Project Review: Potter Payper Sets The Pace For UK Rap On ‘Thanks For Hating’

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

23 Feb 2024

Potter Payper’s rise to the highest heights of UK Rap has been far from linear. The artist has struggled to find stability in his life away from the booth, having been in and out of prison 15 times since his early teenage years. In spite of this, his musical output has been nothing short of spectacular.

His ‘Training Day’ mixtape trilogy saw him produce some of the most iconic UK Rap songs of the past decade, showcasing his ability to convey raw emotion as well as his supreme, uncompromising lyricism. His no holds barred approach carried through to his debut album, ‘Real Back In Style’, which recently picked up the MOBO award for album of the year. The Barking and Dagenham rapper has already accumulated a CV that puts him streets ahead of many of his contemporaries, yet he is clearly hungry for more. 

His latest release, ‘Thanks For Hating’, comes as a follow up to the 2021 mixtape, ‘Thanks For Waiting’. Both tapes sit at 18 tracks and contain more features than the average Potter project. There is certainly more room for the artist to experiment, tapping into a range of styles and finding complementary sonics that still fit his realistic, authoritative lyrical approach.

‘Thanks For Hating’ kicks off in signature Potter Payper style. His rasping, front foot delivery on ‘Inaugural’ and ‘Trench P’ sets the tone for the rest of the tape as the artist wastes no time in informing the audience about his trials and tribulations up to this point. We can also see some vintage performances on tracks like ‘Thanks For Waiting’ and ‘Kid In A Court’, as he taps into the pain and trauma that has shaped his career and life beyond it. 

Elsewhere however we see an artist who is willing to experiment with his own trademark style, tapping into Latin influences on the standout ‘Sinaloa Cartel’, as well as cleverly using features to diversify the project. ADMT offers a melodic interlude thanks to his hook on ‘Midas Touch’, while Nafe Smallz’s smooth vocals round out the outro track, ‘Thanks For Hating’, perfectly. Potter is also able to bounce off his rapping counterparts well throughout the tape, ramping up to match Clavish on ‘Heads Knees Shoulders’ as well as emulating Headie One’s melancholic delivery on ‘588018R’.

We should also give Potter credit for championing the voices that would perhaps have otherwise been lost owing to their incarceration. Given how much of his career has been defined by the trappings and failings of the British justice system, the artist has taken it upon himself to give a spotlight to others in similar circumstances. Potter links up with Daff, KayMuni, and Marnz Malone throughout a project, naming each respective track after the featured artist to give them exposure. As a standard bearer for ‘Real’ Rap, Potter is giving a voice to the people who have lived their truth and are now paying the consequences for it, as he also had to do in his past. 

If we ever needed further proof that Potter Payper is one of the greatest rapping talents this country has ever produced, ‘Thanks For Hating’ goes a long way to demonstrating that. In recent years the rapper’s level of artistry continues to elevate, evidenced not only by the production style and lyrical content but also the attention that goes into the visuals of his album artwork and music videos. Although it is only February I doubt there will be many projects coming out of our scene this year that reach the heights of this one.

I would say that personally I prefer his projects with less features, as no one else is as well equipped as him to tell his own story with such passion and raw energy. However, the features overall serve their purpose on this record and do give it a different feel to his previous work. ‘Thanks For Hating’ as a title may well have been directed towards the Brit Awards after his snub this year, but it feels like the tide is turning for an artist who is comfortably in his prime, and this release should see Potter Payper finally receive the flowers he deserves. 

Star Rating: 4/5