J Hus has a habit of crafting undeniable summer soundtracks. His debut album ‘Common Sense’ became a landmark moment in UK rap, merging grime with afrobeats in a singular fashion. Yet it also stood out because Hus could craft those distinctive chorus lines, those snappy hooks that stayed in your head as the skies turned blue.
His return ‘It’s Crazy’ was nothing like that, though. A dark, paranoid display of rap dexterity, it largely avoided the buoyancy of ‘Common Sense’ and the complexity of follow-up album ‘Big Conspiracy’, the sound of a man bursting at the seams to speak his truth.
Switching it up once more, new single ‘Who Told You’ offers a glimpse of summer sunshine. The production is lighter, and – crucially – the hooks are back, with J Hus at his most playful. “Give her a look, she give me a glance” he flirts, before adding: “You got a fat boom boom / I got a long johnson…”
No one does filth like J Hus – he’s able to get away with it in a fashion other rappers can’t match. A relaxed, pared back return, there’s a bounce to ‘Who Told You’ that feels irresistible, while the hook is tailor-made for lush clubs and long nights of endless Cristal. As Hus puts it: “Who told you badman don’t dance? / Who told you gangsters don’t dance?”
Perhaps the headline-grabbing moment of ‘Who Told You’ though is the appearance of Drake. The two go back a long way – J Hus made a surprise appearance alongside the Toronto icon during his stint at The O2 Arena back in 2019. An emotional moment, the two come full circle on the new song. Drake is a huge fan of Black British culture – as gal-dem once put it… “a beg” – and his guest verse switches up the mood. “Just cos I’m not jealous / Doesn’t mean I don’t care” he raps through autotune, leaving the flirting couple on the brink of an argument. “Trouble is there / Trouble gon’ find me anywhere” he adds in a hook of his own.
A real moment, it highlights the clout J Hus has – summer is his, once more.
Photo Credit: Elliot Hensford