In the words of Headie One: “I still walk a thin line between music and road you know”.
This is a delicate balance that the North London drill lord has played during his rise over the past few years. Some would say it was road politics that helped to catapult his career into the stratosphere, as it was after taking an “L” in Luton that he created his breakthrough smash “Know Better”, which was featured on his debut project The One. His work-rate in 2018 was comparable to that of N’golo Kante, as it was only four months later when he delivered his second mixtape The One Two, showcasing a noticeable development in his musicality.
His latest project, Music x Road (released today), sees him taking this musical progression to new heights, with his experimental flair seeing him take on soulful hip-hop samples, Afroswing leaning bubblers and enchanting trap bangers, as well as his notouriously chilly drill thumpers. The tape includes the Ultra Nate sampling ‘Both’; the hip-shaking, marimba filled ‘Rubbery Bandz’; the UK chart assaulting ’18HUNNA’, the Skepta-assisted ‘Back to Basics’ and the frosty drill anthem ‘All Day’. In terms of features you can catch Dave, Stefflon Don, Nav, Lotto Ash, RV and Krept & Konan, with production coming from the likes of Nastylgia, PJ Pipe It Up, iO, 169, Nyge and M1 On The Beat.
Press play on the mixtape below and watch Headie One’s Music x Road documentary underneath that.
Words by Denzil Bell @akadiddz