North-West rapper Keko is here to show off his slick lyricism and melodic flow with his latest project, In The Meantime-a nine-song project that highlights his smooth lyrics and versatility. He’s a rapper who’s never afraid to experiment when it comes to beats, and we sat down with him to breakdown his top five songs from the project.

Luv In Da Endz

Luv In Da Endz is probably my favourite song of mine to date, the beat made by NV is light hearted and playful and left so many pockets for me to just do my ting. This song’s really just an ode to the neighbourhood I grew up in. Its quite small and community based so everyone’s quite familiar with everyone, I grew up in the era of knocking for your friends and ‘playing out’. As youts we’d spend hours at the park kicking ball from morning to evening and then going frontline to get chicken and chips, then we got a bit older and stopped playing football but we’d just be about. I feel like my neighbourhoods watched me grow up and go through so many changes or era’s if you will, I feel like a ‘hoodstar’.

Plain Clo

This track is one of my personal favourites on the tape, the beat is produced by NV and I’m sure it’s laced with crack – It’s just so menacing. It’s crazy because it took me like 2 months to actually finalise and finish this song and the song is 1 minute. I kept going back and changing the verses because I just loved the beat that much and wanted to do it justice. It’s an energetic one – I feel like you have to hear it at a live show to fully experience it.

Who Knows

This song really summarises the tape in a sense, although at first listen you wouldn’t think. At the time I was bumping a lot of PinkPantheress’s music – as real g’s do. I was like to NV, we have to try something on a drum and bass beat, I love experimenting with sounds and seeing how I would approach certain genres – honourable shoutout to bro for running with it too without questioning it. I feel like it’s important to be constantly stepping out of our musical comfort zones and trying out new sounds. Essentially, the track is saying who knows what tomorrow will bring, same way who knew what today would bring – we never really know, all we can do is our best IN THE MEANTIME and make the most of this moment.

Ain’t Cheap Interlude

This track is the interlude on the tape, and similarly to ‘Who Knows’ it’s me stepping out of my musical comfort zone – rapping over a 164bpm jungle infused beat. It’s not what I would usually rap over, nor listen to. I tapped back into some of the themes from my previous tape ‘hat trick’ – loads of witty football bars, and references as well as skippy flows that sit well on the beat. The sample at the end, I feel like is the icing on the cake – its quite an old video from the 90’s of a group of young guys going out raving and talking about how people may perceive them as, in their words ‘low life dirty n*s’ because they see them in trackies or hoodies or rolled up jeans but the clothes cost money, and they ‘Ain’t cheap’. This, for me, is so relevant – we see this so often, big brands and corporations nit picking parts of our culture that they can make digestible to a wider audience but they don’t really like us.

B58 ft Aonenine

This track was probably the quickest and most organic one to record on the tape. I locked in with Aonenine for a session at NV’s in February this year, and for the first hour we didn’t even record – the mandem just smoked, reasoned and freestyled over NV’s riddims, which I feel is the best way to record. I can’t get into studio and force it – it has to come naturally. We found the beat and we were like yeah this is the one, it being a 200bpm rap beat. A lot of the songs on the tape are quite fast paced and energetic in comparison to this, this ones very ethereal and ambient which sits perfectly with Aonenines unorthodox and melodic flows.

listen to the full project below:

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