Skengdo X AM – ‘EU Drillas’ review: pan-European mixtape proves the Brixton duo are ideal ambassadors for UK drill

With drill rappers from Ireland, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, here's proof that the genre is a unifying – rather than polarising – force

Well, someone’s got to bring us back together with Europe, so why not Brixton heroes Skengdo X AM? The drill duo have recruited the best fellow drillers from Ireland, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands to shed light on the rising scenes in Europe. With every feature, Skengdo x AM show off the popularity of drill and reveal how much more potential the genre still has, regardless of its worldwide success.

‘Wap On E’ sees our drill veterans bringing their A game. Even if he’s rapping solely in Dutch, Rotterdam rapper Blacka’s cadence suits the eerie production typical of drill. Blacka is a kingpin on the beat, his cocksure approach bringing real attitude to the track. Add that cadence to AM’s expert flowing skills, plus Skengdo’s wittiness – see: “The skeng come pretty ‘pon anyside / Come sweet like one brown’in– and you’ve got magic. You might come away from ‘Wap on E’ convinced that the Netherlands will be the next drill scene to blow up.

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Then again, on this evidence, the Swedish and Irish drill scenes seem just as promising. Drogheda’s Offica, who jumps on ‘Glance’, seems unperturbed by the scrutiny non-London rappers receive for their accents. He proudly showcases his Irish twang when he beams: “These bad Bs love to dance / They come from Spain, Italy, France”.

Stockholm’s Robbz X Brookz prove on ‘Gucci Man’ that they might be the next Skengdo X AM. They go back and forth over the trap-infused track, their sense of brotherhood palpable. The former’s tone is gruff and domineering, the latter’s more idiosyncratic; they’re a pairing as enjoyably odd as the Brixton duo themselves.

Exposing fresh rising talents in Europe to the UK, Skengdo X AM prove themselves as perfect drill ambassadors. There are no explicit manifestos here, but this mixtape is political without having outright political messaging, showing – away from the violent gangs and crime that the media portrays – how inclusive drill can be.

Details

Release date: 21st February 2020

Record label: Finesse Foreva

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