“In a world that is often especially harsh and dismissive towards black womxn – even within the world of hip-hop – it’s almost historic for the next generation to witness Megan build a world and brand so authentic to her experience, and for her to live it with unadulterated confidence, beauty and success.
Her modern-day mantras are recited globally, out loud at her shows, online and in headphones. In the three years she’s been releasing music, Megan Thee Stallion has already been able to instil her – mostly black, femme-identifying and young – fanbase with a vitality often more readily associated with her more veteran counterparts. And she’s done it through genuine visibility and representation. “I try to put confidence in my fans when I’m rapping, because when you repeat after me, you need to really believe in what you’re saying!” she says.”
Unknown T is having a hell of a week.
“It’s early August and the east London drill artist is in the thick of the promotional phase of his debut mixtape Rise Above Hate. Whether it’s starring in comedy sketches with fitness beast Armz Korleone or hosting listening parties on No Signal Radio, not to mention his long-overdue link up with internet persona Unknown P, he’s impossible to miss across social media. On the day of the interview, he’s busy filming YouTube reaction videos but breaks from the session to jump on Zoom. I mention that it’s clear he’s having a lot of fun with his return back to music over the last few months. He beams and coyly asks in his bassy, rumbling voice: “Have you noticed?”
Born Daniel Lena and raised in Homerton in the borough of Hackney, Unknown T crashed onto the UK rap scene in early 2018. An incendiary Mad About Bars freestyle served as introduction to his distinctive style, a blaze of UK slang over hard drill beats, before his debut smash Homerton B cemented him as one of the most exciting voices to come out of the capital, establishing his name, his area and his ability to bring drill to the clubs too – the addictive catchphrase “bend your back and just dig it” lit up every party for months. In seemingly no time at all, Lena had put drill music on the radar of the broadsheets, the fashion press and in the charts (Homerton B peaked at No. 48). Harnessing that momentum, collaborating with the likes of Crazy Cousinz, WSTRN and AJ Tracey by the summer of 2019.”
The Portland artist, née Adam Aminé Daniel, first catapulted into the public consciousness in 2016 when his viral banger ‘Caroline’ captured hearts globally. In the endearing homemade video – directed by Daniel himself – we watch as he rides around his hometown with a squad of friends, hanging out of a moving car, rapping about the mystery titular woman.
Fast-forward four years, the dreads are longer, the cars are faster and the video budgets have grown ostensibly (see here: the accompanying visuals for recent single ‘Riri’). But the heart of what makes Aminé so idiosyncratic remains intact: his charisma and wit; his ability to take a decent hook, an infectious beat and pair them with a wildly distinctive approach to rap visuals that takes heed from the golden era of MTV.”
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Introducing Vagabon: ‘This is who I am. My music is what I’m offering.’ – Taken from print issue no.2