The nation’s two most revered trappers combine for an appetising mixtape synonymous with their respective styles and origins.
Teased close to a year ago, a full-length offering from Blade Brown and K-Trap is as apt as they come. Joints bridges generations of UK trap; Blade Brown, who has been active since the mid-2000s, and K-Trap, emerging as a drill pioneer in 2017. Their relationship may be a fresh one, but collaborations like “Joints” on Brown’s Bags and Boxes 4 and “Probably” from K-Trap’s Street Side Effects opened the doors for closer potential.
With solid production, chemistry and consistency, Joints proves to be a worthy effort that avoids any compromises.
What Joints does best is take trap back to basics. It understands to put the content first, which comes through the duo’s natural authenticity. Over 11 tracks and 31 minutes, Blade and K-Trap sell you the dream that brings you into their world. Opening track “6 Figures” sets the dark tone, its one-liners courtesy of Blade Brown who flexes his muscle better than any homegrown trap rapper (“Wanna know the trap life? Talk to the father / This ain’t street corners, it’s ports and the harbours”).
Blade and Trap take turns at leading certain tracks. In the case of Brown, songs like “La Cosa Nostra” and “Joints 2” are fit towards his production style, which K-Trap can fit appropriately. The latter takes charge on “Bigger Me” and “1m”, the lone songs on the project with drill influence. K-Trap’s signature flow and delivery are present on the hook to “Bigger Me”, a song that picks up the pace and prevents Joints from being totally one-note.
Weaker moments arrive on the track “Wrapper”, featuring a Gucci Mane sample as the hook and a throwaway beat by Skepta. “Re-Seller” falls victim to K-Trap’s achilles heel where he has the habit of using an irregular rhythm in his hooks. As trap rappers, hooks were not always going to be the strong point of Joints, although Blade Brown’s bare-boned approach fares better in most cases.
At the right length and pacing, Joints makes a mark as a sensible collaboration that feels organic as it can be. The buyers, sellers and listeners are all satisfied.
7 / 10
Best tracks: “Joints 2”, “Xtra Time”, “1m”, “6 Figures”