There is seemingly no end to Drake’s adoration of UK rap culture. Beginning with his impromptu features at Skepta’s London shows in 2015 and an effusive back-and-forth on social media, the Canadian rapper was soon bringing up obscure references to smoking a blem and wearing Hermès in “Gyalchester” on 2017’s More Life. Yet the pinnacle of his grime fascination came with the Channel 4 series Top Boy. Consistently posting stills of the show on his Instagram, featuring clumsy captions like “real bod man”, he couldn’t get enough of the east London drug gang drama.
Cancelled after two seasons, Drake has now been pivotal in bringing the show back to life on Netflix. It’s apt, then, that with grime’s ascension into the mainstream since Top Boy went off-air in 2013 that music is central to the new series. This compilation isn’t strictly a soundtrack but a collection of tracks loosely inspired by the show, featuring some of its newest onscreen stars like Dave and Little Simz, as well as standout talents from the wider scene like AJ Tracey, Ghetts and Headie One.
Read the review in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 17/09/19]