The North has struck again. This latest human embodiment of lightning is a young rapper that goes by the name yugi and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Ask him yourself and he might tell you that he’s from the Shadow Realm or even Domino City, but in actuality yugi is from Leeds and his debut mixtape ‘PIXELATED CITY’, released on February 3, is the sort of thing you’d expect from an artist whose soundcloud profile goes back much further than 2016. Even his first ever upload, “adolescence” has an air of wit and confidence that would ordinarily signify more experience and definitely more notoriety; yugi opening with the line “dreams of being freer than a white kid with a kite” which only gets more and more entertaining as you pick it apart.
Across the 7 tracks on ‘PIXELATED CITY’ yugi exudes that same confidence. On project highlight ‘DIRTY DICKIES’ yugi asks “Who’s fuckin with me?” and considering the fact that this is his first project and he’s only 18, it’s a fair question. The whole project is bolstered by excellent production throughout, showcasing a brilliant ear for picking instrumentals. The production is handled by Sun God, Sid White, Drippy, 4k and Masked Man. Closing track ‘PHAROAH IMMORTALITY’ sounds like Odd Future circa 2011 if the group were a one man band with a fondness for trading card games, a fact which yugi isn’t oblivious to (‘shit sounds like that Trashwang”.) “ECZEMA INTERLUDE”, the second half of track 6 might be the most hype interlude of 2018 to date, the instrumental and chant of “I been feeling crippy, yo my blood is kinda heavy” practically forcing you to nod your head.
Leeds and the larger UK scene has gained a worthy asset in the self appointed Pharaoh. Only time will tell where yugi goes from here but based on the quality of this first outing, he’s definitely a contender for the next King of Games.
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Words: Sulaiman Fell