A punchy return that raises the bar yet again...

Once a mysterious figure with his signature black balaclava, K-Trap has become a pioneering figure within Black British music with his unapologetic approach. Since his 2016 arrival, it wasn’t until 2019 that he took the jump to unveil the face behind the mask, and since then it’s been nothing, but an up-hill climb to the top. Formerly known for his ruling in drill, K-Trap over the years has proved his versatility over a selection of sonics, all whilst maintaining the grit he is loved for. Today, the South Londoner has gifted his supporters with a 16-track mixtape entitled, ‘Trapo’, a cohesive project that not only highlights his progression but homes in on his core roots for his day one fans.

Admittedly, on the first listen through I wasn’t as convinced as I was after running it back a few times. Originally, it came across as repetitive and somewhat monotone but after revisiting with a fresh ear, I was pleasantly surprised as we welcomed back the original Trapo we all grew to love. Calling on the likes of DoRoad, Youngs Teflon, Lotto Ash, and PR SAD for guest appearances, alongside a short voice note from Yung Filly at the start, ‘Trapo’ is precisely what every K-Trap fan would want.

Opening the mixtape with the pre-released tracks, ‘Warm’, ‘Pick ‘n’ Mix’, and ‘Maths’ alongside DoRoad, which have collectively accumulated millions of views online; we are swiftly acquainted with a selection of eerie backdrops that each enable his concise and clear delivery, punching flows, and self-assured presence take lead. Further exploring his once gritty lifestyle, it’s tracks like 'Addiction' and 'Intentions' that we begin to unravel a different layer to the emcee, as he journeys the listener through a more thought-provoking space. Opting for a slice of change and feel on 'Billie Jean' alongside Lotto Ash and producer M1onthebeat, as well as ‘RRR’ with both Youngs Teflon and DoRoad – which is a line-up in itself, although arguably short – I can already envision cups rising in the air if either are spun at a function!

Closing out the tape with ‘Help’, with further assistance from championed producer Ghosty, before slipping into an oriental-esc production on “Fighting”, his determination and strength to succeed shines for all to see.

Although there isn’t as many additions to my playlist as I would have liked, ‘Trapo’ in its true form isn’t about popularity or gaining “clout”. It’s about giving back to his day one fans that have had his back from the beginning, “This one’s for the supporters / The ones at the front of the stage, that repeated the bars on the mic, that’s cordless / The ones that couldn’t wait so they went online and bought pre-orders / The ones that came to a show and when I threw something in the crowd they caught it / The loves unconditional…” Continuing to solidify his legacy, ‘Trapo’ is a project that aids exactly that.

8/10

Words: Elle Evans

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