Kwakzino aka Kwakz is 28 and grew up in South Norwood near Croydon. He now studies in High Wycombe and has been writing lyrics on and off since he was 13. He’s been focused on music since he was 21 and released his first mixtape aged 23.
I asked Kwakz a few questions to get to know the guy behind #2Legit2Quit…
What/who are your 3 biggest influences?
My mum, uncle, Jesus Christ
What about your musical influences?
My three biggest musical influences that inspired me to get into music are, Oxide and Neutrino, Kirk Franklin and Tupac lol. When I was young I loved all of their music and in their own way each have had an impact on me and played a part in me going into music and taking seriously.
How would you describe your sound?
Different, counter-culture, exciting and again…different
What’s your favourite tune off the EP and why?
My favourite song depends on my mood. I’m really proud of this body of work.
My top three songs personally are:
What’s your top 5 played tunes this month?
Ay I am a music head I love a good song that can just take me away some times.
This month I’ve been on a different vibe and found a few foreign bangers too.
Love that. What are your plans for summer/any gigs?
Ayye summer will be fun and I most definitely will be playing as many gigs as possible then. As well as the music; Summertime I’m looking to be putting on Project Elevate which was birthed last year and is a creative space for young people to come and take advantage of during the 6 week break where they can develop various creative or technical skills; be inspired and have a safe place to chill out and meet new people.
That’s sick. Big up yourself for giving back. What’s the last best gig you’ve been to? The most fun I’ve had at gig was at my own EP launch earlier this year and I booked my friend Rhymestar to come down and perform his new single Understand Me along with my other guy Maxx Profits and they both absolutely killed it. I can’t remember being more gassed than that at a performance in the last few years…
If you could have one dream collab who would it be and why?
A dream collab would have to be with Bob Marley and Tupac; but that will have to wait until Heavens doors open and everything little thing will be alright 🙂
Who produced the EP?
Eerf Evil (Live Free) is my blood brother and also fellow rhymer and constant inspiration in my life. I am looking forward to more collaborations with these talented artists and producers.
Now for the review, please have a read and a listen.
#1 A chilled out summer old school hip hop Reggie Snow vibe. Solid opening track.
#2 Ad libs. UK Rap is doing it’s a ting right now and this track proves the longevity of the trap beat and ad libs combo. Lyrically tight with honest content this gives us a glimpse into Kwakzino’s journey into music.
#3 Journey – this is my favourite tune off the EP. Life is for living not for being shook. Sick opening bar. The instrumental is beautiful and Kwakzino’s flow compliments the narrative of the tune Journey. Solid hook, after one listen I couldn’t get it out of my head. “Hard work pays, that’s all I push now”
#4 We get to track 4 and Kwakzino proves he can spit. I like the continuity and the consistent positive message he spreads. Again the lyrics reflect that music is his ting now, it’s rare that someone calls bs on trapping and the headache that comes with being in the game. I respect his hustle and the message. Also, the beat is SICK.
#5 A chilled out vibe, looking forward to listening to this over summer.
#6 Living life and I’m loving it. SNM. I want to hear this in the rave. Kwakzino has an ear for beats which is clearly demonstrated through the variety of tracks on the project. This is the biggest beat, it goes hard and I’m loving it.
#7 I dare you to listen to this and not dab. This tune made me happy and count my blessings. Life is good when you listen to BLESSED.
#8 This is catchy and vibey as hell. Ending the EP on another big beat. Kwakzino’s voice is sick this is a solid EP that illustrates his ability to bridge genres, present the best that UK rap has to offer with flow and the skill of storytelling through his lyrics.
I predict big things to come.
This time last week I was getting ready to SHELL IT THE F DOWN at the biggest motive of the year. The legendary Sian Anderson hooked me up with 2x tickets to the Floor Sixx official launch party. See the video below for the waviness. Sian and J2K have set up a mentoring scheme, creative hub and label for emerging artists. Such a sick idea with clout and opportunities that have been lacking for too long in the industry, huge ratings for this initiative. Read Notion’s article for more details here.
