This highly flammable indeed, attitude filled 9-track album from Nadia Rose is certainly the cherry on top for the wonderful year that Grime has had, and a memorable year for the 23-year old Croydon based rapper, too.
Just two years ago, Rose was studying for a Music and Music Management degree and working at a betting shop, filling up her time by writing lyrics here and there, but decided to call that quits to pursue a full time career in music and, boy, what a good decision that was with her, already winning a MOBO award for her video for single, “Skwod”, and featuring at fifth place on the BBC Sound of 2017 list.
And now the witty rapper has smashed into 2017 with this sensational and hard-hitting new EP. Growing up listening to hip-hop artists like Missy Elliott and Eminem, it has definitely been her main inspiration and this shows throughout.
Rose’s quirky personality and confidence is highlighted throughout the album and makes it seem like she has been in the rap game for a lot longer than she has, with her sound and production being so precise and different to a lot of hip-hop/grime that is currently around.
“Came in the game to make a statement” she spits on track, “Poltergeist”, featuring Alika, proving she is not one to stand back and be pushed to the side – the instrumental throughout this track and clever production sets a eerie and mysterious mood which is partnered by Rose’s soft and witty wordplay, accompanied by harmonies from Alika offering a completely different sound to your usual hip-hip/grime track.
Anyone that is willing to risk their life to record a music video on a train track is certainly worthy of some attention and success, but frankly I don’t think that was necessary at all, as this EP has certainly grabbed plenty of attention already, with her fantastically fiery flows and “punchlines that will go over your head” on track, “Skwod”.
It is definitely one of the most explosive tracks not only on this EP, but to come from the Grime scene this year. Her lyrics hit you in the face as soon as the song begins, with her asking “guess who’s back?” in the opening verse, giving you slight anxiety due to her taunting vocals. The production offers an incredible amount of energy to keep up with Rose’s rhythm, with tight percussion, synths and a firm bass drop.
The future is appearing to be bright, having already been involved in the hugely successful catchy club tune, “Crank It (Woah)”, where she collaborates with Kideko, Sweetie Irie and George Kwali, where she continues to project her unique talent and true self on this wicked dance track.
Continuing on the dance theme, track “Tight Up” is the perfect club track providing a hint of garage, a hook so catchy it’ll be in your head for the rest of the day, and comedic lyrics offering more confidence and charisma from the rapper.
In a genre where females are often overshadowed and in some circumstances ignored, this EP doesn’t leave room for this to happen to Nadia Rose. She is standing strong for women and for grime and with such an explosive and impressive first EP behind her, the near future is going to be an exciting one.
“It’s not an easy road. There are so many obstacles. At every one you’re going to want to do something else. You need to focus on what you love doing and take on the challenges and make sure you win at the end of the day”.
Nadia Rose’s Highly Flammable EP can be purchased, here.
Words by Mia Woloszczynska