Crop Circle 3 Review: Nines Shows Creativity And Consistency As He Completes Trilogy

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

10 Oct 2023

Deep into a storied career, Nines has already established himself as an icon in UK Rap culture. The self proclaimed Harlesden Legend has been a heavyweight in our scene for over a decade, rising to prominence for his historic ‘Church Road To Hollywood’ and becoming part of just a handful of UK Rappers to secure a number one record with ‘Crabs In a Bucket’ in 2020. Throughout this arcing career we now have a string of ‘Crop Circle’ projects. What is now a mixtape trilogy seems to be becoming a defining sound for Nines, as he branches out into directing and filmmaking with his short film series of the same name.

‘Crop Circle 2’ only arrived at the back end of April 2023, following a semi-enforced three year hiatus after ‘Crabs In A Bucket’. For such a quick turnaround between projects does build scepticism about quality control, as the second part of the trilogy had some huge highlights but fell flat in other areas. These fears have also been rightly exacerbated by his latest single, ‘Toxic’, featuring Bad Boy Chiller Crew.

What should have been clear from the rapper’s ‘Daily Duppy’ is that when Nines is at the top of his game, he is still one of the best we have in this country. His introductory and concluding tracks are consistently some of his most powerful, and ‘Crop Circle 3’ is no exception. Nines’ tracks with Blade Brown and Skrapz stand out as some of his best performances, rising to the levels of his sparring partners. 

There are other highlights in terms of collaborations on this record, with the link up between Show N’ Prove and Tiggs Da Author continuing to be an unstoppable combination for the lead artist. Elsewhere, Muggz and Tunde bring a new energy on ‘I Do’, shifting the project into a strong second half.

What is abundantly clear is that Nines is making music for himself and his own enjoyment, along with the films that mirror this series of projects. As one of the most recognisable rappers in the UK, he could easily acquire higher profile names to feature, or play up to the sounds expected of him. Instead, the artist delivers a tape with features from the likes of Big Narstie and Mark Morrison, as well as a ‘Line Of Fire Pt. 7’ with his frequent collaborators. Even in the Bad Boy Chiller crew track you do still feel a sense of enjoyment from the rapper despite it lacking any sort of lyrical quality. At this stage of his career Nines is having fun with craft, and he still creates better music than most of his peers when doing so.

Star Rating 3.5/5