Juice and POWERRRR Juice and POWEEER
Afro B performed this at Sian’s Fluxx at Floor 6 launch party on Friday (did I mention it was a lituation?) and it went OFF. Yes to Bagel King cameo. Afro B just keeps coming through with the vibes.
Kojo Funds dropped the visuals for Fear No One. He does no wrong.
Hardy Caprio’s latest. Enjoy.
Mist is doing it right now. He makes me so proud to be from Birmingham. And I will forever love him for coming through with the “karlas, apnars, gorahs” line. YES. This is my favourite video in a LONG time. He’s in Iceland and husky is wearing his chain – are you dumb?! The fur trim jackets and the 50 Cent swag – he is killing it.
This is the best tune out right now.
You alright yeah?! Ask your mum she good yeah?!
This song is great. Jokes and jiggy. Check it out.
I know it was released way before now but this week I have been banging this tune. It’s a mad collab and one to reload.
Kendrick coming through with Humble. I am feeling the comeback of Kendrick, his last two releases have been interesting and a sign of great things to come. The video is awesome, mad trippy and makes you wanna wile out.
Drake dropped More Life and it is giving me More Life.
I appreciate it as a solid album that flows seamlessly from track to track.
Also, massive respect to Drake for the recognition. His album is a salute to the UK music scene. It’s only good for our music to get the publicity and attention it is long overdue.
BUT, idk idk I just cba with at least half of the tracks on there. Every tune is decent but I can only listen to Drake whining for so many tracks in succession.
Do not get it twisted. I love Drake. From Time G. This is just my opinion on the album. I would have preferred an actual collab with Dave but maybe we aren’t ready for that level of greatness yet.
Here is my spotify playlist version of the album. Half the tracks but double the skengness.
#1 I hate the way he says Free Shmoke in Free Smoke and again he seems to be moaning about something but I’m not really sure what? Your life seems nice b, relax.
#2 Giggs is MY GUY. But No Long Talk is too beggy for life. Drake is trying to hard to fall in with the crew and it’s not Giggs best verse. BUN ALL THESE AMERICANS that are cussing Giggs though. BUN YOUR ENTIRE EXISTENCE. The only reason No Long Talk is a track is because of hollowman.
#3 Passionfruit. Now THIS. THIS is something I can get with. This would be my first track on the album. Vibey as fuck and I love the Moodyman skit (37:39 in). This song is perfect. Well done drizzy.
#4 BIG UP WEST MIDS ALL DAY ALL DAY. Yes Jorja Smith. Jorja Interlude is sick because Jorja Smith’s voice is that good good honey and syrup and she’s from Walsall – love that. It ends with that Marvin’s room nostalgia from Take Care. Sick.
#5 Get It Together ❤ The interlude flows into this tune, Jorja’s vocals over a Katy B-esque beat. It’s funky, it’s R&B and will be played at many a UK BBQ this year. Gwarn Drake.
#6 Madiba Riddim + Drake crooning “I can’t tell who is my friend” it’s more of a miss than a hit for me. The instrumental would have been preferred to this version.
#7 BLEM …. UNRULY. Initially I was like but, “Blem means cigarette wtf m8?” NOW I am ouchea like “I’m blem for real I might just say how I feel”. Whatever you say blem means Aubrey then that’s gravy I’ll just be here doing the most. Also “I need you to stop running back to your ex, he’s a wasteman” is 100% every girl’s Instagram caption here on out.
#8 4422. Amazing. Sampha’s voice is sensational. His voice does make me feel quite melancholy though. Don’t know if banging this straight after Blem is such a good shout.
#9 Gyalchester. The beat drop that everyone wanted from the album. We had to wait until track 9 to get it but it was worth it. The classic Drake flow is gully as hell here. And he don’t take naps! This is all I wanted from him. Also, as an ex Manchester resident I am gassed for everyone who lives there now who can rightfully bang this hard.
#10 Skepta Interlude. Skeppy is a madness. Block that account it’s a catfish. I wanted to hear Drake’s take on grime. He made a smart move by just letting the best bless his album and bring grime the only way Skepta can. This goes hard and is a nice relief from the whining on the album.
