“Some people are just born with it” – The FADER “One of the most intriguing prospects in UK rap…SL’s talent is unmistakeable” – The Guardian “SL is here to stay” – FACT “Unique” – Pigeons & Planes “Sure to have the roads on lock once again” – GRM Daily “One of the game’s youngest in charge” – Link Up
SL has released his hugely-anticipated debut EP, Everything Good Is Bad. Containing recent single‘FWA Boss’ – on top of ‘Homage’, whose video is also out now – Everything Good Is Bad is a striking statement intent from one of UK music’s most potent new forces. Everything Good Is Bad closes a chapter – whilst beginning another – in SL’s extraordinary story to date. The still-just-17-year-old has already eclipsed over 100 million streams with just a handful of early releases, as well as collaborating with the likes of Nines, Chip and JB (he’s only just left school). Recent single ‘FWA Boss’ is a suitably-titled manifesto from a young talent firmly in charge of his destiny, and rapidly shifting the landscape of UK underground music whilst he does it. It currently playlisted at 1xtraand picking up support ranging from Drake to Annie Mac.
As his first project hints, though, there’s more to the mask than meets the eye where SL is concerned. The Peckham-born, Croydon-raised rapper represents a new wave of British youth culture, borne out of the cross-pollination of genres: rugged street narratives met with intricate, at times serene instrumentals. As you might guess from his breakthrough viral hit, ‘Tropical’, for now SL describes his sound as ‘tropical drill’: it’s melodic, conversational and tongue-in-cheek, but twisted via an upbringing influenced by golden-age rap like Wu-Tang Clan, DMX, and Jay Z.
Even this early on his career, SL has shown that he doesn’t want to be confined to one story, one sound (or one mask). Here is an artist who is looking to a life beyond drill and the lifestyle that often comes with it. As the paradoxical title of Everything Good Is Bad suggests, SL is turning things upside down whilst he does just that, and to listen to his debut project gives both a fascinating hint of the young man behind the myth as much as it keeps all of us guessing as to what he will do next