M HUNCHO & NAFE SMALLZ – DNA: Two of British trap’s stars join forces to showcase their talent and excellent chemistry

Two of the UK hip hop scene’s most prominent artists, M Huncho & Nafe Smallz don’t disappoint in this project and reaffirm their dominance of British trap.

2020 has been an awful year for most of us. However, there are still positives and the British rap scene’s growth during it is just one example.

With British hip hop now firmly in the mainstream, the scene has maintained its dazzling growth over the past few years with new talents making their way to the top of the scene.

M Huncho and Nafe Smallz are just two examples of them and both having emerged in the mid 2010’s, have now pioneered ‘‘trap-wave’’, a new form of trap music which arguably has now become a fusion of both the Atlanta and London sounds and has been called woozy and ‘‘wavy’’ (slang for cool). The duo in particular have garnered immense success and popularity for their combination of authentic lyricism and slick melodic production, and becoming known for their excellent chemistry based on previous collaborations, this project really shows the electricity sonically between them.

With the project being the second in a year for both of the, DNA (Initials for Da New Age, did you think the initials were to do with molecules) is their first joint one and is a presentation of how slick the trap-wave sound has become, with catchy melodies, sharp consistent flows and hard-hitting bars across all 13 tracks. With only two features courtesy of regular collaborators Young Adz and Yxng Bane, the duo definitely do the heavy work on this project.

Highlights include lead single ‘‘5AM’’ with intense and direct bars such as ‘‘Nothin’ nice, council house, no curtains//All my life (Yeah), lookin’ for my purpose’’ and an immensely catchy hook along with the haunting and emotional ‘‘Royalty’’, where the duos’ perfect blend of Auto-Tune, echo, lyrics and production fit together like jigsaw puzzle pieces.

While the lyrics overwhelmingly focus on the familiar topics of sex, money, drugs and braggadocio, the duo take a fresh approach to these rap staples with Huncho contributing deeper tones and an array of flows transitioning between tempos and melodies effortlessly and Smallz, who contributes higher-pitched tones and slower-pitched flows in a fashion which overall provides sonic depth and allows the duo to complement one another almost perfectly.

In general, the project is vibrant, packed with energy and is the perfect blend of American trap and British hip hop. While there aren’t many club bangers, it is definitely the kind of project one can take in when you’re really chilled out and just like it did for me, it will make you zoned out and lost amongst the melodies and flows. It’s a positive, though.

M Huncho and Nafe Smallz are definitely not going anywhere anytime soon. Their sound has become one of the sounds and voices of urban youth in Britain picturing images of fast-paced lives, sex, drugs, money and alcohol, all things which form significant parts of youth culture. With this level of chemistry and talent, the duo will continue to go further.

In all fairness, I’m not even a big fan of trap but these two artists are absolutely dope and this project is nothing less and so you really need to listen to it.

Rean Rehman

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