After a brief hiatus the PIE Chart is back with a whole lot of music to talk about from the past month.
Since our last chart, both Kendrick and Drake, arguably the 2 premier rappers in the game right now, have released albums with Drake’s ‘More Life’ featuring a host of UK talent and various nods to the underground. One of the highlights is without a doubt Giggs’ appearance on KMT which charted at number 9. Giggs, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential underground artists in the UK, finally performed his first headline show in late 2016 and has had a very successful run on his UK wide Landlord tour after years of unfair treatment by the police who have shut down and blocked hundreds of his shows. This is an incredible feat – after over 10 years of being written off due to his uncompromising lyrics and demeanour, he is finally reaping the rewards.
SN1 member and brother of Giggs, Joe Grind came down to the PIE Radio studio for an interview with OFFICIALLY URBAN during the Manchester leg of the landlord tour. Click here to see how that went down.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top April releases from Manchester and beyond.
MistaKay – Man Spits
DIY champion MistaKay has proven time and time again that all the gear doesn’t necessarily mean you have any idea. The Doncaster producer has featured more than anyone else in the PIE chart and with good reason – his enviable mind-set and hunger have allowed him to consistently produce to a really high level on a relatively low budget. Not only can he produce, MistaKay has shown himself to be a quality vocalist. On ‘Man Spits’, a track that might have embarrassed a few MCs, MistaKay cleverly poses as 2 characters – a macca talking, wannabe gangster; and himself – the real, level headed family man. The visuals are also borderline genius and well worth the watch.
PK Brako – Maya
PIE Radio’s own PK Brako continues on his journey with a new instrumental E.P following his video release Poison ft. Black Josh. GIRLS / SYNTHS, his first full release on all platforms, shows a new level of conceptual maturity from the teenager, with each track being named after an influential female within the UK music industry. The first track, ‘Maya’, featuring production from frequent collaborator and Stella Beats cohort Harry Rodger, has received much praise, featuring as Amber Smith’s ‘#ShellShocked Producer track of the week’ on Reprezent Radio.
Dims X Kayrico – No Long Talkin
A link up between 2 of Manchester’s hottest prospects – Dims, 1/3 of SG, is no stranger to underground hits while Kayrico appears in the PIE chart for the second time with his second appearance on Link Up TV. The quality of the output from both artists has been really impressive so far and ‘No Long Talkin’ is no exception. The hook alone gives this track the potential to blow while the verses from both MCs definitely do their talent justice. For both artists it seems to just a matter of time and consistency.
Just Rome ft. Feeemo and Fabz – Lost
Just Rome is steadily on course to fulfilling his potential with consistent high quality releases. On ‘Lost’ the Manchester MC comes through with an incredibly unique release which has a real professional feel to it. This collaboration with the talented Feeemo and Fabz could easily be the theme to an advert for Adidas or JD Sports – hopefully foreshadowing for what is to come for the 3 artists in the not too distant future. ‘Lost’ is also available now on Spotify.
Fabz – On One (Sirens)
Fabz appears again with his video release ‘On One’ produced by Levelz’ Biome. The young Manchester mic man has been on the radar for a while now but it appears he is ready to take it to the next level with an album named ‘Struggle’ set for release this summer. With this release, Fabz showcases his high level ability to convey pain in his lyrics and delivery – the hallmark of a top Manchester MC. Expect to be taken aback by what the album has to offer.
Dámì – Suffering and Smiling
Dámì, although relatively unknown, makes this month’s chart with ‘Suffering and Smiling’, an artful and emotive track featuring talented vocalist Blessings. Similarities may be drawn between Dámì and artists such as Kojey Radical, George the Poet and Suli Breaks where there is clear influence. However, Dámì adds his own unique twist, allowing his Nigerian heritage to shine through in his pronunciation. If the Manchester artist continues with releases like this there is surely a bright future awaiting him.
IAMDDB – Back Again
IAMDDB is back again with her new video release ‘Back Again’ taken from the forthcoming VOL.2 project following her successful debut ‘WAEVEYBBY VOL.1’. Perhaps one of Manchester’s most commercially viable artists, the singer appears to level up with each release. The cinematic visuals of this release, directed by Tarnish Vision, more than do DDB’s heavenly vocals justice. Like many others within the city’s music scene, it appears to be just a matter of time before she receives wider acclaim. Watch IAMDDB in conversation with OFFICIALLY URBAN touching on her musical journey.
Sleazy F X Black Josh – Loyalty
Two of the biggest personalities in Manchester Music, Slack Jeazy dropped a brand new mixtape ‘Super Sag Bros EP’ on 4/20 and it didn’t disappoint. Nevertheless, the pair decided the E.P wasn’t enough for the public and proceeded with a drop on Sleazy’s YouTube channel. Another track produced by Biome who has been on fire recently, ‘Loyalty’ comes with a video directed by the highly sought out KC Locke in which the masters of sweg continue to stunt on everybody with maximum opulence.
Ezro – Do It
Underrated isn’t the word – many will recognise Ezro’s distinctive sound with high profile productions including AJ Tracey’s ‘Spirit Bomb’ and its remix featuring the likes of Dave, Merky Ace and Capo Lee (among others). However, the Vision Crew artist appears to have been slept on as an MC. In a scene where full length albums are a rarity and many artists neglect to release anything at all on mainstream platforms, Ezro offers up his debut ‘Ghost in the Blue’ – a mostly self-produced project featuring his peers, Novelist and Vision Crew. The result is scintillating, with Ezro clearly staking a claim as one of the UK scene’s most musically advanced and complete artists, conveying an atmosphere that somewhat resembles the feel of Isaiah Rashad’s ‘Cilvia Demo’. ‘Do It’, which comes with a cold set of visuals, is a highlight.
Novelist – Seraphim
Time after time, Novelist proves himself to be miles ahead of the rest. The ‘Chosen, Chosen One and Only’ often reminds us that he is a ‘producer who spits’ rather than vice versa, and with his latest drop the statement is reaffirmed. An instrumental E.P, ‘Be Blessed’ showcases Nov’s sui generis style and an advanced level of production unmatched by many. ‘Seraphim’, which has perhaps one of the most iconic intros to a track since Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Ho’, is the pick for this month’s chart.