2016 has been defined as the year of grime's 'resurgence', with releases from genre heavyweights such a Skepta, Giggs, P Money and more; and 2017 is promising to be a worthy follower by starting off with XL Recordings' NEW GEN.
NEW GEN brings together the very best of the younger UK rap & grime talent, inviting them to collaborate on this unique project which accompanies the listener via a 17-track path that is seamless but unexpected in its rhythms.
But it is much more than just an album showcasing skillful fresh-faced artists who've got a lot to say for themselves and are willing to share their stories in very honest and lyrically talented ways - NEW GEN serves as a channel to access and get a glimpse into the very fertile and multi-faceted underground 'urban' scene that is living and thriving in the UK at this moment in time, and this album has a track for each and every one of these various sub-genres.
NEW GEN shouts quite loudly that the 'urban' scene, as some might call it, cannot just be referred to as the 'grime' one - surely grime has played a fundamental role in its creation but it would be reductive and ,very simply put, incorrect to define it that way. And we can see that from the upbeat reggae-resembling tempo of Tiggs & Avelino's 'Ring The Alarm', the trap bass-heavy sounds of 'Money Haffi Mek' and 'Jackets', the intimate introspective melodies of 'Thoughts' and 'Life Support', the wifey-riddim sounds of 'My Ways', and the summer sunshine sonorities of WSTRN's 'Loose'.
This album feels like the UK underground's Pandora box - once you open it you don't know if you'll get rap, blues, trap, grime, hip-hop or dancehall vibes, but what we know with certainty is that you'll be dazzled.