The swift success of 19-year-old Brighton rapper ArrDee in the past year comes during a breakthrough wave of UK drill into the mainstream pop charts – even Ed Sheeran has a drill song now. ArrDee’s success is arguably at least in part down to his being a more “palatable” (read: white, TikTok-savvy) face in an otherwise unfairly vilified genre (the police remove a huge number of drill videos from YouTube every year). Sitting on that poppier end of drill, ArrDee’s breakout feature on Tion Wayne and Russ Millions’ Body remix went viral, and since then he’s become known for his cheeky bars about partying, girls and grafting. This debut mixtape leans into the crude bravado, with lines like “She wanna suck it ’cos I’m sweet like some smarties”, though there are softer moments too (on Early Hours he recounts connecting with someone new late into the night, until the birds are chirping outside). The production sometimes relies too heavily on obvious sampling, but the tape still pulses with a carefree, bass-y heat, with licks of horn, Spanish guitar and internet-ready hooks. With boisterous, unfaltering delivery, ArrDee’s tape will undoubtedly soundtrack many parties (and TikToks) this summer.
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