Grime godfather Skepta
delivered new goodies just in time for Halloween, with the release of his six-track EP Vicious
. The Tottenham-based grime rapper has made a loose tradition of dropping new material on the holiday, releasing "It Ain't Safe" in 2014 and releasing his own "No Security" alongside his appearance on Section Boyz' "The Worst" last year. The tradition continues this year with Vicious
and a "happy holidays, you pagans" shoutout on the intro track "Still".
For only a six-track EP, Vicious
packs plenty of star power, with features by Lil B
, Section Boyz, A$AP Rocky
, and A$AP Nast backing up the already indomitable Skepta. The international mashup of hip-hop styles is nothing new to Skepta, who's collaborated with artists like Drake
and A$AP Mob, and become somewhat of an ambassador for the uniquely British style of rap in the states.
possesses a quintessential grime sound, and "Still" opens with a classic mix of croaking, sub-bass sounds that are more felt than heard, dramatic strings, and dark and dreamy beats that accentuate the brutal, unrelenting pace of Skepta's verses.
The BasedGod makes his appearance on "Sit Down", a hyphy track that really sets the ghoulish mood with persistent, descending strings and breakneck beats. The contrast between Lil B's deliberate, unhurried lines and Skepta's machine-gun delivery is an exciting amalgamation of styles, and I'm hoping their collaboration isn't just a one-time affair.
"Ghost Ride", which features A$AP Rocky and Nast, closes out the EP and is the most instrumentally unique in that it's probably the truest blend of grime production and a classic 90's New York sound, likely owed to A$AP's roots in Harlem. It's not the first time that it's happened, but the synchronization of grimey bass lines with descending a piano track is goose-bump inducing. A$AP Rocky also confirmed earlier this month that Skepta will make an appearance on his upcoming album, so the duo still has much more in store for us.
Even if you're going for cutesy this Halloween, Vicious
is a dark, spell-binding banger that's a must have on the playlist. Check it out now via Boy Better Know.