As the UK’s various rap scenes continue to mutate and evolve, more and more fascinating takes on their history are emerging from dark corners of the web.
Much as artists like Lil B and Clams Casino opened trap music up into a world of cloud rap, SoundCloud rappers and various ironic offshoots, the best producers and MCs in the UK are pushing grime, UK rap and afroswing into boundaryless new directions.
East London MC Shumba Maasai’s new track ‘AK Sutt’in’ is the perfect example. Premiering today on Dummy and produced by MiniGOLD, it’s a hazy, borderline psychedelic take on UK drill. Over a cloud rap-inspired beat, all shimmering synth lines and reverb-soaked snares, Maasai delivers a hard-edged series of bars, boasting about trips to Vienna, busting up sets with a titular ‘AK Sutt’in’ and even dropping in a reference to legendary Nigerian funk musician William Onyeabor.
While Maasai’s flow is unmistakably drill-inspired, there are elements of American boom-bap present as well. With its dreamy instrumental and layered vocals, the whole track has a unassumingly chilled, almost conscious vibe. Speaking about the track, Maasai says: "This track is about the expression of having fun celebrating life being free and not letting things hold you down."
Alongside ‘AK Sutt’in’ Maasai has released a Space Invaders-style video game, where you can shoot down the negativity all around us. You can play that here.
Listen to 'AK Sutt'in' below.