Hits of the Week – Featuring YT, Nieve Ella and more

This week, UK rap is at the forefront as YT, Lancey Foux, Knucks, and Fimiguerrero all come through with summer anthems. Meanwhile, Nieve Ella provides the chaos with her latest indie-pop banger.

YT ft. Lancey Foux – ‘Black & Tan’

Who would’ve thought that, in 2024, one of the best songs to come out of the UK’s bubbling underground scene would be a full-on throwback jerk banger? Sure, you might not have had it on your bingo card for the year (unless you’re already aware of YT’s infectious take on the genre), but YT and Lancey Foux both deliver one of the most infectious rap performances of the year thanks to their auto-tune-soaked verses filled with endless quotables – “Mercedes GLE or GLS, I make it bounce” will likely be looping in your head for hours after listening. So, grab your iPod Touch, throw on a Ralphie, and let this one ring out in your wired headphones all summer long like it’s 2010.

Nieve Ella – ‘Sugarcoated’

Riveting guitars and a soaring chorus make this indie-pop banger by Nieve Ella one to blast at full volume. Below the abrasive surface, though, Ella’s lyrics focus on the difficulties that come with impostor syndrome and the dissonance between online personas and personal identity. It’s the perfect conjunction of substance with measured chaos — a mix that Ella certainly seems to have mastered.

TSHA – ‘Girls’

There aren’t many artists making better sun-kissed dance-pop than the swiftly rising TSHA. She’s announced her new album, Sad Girl, and shared a joyous, hued new offering, ‘Girls’. An ode to the 00s yet imbued with futurism, the new track is rich and engrossingly anthemic.

Knucks ft. Fimiguerrero – ‘Nkita’

Knucks has cemented himself as a mainstay in the UK hip-hop scene since the release of his 2022 MOBO-winning album, Alpha Place, thanks to his slick, laid-back rhymes. Now, the rapper returns for his first single of 2024, ‘Nkita’ (meaning “dog” in Igbo, Knucks’ native language), which sees him fully embrace his wild side over menacing, booming production. Oh, and there’s a killer feature from rising London rapper Fimiguerrero, who featured on the cover of our ‘Going Underground’ issue last year.

Rema ft. Shallipopi – ‘Benin Boys’

In a tribute to their hometown of Benin, both Rema and Shallipopi share a buoyant love letter for the city that raised them on ‘Benin Boys’. Produced by Yo X, who has production credits with Drake and Travis Scott, the track sees the pair elegantly float over the celebratory anthem. Plus, there’s a nostalgic feel-good visual that features Rema going back to his old high school — what’s not to love?

WriterChris Saunders
Banner Image CreditRankin