Grime veteran shows his worth on a solid LP…

Grime legend Footsie is back with a mammoth 14-track album, ‘No Favours’.

There are only a handful or artists who have contributed to grime more than Footsie. He was a member of the N.A.S.T.Y crew, alongside Kano and D Double E – who later went on to form the Newham Generals. He then went on to produce a back catalogue of some of grime’s most influential instrumentals, as well as writing award-winning tracks for Skepta, Giggs, Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, and Novelist.

However, he is seemingly done writing bangers for others and has released an epic, which features the likes of CASISIDEAD, JME, D Double E, OG Rootz, Frisco, Jammer and P Money.

His single with fellow grime vet JME was released in March – which teased the album. In ‘Pepper Stew’ the duo’s energetic chemistry is laid bare. It is a reload-worthy number, with an acute bassline is complemented by skippy flows and punch-in-the-face wordplay, a real nostalgic taste of the Heat FM days hits home. In the visuals both Footsie and JME are shown performing the track on their blocks, with smooth transitions taking us from the local corner shop to the skatepark.

The rest of the album follows a similar pattern, opening with ‘Spread Love’ and ‘Restless Jack’. There is a pause in the fourth track, ‘No Favours’, with mellower instrumentals. The opening was filled with energy and this takes a much need break, with Footsie pouring his heart out on the track.

Footsie is an artist with many years of experience in the scene and his comfortability on the mic is demonstrated once again on his latest album, coming through with some to-the-point bars on a head-bopping instrumental. ‘No Favours’ is centred around the veteran MC’s ability to get the job done by himself so it’s only right the visuals show him on his lonesome in a colourful studio. ‘No Favours’ cements his position in the music hall of fame.

In his debut solo album, he connects the dots between generations and still remains one of the most humble and gifted artists in the game.

8/10

Words: Amar Mehta

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