Jelani Blackman Calls On Kojey Radical For ‘Izit’ Single

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

29 Nov 2022

Jelani Blackman has joined forces with Mercury Prize shortlisted artist Kojey Radical for his new single ‘Izit’, out now via 18 Records / MNRK. The poignant track premiered as The Hottest Record on BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds show last week and follows Jelani’s previous single ‘Comfy’, which this month became his first track to be playlisted on the station. It caps a hugely successful year for the London rapper and singer that’s seen him complete his first UK headline tour, play a busy summer of festivals including Glastonbury & Leeds Festival, and have his track ‘Maybe Not’ included in the FIFA 23 soundtrack.

Produced by Linden Jay and mastered by Engine-Earz, ‘Izit’ sees two of UK rap’s most unique voices combine for a high energy release of pent up frustration. Taking aim at social injustice and those in power, Jelani and Kojey trade vocals over a stripped back, bass heavy beat that’s been an incendiary focal point of Jelani’s live sets in recent times. 

Speaking on the single, Jelani says:

Anyone who follows my music knows I like to touch on social commentary and I think this music and message is the strongest statement I’ve made. It’s about standing up and taking note of the constant injustice and inequality we have to deal with because of greed, prejudice and power. Kojey’s a very talented artist, we’ve known each other for a while and been waiting to collaborate at some point. I’m happy this is the track we linked up on because I think it reflects the energy we both have. There’s so much tension and hate in the world at the moment and not always clarity. I hope the lyrics and force in this track fuels people’s energy, to push actions and voices further, so positive change can’t be ignored.”

Heavily influenced by R&B and soul, yet coming up at a time when Grime was everywhere, Jelani Blackman’s sound swerves stereotypes, blending the hard with the soft, the dark with the light; reflected in an impressively diverse rollcall of collaborators that runs from Gorillaz, Fraser T Smith and Ghetts all the way through to Brian Eno, Burna Boy and Wolf Alice. Forging his own lane in a UK scene bursting with talent, the tips from tastemakers have continued to roll in, spurred on by a now iconic COLORS Session and culminating in the release of his much celebrated Unlimited Mixtape at the end of 2021. Now free to perform the songs that blew up over lockdown, and with a host of new material ready to go, the next chapter is under way for one of the UK’s most unique and dynamic rappers.