ALBUMS OVER EP'S
A THINK PIECE ABOUT URBAN UK MUSIC
If you’ve been keeping up with the UK music scene over the past three to four years, you’d of noticed that now more than ever grime, UK rap, drill and Afro Swing have become some of the most dominant genres in popular culture. We're currently in a stage where urban UK music is being praised and widely listened to allowing artists such as Stormzy, Dave, Not3s and J Hus to dominate the UK music charts and even surpass pop artists in terms of popularity and sales. The combination of these artists shifting the UK music scene alongside the accessibility of their music through YouTube channels such as link up TV, GRM Daily and SBTV has opened the floodgates for an endless stream of music which doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. However, with the exception of a handful of artists, it appears that UK rappers and grime MC’s are opting to release more EP’s then albums.
I’m aware that the concept of albums seems pointless and somewhat outdated to some people due to the single dominated world we live in. More and more young people are opting to make playlists on Apple music and Spotify with their favourite singles instead of listening to entire albums but surely, albums still hold some value? Despite the plethora of projects coming from the urban UK music scene, only a handful of projects released were albums.
J Hus, Stormzy, Nines, Steflondon and Giggs are some of the only few artists who have released albums this year with most of the albums being debuts. To me, albums have lasting power. If I hear someone’s dropping their third EP soon, I’m kind of interested but not as excited as hearing someone’s debut album or sophomore album is dropping. Why? Because the word album means you’ve spent time and effort in making sure this is truly your best body of work. EP’s have a negative stigma behind them. They're often viewed as projects which in some cases weren’t good enough to be studio albums. Despite this not always being true I view albums as landmark moments in the careers of musicians. There have been a few artists who have released EP’s which easily could have been albums.
With a couple more, tracks and the right promotional campaign AJ Tracey’s ‘secure the bag’ EP could have easily been an amazing debut album for the West London Grime MC. Drifters ‘live life take more photos’ again could have been the perfect debut album and 67’s glorious twelve definitely had enough tracks to be considered an album. Maybe it’s because younger artists aren’t too bothered about releasing albums. The landscape of music has changed so much, If the music’s available to the public does it really matter what you call it, isn’t it just music at the end of the day. There are plenty of US rappers who have made impressive careers from mixtapes and EP’s including Lil Wayne, Nipsy Hustle and Young Thug.
Maybe I shouldn’t be concerned whether UK artists release albums. If they're comfortable releasing EP’s and mixtapes that’s fine however I believe there comes a time where if you want to mention amongst the greats in the music industry releasing albums will undoubtedly put you in the conversation