Loski’s had quite the year. In February, the rapper found himself in court for allegations of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life. Just months later, he’d released singles with Popcaan and Stormzy. ‘Music, Trial & Trauma: A Drill Story’ embodies the narrative of Big Skii’s turbulent year, but really it’s an accurate reflection of his life thus far. 

Broken into three acts, and bound by evasive interludes, the record is one of the most honest portrayals from a drill artist we have heard yet. However, Loski proves that you cannot ignorantly label him under one genre. Elements of dancehall, afrobeats and west coast hip hop creep their way into the album’s sonics, completing a much more rounded project than many would’ve expected from Loose.

There are plenty of highlights over the 16 tracks, but here are 8 of VIPER’s favourites that we feel you should know about…

The blinded by the lights sample on Blinded (featuring Mike Skinner himself)

Failed to be bound to the conventions of a typical drill album, Loski enlists Brummy wordsmith – and all round legend – Mike Skinner for some spoken word. The Streets references don’t stop there either. ‘Blinded’ weaves samples from ‘Blinded by the Lights’ into Big Skii’s verses, and it works brilliantly. 

Popcaan’s appreciation for U.K. music.

In his verse on ‘Avengers’, Popcaan pays homage to Dave, Stormzy, Kano and Loski, using them as metaphors for his personal success in music. He sprays his inherent Jamaican suave over a quick 16, showing up Fredo in the meantime.

The beat used for the intro and interludes

As the album is split into three parts, as Loski utilises interludes to enhance the authenticity of the album’s narrative. The atmospheric instrumental embodies drill’s restlessness, but adds off-kilter claps and whirring bass to set the different scenes that play out the record. 

Loski is the master of drill narratives

Loski projects a narrative on his debut that is intrinsic with many rappers who are consistently marginalised and legally challenged by authorities. Features from Davido and Popcaan broaden the record’s soundscapes, but a lot of MTTADS still embodies the abrasiveness we love drill for.

The Harlam Spartans collaborations

It wouldn’t have been a Loski LP without a link up with Blanco and MizorMac. Both features come in the first act, with each rapper surveilling the drill-strumentals with equally braggadocios bars. 

That organ/guitar combo on ‘Captain Hook

M1onthebeat never disappoints with his production. As soon as you hear his subdued tag in the opening melody of a drill tune, you know shit’s about to hit the fan. ‘Captain Hook’ is no different in this sense. The sinister organ/guitar tiptoes over M1’s trademark, hissing bass and under one of Loski’s infectious hooks.

That Bashy sample on Black

Like Bashy’s ‘Black Boys’, this cut’s poignant lyricism is both provocative and personal. Loski opens up about the mistakes he has made and his willingness to amend them, whilst questioning Harry Kane’s ability as England’s captain. The Kennington native examines racial inequality through many more metaphors on this track, making it well worth a listen.

“Basil Brush you’re hearing that boom” 

As if everyone’s favourite fictional red fox made it onto Loski’s debut album. Referencing his classic “Ha Ha Ha! Boom! Boom!” catchphrase,  to playfully describe the shot of a gun, the track also features OFB. If you are delving into Ski’s debut for drill, this track will definitely be one of your highlights.

Listen to Music, Trial & Trauma: A Drill Story…

Words by Liam Cattermole

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