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Five on it: will a grime clash save us from 2020?

Will Chip clashing Stormzy be enough entertainment to distract our music editor from the stress of 2020? Plus new releases from Br3nya, Headie One, Jungle Pussy, R.A.E. and Mali Hayes.

09 Oct 2020

Five on it photograph: screenshot of Chip via YouTube video for ‘Flowers’

If the past few months have taught me anything, it’s an appreciation for genuinely engrossing distraction. I want my brain to be consumed by entertainment so I don’t spiral endlessly into The News or The Real World (not to be confused with seminal reality show, MTV’s The Real World). Finally, I understand that video where Juliette Lewis is screaming, “Can’t you save us Britney Spears? Can we be saved?!”

This past week a distraction has emerged – something that might rescue our brains a little, if not “save us” more generally. 

I am talking, of course, about Chip vs. Stormzy. Chip’s involvement in any given grime clash is a guarantee of elite levels of bars – his verse on ‘Waze’, which seemingly started this particular beef off, is easily one of the best of the year. Did Stormzy really pull up to Chips home back in June? Is Chip being endorsed by fossil fuels corporations now (the top comment is literally from Shell, wow)? As our culture editor asked: is Munya Chawawa somehow being leaked the inside scoop on pop culture 24 hours before anyone else?

Whatever the answers to any of these questions are, the point is it’s entertaining. The jokes are flowing, the anticipation is mounting for who will do or say what next and – if you block out certain parts of the internet – you can almost pretend it is the old times. 

And so I am burying my head in the sand some more and just enjoying these new releases, here’s Five on it:

Br3nya ft. Ivorian Doll – ‘Bezerk’

This goes so hard! The beat is sensational and both MCs show off their nonchalant prowess. We’ve said it before, the women of UK rap are killing it right now.

Junglepussy – ‘Main Attraction’

Spiralling polished beats and assured delivery, the NYC rapper has us raring to go for her upcoming album, JP4. The visuals are strange and stunning, and this is the kind of music you should play when you’re trying to get yourself gassed up.

Headie One – Edna

It’s Headie One season, and album number one is finally here to cement the deal. Named after his late mother and boasting features from both UK and North American heavyweights, this is polished, slick and full of deft style.

R.A.E. – Listen Up

The old school kind of energy that permeates young Londoner R.A.E.’s music is joyous. If you want warm instrumentals and aesthetics that take you back to, say, TLC (and, of course, Ali G in this video) topped with bright, colourful bars that take you back to the present day, you need to check her out.

Mali Hayes – ‘Save Ourselves’

A gentle balm of a song from this Manchester artist softly reminds us about sustainability and collectivism, urging us to work together to save ourselves. She probably has a point.

You can follow the Five on it playlist on Spotify.