On Secure The Bag! 2 opener “Yumeko”, AJ Tracey declares himself “prince of the new-school era”. It’s by no means an outsized boast from the Ladbroke Grove rapper, who broke through with the first Secure the Bag! installment in 2017, and a self-titled, hit-stuffed debut album two years later. Here, AJ Tracey trips back—both lyrically and sonically—to when this was still up for question. The EP’s nine tracks see Tracey flicker through fashion brand flexes and sharp anime references across skittering, hazy production that revolves heavily around long-time collaborator Nyge and F1LTHY & Lukrative from Philadelphia production quintet Working on Dying. But despite the efforts to recapture the wide-eyed spirit of his early exploits, there’s still space to strike new ground. “Graveyard Shift” sees Tracey and slowthai team-up on a haunting ode to the hustle, “Hikikomori” fuses a certified grime flow with hypnotic, lo-fi production, while he proudly trumpets his run of platinum-certified singles in style on “Blow My Phone.” Below, read a statement from the man himself.
“21-year-old AJ said, ‘Wagwan’. This is his sound and he thought it should come back through—only for the authentic supporters though.
Not made for the numbers. Not made for the charts. Just made for you.