#11 Portland. The rising popularity in flutes and trap is sick. I am with it. Quavo and Travis Scott come through with the jiggiest of tunes.
#12 Sacrifices ft 2 Chainz and Young Thug. Everyone is too gassed by Youth Thug’s voice on this. I really do not care the tune is kinda dead and feels like a filler. Young Thug’s voice does sound amazing in isolation so yes to more of this but bun this tune.
#13 Nothings Into Somethings. This is good if you’re looking for a sad-gang instagram caption. Otherwise again, boring.
#14 Teenage Fever. Mmmhmm honey. Yes. Sprung like spring. Grab your babes and tell em you love them. The new Marvin’s Room? (Nothing will beat Stevie Wonder pon the track but this is live). Love that Dave is on the outro. Big up Santan. Reminds me of I get lonely too. The J-Lo sample in this is perfection. If you like this tune you’ll love this old Cyril Hahn mix. Enjoy
#15 KMT. This. THIS. Giggs goes all the way IN. Bringing that dirty dirty, bringing that certy. This showcases Giggs flow, lyrical humour and all around gulliness. Thanks Drake for letting Giggs just kinda take this one. It works in your favour. AGAIN. Any Americans who don’t get Giggs, don’t understand grime and never will. So stay where you’re at beggy longstockings and listen to some EDM or some shit.
#16 Lose You. Yo Drake here, more whining fi ya head top. Leave this for your mixtape b.
#17 Can’t Have Everything. This makes me nostalgic for Take Care Underground Kings flow. It’s cool but he is just moaning again, I can’t relate homie. Your life is so bless. But your flow is still tight here so whatever.
#18 Glow. I love you Kanye. This is nice. It’s like the old Kanye, chop up the soul Kanye. This is peng. Makes me feel all glowed up. Well done to both.
#19 Since Way Back. I love PARTYNEXTDOOR. This is good, nothing amazing. Very average. Nice beat.
#20 Fake Love. This is a tune. Even though we have been playing this what feels like forever now I still love it. All round banger.
#21 Ice Melts. I way prefer Young Thug on this. Playful tune. A bit repetitive though. Quite like Drake’s mid-song intervention for the breakdown. Doesn’t make my version of More Life though.
#22 Do Not Disturb. NICE sampling. Drake does have sick taste. “I was an angry yout when I was writing Views” This is a nice end to the album and gives us more of an idea of where Drake is at emotionally with a life in the limelight. Check out the sample below it is beautiful. Here is an interview with Sona about her song being sampled on More Life.
There are so many big afrobeats and bashment tunes that are making me long for summer. Here are the tunes I have been playing this week. Top 11 not 10 because I am extra like that.
You are welcome.
My actual favourite rn. Problem Reekado Banks. It’s a problem. Sounds straight from Lagos.
She needs more wood for the fire.
“Jinja: 1. To give excessive energy to a person or situation, epecially through dance.
2. To make someone or something more lively. ”
She listen to lemonade, now she inna hella rage she don’t wanna talk to wastemen. Preach Fuse abeg.
Ice Prince is that afrobeats veteran. I am still waiting for another Oleku. This is a tune but I don’t think it needs Krept & Co.
I dare anyone to listen to this tune and stay still.
EUGY OFFI-CI-AL he can do no wrong.
An Alkaline & Konshens collab is always going to pop.
His voice never gets old. Gyptian coming through as usual.
Everything you want from a dancehall tune and video.
Ryan De La Cruz – Know About Me
This is LITTY. Catch me jacking this tune and loading the gun fingers when power walking through hundreds of people in the underground. Motivation for the nation.
Zee Trigger – Hush Up the Silence
The video says it’s Wiz Kid and Drake – ignore this. They have released their version of this tune because obviously Drake is begging to jump on an afrobeat tune as soon as possible. I haven’t heard the full version with Drake yet but whoever Zee Trigger is I am feeling his voice.
Young T x Bugsey x Belly have COME THROUGH with the damn ting. The ad libs are perfect on this. I have had this tune on repeat since it dropped on the 5th.
