Suburban Spotlight: Cardiff
27 Oct 2020
Welcome to the seventh edition of Suburban Spotlight, which aims to highlight some of the best new and upcoming rappers from around the country. For this edition, we decided to head to Wales and explore what talent has been tucked away in the western side of central southern Great Britain. Home to the likes of Sonny Double 1 and many more, we picked out 6 rappers that are ready to take on the British Rap scene!
Mace The Great
If you are familiar with the Welsh Rap scene, then you will have undoubtedly heard of Mace The Great. Proving to be one of the next rising rappers to emerge from Cardiff, the 26 year-old, born and raised in the big city, has been making subtle yet effective waves over the last few months. Influenced by an array of championed names within Grime: BBK, Chip, Dizzee Rascal, Bashy and Kano, Mace The Great is slowly but surely paving a lane of his own. Putting pen to paper back in 2010, it wasn’t until 2015 that the emcee began creating his own music. Fast forward to the present day, Mace The Great is more determined than ever to take what’s looking like a prosperous career ahead to higher heights. Beginning his journey in a crew named Flow Dem, Mace The Great dropped his first track ‘Big Rhymes’ and since then it’s been nothing but an up-hill climb! Having dropped a string of successful singles this year including “Scheming & Plotting” alongside Manga Saint Hilare, “It’s Mad” featuring fellow Welsh rapper Traxx which is currently sat at over 100,000 streams; not to mention “On My J’s“, “Why U Vex“, “Brave” and his “Charlie Foxtrot” EP. Infusing his dynamic wordsmith in with a limitless range of backdrops, Mace The Great recently delivered a quality cut titled, “Established” (below). With production from Chris Rich, the Welsh-native explores his growth musically, as he talks about what it takes to be established, i.e. gaining respect and significant relevance, one of which many emerging emcees can relate to! Although he’s still at the very beginning of his career, Mace The Great is most definitely one to watch!
At just 20 years old, Juice Menace has proven to be one of Cardiff’s most exciting and fresh talents to take on the British Rap scene. Having already gained an impressive and hungry fan base, the female force first began tapping into music at the flourishing age of 18. Stepping onto the scene back in the summer of 2019 with her debut bouncing and vibrant single titled, “Hardly”, it’s been nothing but an up-hill climb for the versatile emcee since! Influenced by the likes of Travis Scott, Dimzy, and old school rappers such as Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Eve, you can tell Juice Menace has studied music thoroughly. Housing an open mind and an undeniable versatile tone, the Cardiff-native has proved her artistry over an array of various differentiating genres with tracks like “Bounterfeit” and more recently with her most prominent track “Sundown” – a heavily influenced Garage cut that explores her ambition and drive. Later last month, Juice Menace returned with “No Speaking” (below), a hard-hitting and skittering Drill offering that embodies the rising star’s empowerment, fierceness and no-nonsense approach. With more heat pending, this isn’t the last time you’ll hear of Juice Menace!
Although Kinnigan is at the very beginning of his career, the 19 year-old has shown huge potential with his melodic style of Rap. Taking influence from the ever-growing Trap-wave sound that has emerged from the UK over the last few years from the likes of D Block Europe, M Huncho, Nafe Smallz and Yung Fumes as well as U.S hit-makers Roddy Ricch and Lil Wayne, Kinnigan has put his own spin on the glossy sound. Starting out as something to do for fun with his cousins, Kinnigan soon found a passion through freestyling that has since made him want to pursue a career in music. Having only started releasing music for 4 months via SoundCloud, through trial and error, the rappers hunger and determination shines throughout his music. In infusing his relatable, authentic and raw wordsmith over a variety of seamless and buttery backdrops, Kinnigan recently dropped his most prominent track to date, “No Pain No Gain” (below) which solidifies exactly that. We can’t wait to see what he has in store next!
L E M F R E C K
Starting to put pen to paper from the age of 14 years old, L E M F R E C K would finish school and head to the music department at the University that his father was lecturing at, and sit for hours on Logic playing around with music. Growing up in a musical household, he began playing instruments from a young age before stumbling across the ferocious sounds of Grime. Fascinated by Kano, Chip and Ghetts, the Welsh native began spitting bars and participating in clash’s to help develop his unquestionable skill. It wasn’t until he turned 24 that he began sharing music of his own and has since spent countless hours perfecting his craft a rising musician. Bursting onto the scene last year with “Violence…”, “Osnw” and his ‘Sinners, Volume. 1’ EP, L E M F R E C K kicked off 2020 with “U Gd?” (below). Letting his creative juices flow throughout lockdown, this rhythmic and head-bopping drop turned the heads of many. Boasting a dynamic flow and quality wordsmith, L E M F R E C K leaves you captivated from start to finish. Following through with ‘Lo & Behold’ alongside his 4-track EP titled, ‘Midnight Hour’, L E M F R E C K is proving him self to be one of the most exciting and promising rappers to emerge from the Welsh ends!
You may recognize Traxx from his previous group named Astroid Boys, who accumulated a boastful number of views a few years back. Setting pace as an artist in his own right, the Welsh native first found his love for music at the age of 13 and started out in Punk bands before he discovered the hard-hitting vibrations of Grime. Launching onto the scene at the latter end of 2018, Traxx dropped his debut solo track titled, “Spiritual War”, a laid-back and nonchalant offering that saw his bars take centre-stage over the flute-led backdrop, that was shortly followed by the assertive sounds of “Ditch”. Since then, he has handed over an impressive 5-track EP titled, ‘Do or Die Alive’. Often pairing more serious subjects with fun-filled and atmospheric instrumental’s, an old-school feeling overrides his sound, bringing a sense of nostalgia to the ever-growing modern soundscape. Kick starting the new decade with his latest single “Shake Em Off” (below), this track is a vibrant and head-bopping anthem that’s enriched with a feel-good energy! Staying consistent with that nostalgic feel, the visuals only correlate with this and in turn add a further fun-filled feel to the track. Paving a lane of his own, Traxx is certainly one to watch!
At 25 years of age, DBS has been heavily influenced by a variety of genre-defining artists including Skepta, Frisco and JME, as well as old-school artists from America including Lauryn Hill and 50 Cent. Paying close attention to their legacy-holding artistry, the ascending rapper has been working to perfect his craft for many years, however it wasn’t until around 2 years ago that he decided to take his career in music to the next level. In March of 2018, DBS took to our screens with the visuals for “You Already Know”, introducing himself to the world, this was our first insight into his sound. Later following through with his 6IX9INE “GUMMO” remix named, “Free Ricky”, he began to highlight his ability to create infectious flows before gracing 2019 with “Eratik”, an assertive and no-nonsense offering that displayed his evident growth. Stepping into 2020 with a bang, the Welsh emcee recently dropped the visuals for his latest head-bopping anthem, “Buss It” (below). Enriched with a rhythmic steel drum, that’s bound to leave you up and moving, DBS is more determined than ever, and that stays evident with this cut. Turning the heat up, this is arguably his best song to date; gliding with ease through the instrumental, DBS flexes his bouncing flows and memorable wordsmith from start to finish. With more music pending, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for DBS!