amazing art continues to be made in spite of the struggles and setbacks that are presented when living here.” Kojaque’s album, and its title track, is about fighting that good fight against what might sometimes feel like the inevitable. “It’s a rejection of what people tell you is your destiny… town’s not dead, it’s just dormant!” 

After that urgent opening to today’s playlist, you’ll find “L Foot, Right” by DC’s talented dreamcastmo and “Smile” by Wolf Alice, who you might have noticed are very much back. Then we’ve got Anwar, as in Hadid, who has released his grungy new track “Off@Night” into the wild. Accompanied by a late-night, neon-lit NYC adventure of a music video, the track is inspired by that frustrating feeling when you can’t quite find the right words to express yourself properly. We very much know that feeling. 

Elsewhere, there’s “Introvert” by Little Simz (who told her all about the epic Natural History Museum-shot video and that Emma Corrin feature here); “Strawberry” by NY vocalist and producer Doss; “Teeth” from London producer LCY’s life-jolting new EP Pulling Teeth; and Sarah Kinsley’s wonderful “Over + Under”. All that and more on today’s BEST NEW MUSIC PLAYLIST

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