When Drake’s More Life dropped in March the two songs featuring Giggs gained particular attention, especially “KMT”. While some thought Giggs killed the verse, many thought the verse was terrible. For all the Americans, it was most likely their first exposure to a British rapper. And because they’re so patriotic it’s not easy for them to admit that a British guy washed the star on his own song. No one who thought it was bad gave any reasons for why it’s bad, so here’s why it’s actually good:
Firstly there’s the fact that Giggs’ cadence and delivery is infectious. That simply can’t be denied. Considering that a lot of American rap relies on the cadence and flow, this should be right in their lane. The pauses towards the end of the bars and the catchy rhyme scheme makes the verse stick in your head. And because it’s so catchy, the whole verse is quotable – bar for bar. There’s not a single bar that you won’t remember (“Whippin that white girl / Cookin that Cersei”), which is a rare accomplishment for a verse to achieve.
If the quotability and energy the verse is not understood when listening through headphones, observe the effect of the verse when performed live:
Plus, consider how effortlessly Giggs’ voice suits the track. Could any other British rapper be more well-suited for the beat than Giggs? His deep, raspy voice is what enables the aggression in bars like “Mizzy with the quick extension, ringin’ off thirty” to be so effective. It’s because of Giggs’ voice that makes you take what he’s saying seriously and have that aggression felt inside you when you’re rapping along. Not many rappers would have been able to pull that off, especially with the energy of a beat like this. Giggs’ voice is so unique that he’ll always come off the hardest on the track.
So Giggs’ has checked off the flow, delivery, vocal performance and quotability criteria that’s essential for a rap verse. But is it the most lyrical? No it’s not. Why? Because Giggs is sacrificing lyricism for catchiness and more notably, humour. You can’t really think he wrote a bar like “You already know I love them breasts, looking all perky / Looking all Christmas, gift wrapped, looking all turkey” and intended on it to be taken in a lyrical way. It’s the funny imagery that he creates when describing breasts so passionately. Also this is an intentional reference to his song “Look What the Cat Dragged In” when he said “I’m a breast man but I rate arses” – so yeah, we do “already know”.
If you know Giggs, you’ll know that he intentionally raps in these ways which is totally made up of a style that he owns. No one is able to replicate the way he raps successfully.
But it doesn’t stop there. The hypocrisy of Americans needs to be addressed. Giggs’ verse is whack to them, but they’ll bump Lil Uzi’s simplistic verses all day and consider it fire. You can’t listen to your own American trap music that has awful rap verses and then slam Giggs’ verse without being a hypocrite. And in Uzi’s defence, his verses aren’t intended to be lyrical. His strengths rely on the delivery and the flow. So why can’t Giggs receive the same treatment?
Probably because he’s British. Americans can’t fuck with the British accent for some strange reasons. Giggs annunciates every word as clearly as possible, but the accent excuse is just another bad reason for people to shame Giggs’s verse.
But if that’s really part of the problem with verses like Giggs’, then they better get used to it. “KMT” marks the beginning of British rappers finally being able to match their American / Canadian counterparts. Giggs outshone Drake both times on “KMT” and “No Long Talk”. Drake just doesn’t have the vocal delivery and aggression to match whats Giggs is able to do – create a hard, energetic and memorable verse.
So “KMT”, arguably the most talked-about verse of the year, is by far from being a whack verse. If it makes you rap along to every single line, how can it be bad? Credit’s got to be given for Giggs for delivering such an energetic, aggressive, catchy and memorable verse and for representing the British rap scene across the map. In terms of Americans hating on British verses, they need to put more effort into understanding British rap and the culture before they so easily dismiss the talent.