OTW #444: Piff Gang

Putting their own swag on UK hip-hop
Ones To Watch - Piff Gang

Dressed head to toe in vintage Polo and modern streetwear, Piff Gang are putting their own swag on UK hip-hop. Released last month, their third mixtape, ‘Plant Life’, saw the world through glazed, red eyes.

Ten North Londoners who had a UK garage and East Coast rap soundtrack to their youth, they stay laid back, rolling joints in a cypher. The group is made up of rappers and friends: Phaze, Don Silk, Skout, Super, Skits, Prince 6’7”, Rellaveli, producers Budgie andCrankz, plus DJ Motive.

Since the Noughties, many underground rap artists in the UK have failed to craft a strong identity and modern sound. Acting as a reminder that London’s scene must evolve, Piff Gang appeared from a cloud of smoke. Three mixtapes later and their sound has matured. With two in-house producers, the group never needed to rhyme over jacked beats. The high-quality production of Budgie and Crankz separates PG from the rest.

Putting London back on the map, Piff have crafted their own lane and gained overseas support from New York artists A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson and World’s Fair. But some have criticised the group, labeling their sound ‘too American’. In reality their sound is rare: “We stand apart from UK rappers,” Phaze asserts, “everything else is grime or road rap.”

Smooth beats, unaggressive vocals and vainglory merge to create feel-good music. Crafting odes to the good life, expect lyrics relating to women and weed. Talking about ‘Papa’s Candy’, Skout asks, “They always ask me why we talk about smoking, fucking bitches and partying. But I always say to them that’s cos we smoke, fuck bitches and party. It makes sense, no?”

Words by Lily Mercer
Photo by Samuel John Butt

Where: London
What: Unique and overly confident hip-hop
Get 3 Songs: ‘MHC’, ‘Winning’, ‘See What Happens’
Unique Fact: A$AP Rocky is a huge fan, he even invited them on stage at his recent Camden show.
 

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