When most Americans think about British hip hop, they think of either Skepta or corny rappers with an accent. Nines, an authentic gangster rapper out of London, which is a rarity in itself, fits neither of these molds. His latest release and debut solo album One Foot Out might not have gotten much buzz in the United States, but it reached 4th place on the U.K. Charts, showing Nines has the U.K. locked down right now.
One Foot Out showcases his braggadocious style of rap that unapologetically describes his life on the streets of London and what he must deal with now that he is famous. Nines discusses issues such as balancing his drug-selling street persona with the fame he’s gaining, while also bragging about the life he is living in a very laid-back but boastful way.
On the second track, “Going In,” his lazy style flows over the beat very nicely and sets the tone for the rest of the album, where he talks about this duality of fame and his past life. This track, my personal favorite off the album, is then followed by one of the leading singles, “Trapper of the Year.” This track shows more of Nines’ exaggerated gangster life, and shows that not only is a tough guy not to be messed with, but he also has a bit of a sense of humor about him.
Nines keeps the same steady pace on the rest of the album with highlights such as “Nervous,” where he lusts while still keeping it 100. “High Roller” is another leading single, with a feature from another London based rapper, J Hus, who reveals Nines’ likes the finest things in life.
Nines is dominating the scene in the UK right now. Using his gangster rap style and swagger, he has quickly asserted himself as one of the main players, all while putting out something that is a bit unique to the UK. This debut release was a great start with many stand-out tracks that showcase his skills. He is definitely worth keeping an eye on for his sophomore project and a potential break-out stateside.