2018 has started with every intention to overwhelm us, and leave us wondering where the hell did the time go the same way the year before it did. As much as things continue to change, there’s still so much that lingers on in terms of the music we’re working our way through in the UK and all over the world. In the case of the UK Drill scene however, I don’t think it’s unfair to say that both artists and audiences alike have felt the scene start to plateau and lose focus. For every new act who comes in with a new style or lingo, ten or twelve acts appear ready to cannibalize their freshness, leaving us with the same sort of grim exhaustion that skeptics have been complaining about. Road rap in general has seen so many rises and falls in the last decade or so, so how many of the drillers are prepared for the moment when they’re expected to leave as soon as they’ve come?
Whether or not we get to see who’ll come out in the end, we know all too well that 67 have been here since the beginning. Arguably one of the biggest acts UK rap has ever seen, the group have gone from strength to strength, even unintentionally birthing the scene’s biggest parody record. Perhaps that’s why their most recent outing is both a return to the familiar and a step in a new direction? Monkey and Dimzy find themselves reunited with in house producer Carns Hill for “WAPS Came First”, where we’re returning to the South London crew muttering threats and boasts over gloomy dread in hazy videos. Original member SJ’s recent release from prison might be the reason why the two rappers sound hungrier than anything which emerged from last year’s The Glorious Twelfth, and Carns Hill bizarre post-EDM synth lines and new drum sounds hint at a more spacious direction than the moody minor-key piano melodies that dominate so much of current sonics in UK drill at the moment. If the scene were to vanish in the next twelve months, I think we’d all agree that 67 would easily have been one of the standout groups in terms of curation and quality music. But “WAPS Came First” appears to hint at them having every intention of outlasting a trend that might be coming to an end this year.
Words: Maxwell Cavaseno