It’s the start of February and cats are already staking their claim for who owns 2016. Early to jump, South London grime artist/rapper/singer/roadman Bonkaz has drawn a line in the sand with his #MixtapeOfTheYear project and dared any MC brave enough to cross it. With cuts produced by Greatness Jones (OVO, Dave East), Chase N. Cashe and some of the finest studio rats across London, this one was guaranteed to crack the subwoofers.
After lighting up charts and TV screens all over Europe with “We Run The Block” last year, the 7 Side spitter hit the road hard to solidify his status in the game. The record stands to this day as a banger that can rinse from the club in Notting Hill to a Beamer creeping through Zone 4 in Atlanta. So did Bonkz figure out how to follow-up his first hit record with an equally dope project?
The mixtape starts on a slower note, getting into his come-up and the saga behind the street legends before diving into the instant UK classic “Run Off The Endz.” One spin of this tune and you’ll instantly get familiar with the energy, lyricism and distinct vocals of London’s next up. Back to back with that is the Stormzy feature on “And Dat” that has had heads thirsty with anticipation after snippets were leaked on IG in January. The catch-phrase fueled anthem shows both Bonkaz and Little Bonkaz (Stormzy’s old nickname) flexing in the streets. Don’t be surprised if the boys repping that owl start dropping “…and dat” at the end of all their sentences soon.
Producers were lining up down the block to get a record on this joint but none compete with “Paid in Full 2” from Chase n Cashe. The revived hood tale gets a few new paradigm twists that resemble a young Nas in storytelling form. You can almost smell the gunpowder in the air as this one wraps.
“So the lil n****s pulled up tooled up
Walked up to the whip acting like it’s all love
Mitch rolled his window down – he’s like ‘You cool, blood’
Lil n**** tried to hit him up but the clip stuck
Mitch pulled a 9 out quickly and let 5 out
Other lil n***a froze up – it’s his time now
Ace pointing at em, he standing there with a dry mouth
This ain’t a game lil n***a no time outs
Went up in his dome then headed back to their own zone
Gotta regroup get some lil n***as that’s homegrown
In need of burners, in need of shooters, in need of funds
I’ll let you know what really happen when the sequel comes”
With most of the year still left, there is no telling whether another project will eclipse this one but for the hungry Croydon trapper that has labels blowing up the phone, the grind starts now. If he follows in the footsteps of Stormzy and the OG Skepta, he should be shutting down stages all over North America very shortly.