Headie One Music x Road Relentless Records
How many rap stars can Great Britain support? In an already blistering year for rap releases, into the mix comes Tottenham’s Headie One. This year’s single 18HUNNA, featuring fellow emerging powerhouse Dave, was a minor hit, not only ramping interest in his latest project Music x Road, but also setting the album’s tone.
Here we have 46 minutes of creeping trap rap. With Skepta and Krept and Konan among the guests, it feels like Headie is purposefully seeing how his powers stack up next to some of the UK’s premier stars. It’s a methodology that pays out handsomely.
Headie is an effective trap slinger, his jagged voice proving a cutting instrument on the murky Ball in Peace and Young Thug pastiche Rubbery Bands. But it’s the little memorable flourishes that helps Music x Road stand out in a crowded field. Both summons a sample of Ultra Naté’s Free, melding the throwback dance anthem’s gut-busting soul vocals with Headie’s modern sound.
Elsewhere, All Day mirrors Kanye West’s record of the same name – Headie even shouts out Yeezy – snatching an anthem that drew strength from London and fully relocating it to the city’s north corners. So while the album artwork accompanying Music x Road – which features the rapper’s face disguised behind a mask – might suggest namelessness, there’s enough here to suggest Headie One won’t be lost in the herd.