Last week Section Boyz dropped their new surprise mixtape “Soundcheck” for free via GRM Daily, adding their name to the growing list of big name UK rap releases this year. 2016 was a massive year for Section their collaborative mixtape “Attack The Block” with Chris Brown and OHB, a MOBO award for best Hip-Hop act all whilst tearing up stages across the country including “that” legendary show wear they shared the stage with Skepta and Drake. Last week Drake dropped his long awaited “More Life” playlist on which he showcased his ongoing love affair with the UK scene so it only seems fitting that a week later Section Boyz remind us all why this scene has captured worldwide attention!
First thing I noticed about this mixtape is the cover art; comic book style, showing each of the Section Boyz with laser-like waveforms in there eyes, the energy in the image immediately jumped out at me. This vibe is reflected throughout the mixtape, which doesn’t hold back on the heavy bangers and features the high-energy adlibs and shouts of “Section!” the group are known for. Second thing that caught my eye was sheer variety of producers that Section spit over, 16 in total, so on my first listen I had no idea what to expect from this. An early personal highlight on this sprawling, 19 track, tape was the Rudekid produced “Army”. Whilst I’m used to normally hearing Section Boyz over dark, minimalist trap or drill beats this string-led Grime track instantly caught my attention. The final track on this mixtape Madness, produced by Benson, also sees Section Boyz spitting fire over a heavy grime beat and has to be my personal favourite. The track certainly lives up to its name and the energy on track is phenomenal; each one of the members of Section Boyz delivers a heavy verse with rapid flows that are ridiculously infectious over the beat that’s constantly erupting with noise.
It’s almost the complete opposite vibe given on “Good Stuff”, which owes its production to Keanubeats, “Came Up” produced by Montage and “Loading”, produced by Mikabeats. These tracks serve as the Section Boyz answer to conscious rap complete with slow piano melodies and deep, reflective vocals. The latter of the two is in my opinion the better, the tone is darker and more serious with an emotive, introspective chorus. The majority of tracks on this mixtape, however, give the dark, gritty trap/drill sound Section Boyz are known for with my personal favourites being opener “Step In” produced By LA Beats (a classic Section Boyz trap-rap banger in the same vein as hit song “Lock Arff”), “Inna”produced by Young Chencs and “Picture” produced by Swizzybeats. I must admit though, there were a few tracks that I found lacking on this mixtape as can only be expected on such a long tracklist. I found “Mee Too” produced by The HeavyTrackerz, OMDs produced by Rudekid and “Fivers and Tenners” produced by Z Dot & Krunchie to be uninspired and perhaps surplus to requirements on this mixtape.
2017 has already been a massive year for the UK rap scene and it’s projects like this that highlight the depth that the scene has; not only showcasing the vocal talents of Section Boyz themselves but the producers in the scene. For Section Boyz themselves this mixtape serves as a tantalising listen for fans and another prime example of why they are one of the leading lights in UK rap and Grime, I seriously cannot wait for Section Boyz to drop a studio album.
“Soundcheck” is available to stream or download here via GRM Daily