UK rapper goes back to his roots with the release of his latest EP. The mixtape is a sequel to Secure The Bag! which dropped in 2017. Three years on, AJ Tracey takes us back to his original sound which we all grew to love at the start of his career.
The surprise release of Secure The Bag! 2 is a special treat for his original fans. When the EP was announced he tweeted, “you wanted old aj you got it.” The mixtape pulls together older and unreleased tracks which are sure to be a hit with his fans. It showcases the skills of the West London MC and with only two songs having feature artists, Tracey owns the spotlight.
Since his self-titled debut album, which was released in early 2019, he has seen his name grow internationally. His plan is to release his next album in 2021 and has used this release to fill the years gap. His mixtapes are a fan favourite and he has mentioned on social media that they could continue to appear between albums. With many new artists emerging in the industry with the same grime sound as Tracey, he is making it known that he dominates it and will keep firing out fresh tracks to stay on top of his competitors.
On the opening track Yumeko, he is reflecting on his success with the line, “I’m the prince of this new-school era.” With rap becoming a more competitive industry, Tracey is at the top of his game and shows it throughout the nine-tracked EP. It sets the original gritty tone we have heard from him on his previous work and is a strong track to start with.
Swoosh God and Sloan Evans reprise their roles on LA4AWEEK2, a song reworked from the original EP. All three artists bring the energy to this track and don’t disappoint us on this follow up. They do well in supporting AJ Tracey with his step into the past but the spotlight remains on him. Slowthai is the only other feature on the EP in Graveyard Shift, which steals the show. The delivery on the track is flawless and with Slowthai’s recognisable tone, they compliment each other perfectly. AJ Tracey shows he is more than capable of holding a project like this on his own, especially during the track Red and Green. His original grime sound comes through here and on other tracks such as Blow my Phone and Triggered.
The closing track Colombiana isn’t the strongest out of the nine to end with. However, with all of the tracks being recorded at different times it makes sense that they are out of place. This is the release AJ Tracey’s day one fans have been eagerly waiting for. With a variety of loose tracks thrown together, he has once again made us aware of his talent.
By Codie Bullen