Will MoStack Extend His Influence on His New Tape?
9 Sep 2021
With MoStack dropping his highly anticipated ‘High Street Kid 2’ mixtape this month, it feels like the perfect time to examine his career and influence on the music scene so far. The North London rapper has been responsible for a number of massive hits and collaborations, and has helped to bring the sounds of artists and producers alike to a wider audience, all whilst maintaining a high level of sonic integrity. Since the mid 2010’s, Stacko has never been too far away from greatness. We are now in a position to look at MoStack as a pioneer of the new generation, using his unique combination of glitzy production and melodic flows to fall into a genre that is difficult to pin down, yet has provided the artist with mainstream success.
MoStack burst onto the scene at the end of 2014 with his track ‘No Buddy’, which took off on LinkUpTV and opened the door for the rapper to tour with Stormzy in 2015. The rapper’s smooth, musical flows instantly translated to UK Rap fans which created overnight success, as he followed up this debut with, ‘So Paranoid’, a collaboration with J Hus. This track still holds up to this day as a vibrant UK Rap banger, as the two artists began to show signs of an undeniable chemistry which still feels just as exciting whenever they hop on a track together. What is apparent in these early songs is that MoStack has been unique from the jump, as his cadence behind the microphone, accompanied by his beat selections make for a sound more energetic and vibrant than the grittier tones of drill and grime which were beginning to take over the mainstream during this period.
It is interesting to view this movement away from traditional UK Rap soundscapes when considering MoStack’s musical influences. iLL BLU, a producer and frequent collaborator with MoStack, has previously spoken about the rapper’s love for early 2000’s Hip Hop and R&B, citing Fabolous’ ‘So Into You’, and ‘Smile’ by G-Unit as two of the rapper’s favourite songs. We can therefore clearly see the amalgamation of these two genres in MoStack’s music, as there is an evident crossover in terms of production and vocal delivery that plays out across his discography. Along with his smash single, ‘Liar Liar’, MoStack’s debut mixtape, ‘High Street Kid’, propelled the artist to mainstream success, gaining him a top 20 in the UK album charts and cementing his position as one of the most exciting talents in a new generation of artists. The high pitched vocal instrumentals accompanied by Stacko’s carefree lyricism and microphone presence created a selection of lively tracks, with ‘Screw and Brew’, a collaboration with 0121 rapper Mist, standing out as one of the best from the tape.
This success was backed up by one of MoStack’s crowning career moments in 2017, as the rapper collaborated with Dave to deliver the classic, ‘No Words’. Both artists complemented each other beautifully to create a smash record, assisted by the production of Steel Banglez. This track reached the top 20 of the UK singles chart and felt like a seminal moment in terms of UK Rap being taken seriously by a mainstream audience. It is important to remember therefore that MoStack was at the forefront of this, as it can often feel as if he is overlooked when considering the pioneers of the new era of UK Rap. The artist would go on to collaborate again with Banglez, along with AJ Tracey on the track, ‘Fashion Week’, which scored a top ten and demonstrated a magic hit making ability between artist and producer. MoStack consolidated this string of hits with a solid debut album, ‘Stacko’, which saw the artist collaborate with a who’s who of UK Rap talent. His track with Stormzy played into his R&B influences, whilst ‘I’m The One’ with Fredo showed that the artist can keep up with the best of them in terms of lyrical ability.
This type of lyrical output is something I’m most excited to see play out on MoStack’s new tape and other tracks in the near future. The rapper has already had one of the verses of the year with his appearance on Chip’s track, ‘100K’, while his latest single, ‘Ride’, shows the versatility of the artist as both rapper and singer. As I wrote at the start of this piece, MoStack has never been too far away from greatness. He has opened doors to mainstream music consumption and built foundations for a new generation of UK artists. Both ‘100K’ and ‘I’m The One’ have shown that greatness is within MoStack’s grasp, and I am hopeful that ‘High Street Kid 2’ will be the place where he reaches it.