Lifestyle Gangland. Snm
Future dropped two albums last week HENDRXX and FUTURE. Both bang hard.
Mask Off has become a fast favourite for most.
Selfish featuring Rihanna gives all the feels.
Coming out strong featuring the Weeknd is also unbelievably peng. Well done Future.
Did you see what I done?
Yes J Hus enter the place. This has been on repeat all week. I don’t know how but he’s pulling off that hat. Come through like crocodile dundee. J Hus has been talking about an album dropping soon – bound to be the sound of summer. He announced his tour and tickets are on sale now. No London dates announced tho kmt.
Kojo also killing it. No comparisons need to be made, he and J Hus are both doing things for afrobashment. They both make the waviest tunes.
M Dargg repping South London. Listen to chit chat here.
The date that has been heavily promoted for the past few weeks has finally come to be.
Stormzy’s album Gang Signs and Prayer was released today.
As a body of work it is solid and seamless, from interludes, content and features.
His album covers many themes, his depression, trauma, youth violence, living in the ends, doing road, drugs, sex, his friends, girlfriend Maya Jama, family and his faith.
His first official release was “Big for your boots” a raw banger that suggested the rest of his album was going to contain screw face content about bussin up a man. This definitely plays a prominent role as Big Mike reflects on his upbringing and the environment he now finds himself out of. Below is a quick review, favourite bars and themes. Thealbum is BIG go cop that.
I wanted to make a beautiful gospel song. But there’s a psychological thing that happens when I go into the booth [to sing]: when I’m listening back, I’m judging the song based on my vocal range. I said, “I’m not a fucking singer, I’m not Frank Ocean.” So I told [producer Fraser T. Smith], I want to record this in the studio, just on the sofa, live on the mic. I was able to do it without judging myself. “Blinded” reminds me of that Kanye West song, “Only One,” which is one of my favorites. The world loves that song, and we’re not judging Kanye for not sounding like fucking Usher. You can hear the sincerity of it, and it works. I needed to do that on my album. I was hellbent on getting all my emotions out in whatever way they needed to.
Lord help me please I’m breaking down
Tryna’ call my name and take my crown
Little bit of pain I’ll paint the town
When they put me in my grave don’t make a sound
Cos’ there’s still some days I find it hard
Smoke my spliff and write my bars
I know they see me climbing charts
But plaques won’t help me find my heart
Yo God, what’s good? I need you bad
Devil’s in my ear I need you back
Got scars in my soul I’ve been attacked
Even when I’m low I seem relaxed
But then year’s been mad I lost my way
They think I went ghost to drop my tape
Not knowing that I fell and lost my faith
Like Satan please no, not today
So fuck this shit this ain’t a joke
Just to get away I take a toke
I took this pain and made a boat
Lord knows how the fuck it’s staying afloat
Last year I cried too many times
Weren’t for Flipz and weren’t for rhymes
Weren’t for Rachel, weren’t for Kelly
Man them people saved my life
Like man’a get low sometimes, so low sometimes
Airplane mode on my phone sometimes
Sitting in my house with tears in my face
Can’t answer the door to my bro sometimes
Roaming around all alone sometimes
Don’t know sometimes
I was a young Ned Stark
But this shit’s like Game of Thrones sometimes
In time for the weekend tun up.
Migos are having an interesting time in the limelight. After Donald Glover accepted his Golden Globe for Atlanta (if you haven’t watched it yet get on it) and claimed Bad and Boujee to be the best song ever, Spotify saw a surge in the search for Migos.
The Viceland documentary on Atlanta features Migos, Lil Yachty, Young Jeezy, Young Thug and Killer Mike. If not to watch a neeky guy hanging out with all of the above it was entertaining to see the conception and growth of all these artists.
Their rendition of Llama Llama Red Pyjama is so jiggy it’s a wonder that all children’s books don’t come with a Migos inspired audio book.
I have listened to Kelly Price every day at least twice for the past 2 weeks.
It might not be the best off their album Culture but for me it’s hands down the tune you want to hear before you go out/in your uber.
I dare you to listen to it and not wile out.