Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! This year, we will be expanding our already established ‘Best New Music’ special feature to now include single releases as well as album, mixtape and EP releases which we already highlight. Just to give you a brief insight into our ‘Best New Music’ feature, only THIRTEEN releases in all of 2013 were given that ‘Best New Music’ staple on WPGM and that level of selectivity is not going to change now that we will also be highlighting single releases.
Having said all that, our very first ‘Best New Music’ of 2014 goes to this recently released transatlantic collaborative effort from 19-year old North London female Hip-Hop artist Little Simz and 20-year old rapper Waldo from Grand Rapids, Michigan, titled “Mandarin Oranges”. Released via Soulection and produced by fast-rising beatsmith Sango, who landed on our radar last Summer courtesy of his critically acclaimed debut LP North, “Mandarin Oranges” sees both emcees in flying form as you will have come to expect if you have listened to Simz’ Blank Canvas mixtape and Waldo’s NSDE/OUTSDE EP respectively.
Whether its quick-fire rhymes from Little Simz or slick wordplay from Waldo, “Mandarin Oranges” lives up to any hype that it is and will be tagged with – upon its release, “Mandarin Oranges” has already been featured on MTV UK, Earmilk and ONSmash – but hype aside, the lyrical dexterity showcased on this 3-minute record was more than enough to land both Little Simz and Waldo on our ‘Best New Music’ but that’s only half of the brilliance of this single. With dense drum patterns, synth-heavy keyboard arrangements, oriental-like flute samples and interjecting harp instrumentation, Sango can simply do no wrong on production as he brings a chilled, smooth and soulful sonic vibe, reminiscent of Nujabes, to the fore.
Listen to “Mandarin Oranges” below: