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Track Premiere: J2K – ‘Fresh’

On the title track from his forthcoming Fresh EP, Roll Deep mainstay J2K moves out of the shadow of some of his more notorious peers – Wiley, Skepta, Flow Dan et al – to prove himself more than up to the challenge of going solo.

Forged from woozy, early hours beats and scatterings of glistening synths, ‘Fresh’ is a rousing call to arms from J2K; one that’s aimed at no one but himself. Its staggered tempo and mellow dynamics barely managing to contain the firebrand figure pushing the track forward: “Why fit in when you stand out? Why search for fresh when it’s found out?” Sure, some of J2K’s more boastful bars could be scanned as rap-game braggadocio, but when they’re carried off this well – and this eloquently – you can’t help but sit back and take notice. It looks like that call to arms might just be heading out in more directions than just inwards.

- Alex Cull

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