Cold Feet

Cold Feet

“My fans told me the records I put out were too short,” Rimzee tells Apple Music. “So I came through with 18 tracks for them on Cold Feet. Don’t get it twisted, though—I still like to keep things simple. I want my music and visuals to be relatable, so people can look at me and understand where I’m coming from.” Rimzee’s debut 2010 release—The Upper Clapton Dream—was an instant street classic. The mixtape saw the East End wordsmith (then Rimz) deliver a coming-of-age tale underpinned by adept storytelling and the plight of inner-city conflict. “People always forget about one thing when it comes to rap: It’s all about the same stuff—the streets, money and girls,” he says. “And this comes from lived experience, but you’ve got to step outside of your comfort zone to stand out.” After putting rap aside for seven years while serving a prison sentence, he returned older and wiser, exploring the pitfalls of success and his struggles with morality on 2020’s Upper Clapton Dream 2. Rimzee’s third project, Cold Feet, serves up a more sprawling, mature take on his past exploits. There’s the R&B-tinged Emeli Sandé collaboration “Tables Turn”, the rumbling, drill-flavoured LB and K-Trap-assisted “Back 2 Back” as well as the business savvy, RD Beats-handled cut “Entrepreneur”. It makes for a cohesive, colourful listen. “When I rap about my story, I just do me,” he says. “I don’t try and copy what everyone else is doing. This tape shows my growth. I’m always trying to connect with a wider audience.” Read on as Rimzee breaks down his mixtape in this track-by-track guide. “Intro” “The beat is from [British producer] NECHO, he handled a bulk of the production on here. And before we settled on this version, the song was actually completely different. The problem with the original was sample clearance. It’s funny how this intro now sounds like an outro, the original intro sounded way more like an opener!” “Back 2 Back” (with Dirtbike LB and K-Trap) “This song had my boy [Active Gxng’s] 2smokeyy on it. He’s from Somalia, so some of the words I’m rapping are in Arabic, but when he converted to Islam, it meant he quit rap to focus on his religion—and I had to take him off the song. I sent it over to K-Trap for a verse. I also sent it to LB ages ago—so long ago I actually forgot. Anyway, eventually he hit me back, and I think it’s the hardest verse on the song.” “Expensive Pain” (with Born Trappy) “The lyrics for this song were meant to be for my ‘Lemon Pepper Freestyle’, so that’s why I rap, ‘I ain’t going there with the lemons and the peppers,’ but the [instrumental] became so rinsed, I had to scrap it. I didn’t want to waste my bars on it.” “Thinking Out Loud” (with Young Adz) “This song wasn’t even going to be on my tape. I had the first verse down, but I didn’t get a strong response from the people that heard it, so it was pretty much discarded. I was in the studio with Chip, and he loved it. So when Adz messaged about working, I had to send him this track, and he came through with the hook.” “Juggin” (with Tiggs Da Author and Giggs) “I call Tiggs ‘Captain Hook’, he bodies it every time, man! And after he came through with a chorus, I thought Giggs would work well on the song. I sent it to The Landlord, and he also blessed the track.” “Unruly” “This one is quite simple. My guy NECHO on the beat again, and he made it proper greazy. I’m just rapping here, showing off my skills.” “Entrepreneur” “This one is focused on where I’m at now. My fans know me for rapping about the streets, so I had to keep that street angle in there—but this is entrepreneurial street rap. I recorded this back in 2021. And because it was such a banger, I held off on dropping it. Sometimes, I get random producers to send me beats over email, and my manager helps me go through them by putting them on a playlist for me. When I secured the beat for this track, I knew it was special immediately. Usually, within five seconds, I’ll know if I like a beat or not.” “Morals & Principles” “This was one of the later additions to the project. I was in the studio and NECHO came through with that kind of beat that just inspires you. One of my brethren was saying something like, ‘One, da-da-da, two, da-da-da, three…’, and that inspired me to structure the song around counting. I thought about counting up to my age, but that would’ve been too much.” “For Richer For Poorer” (with Skinz) “Funny story about this one: This was Skinz’s song first. He sent it to me to drop a verse on it, but it was so hard, I asked him if I could keep it. He’s a real G, and he gave me the song. And my verse was already done, so it was a simple process.” “With My Dawgs” (with Afro B) “This track started life completely differently. Before Afro B hopped on this song, the bars were on another beat altogether. The original track was good, but Afro B just elevated it.” “Tables Turn” (with Emeli Sandé) “Emeli Sandé is probably the least expected feature on this project. We did two tracks, but I liked this one the most. I feel like rap is very harsh at times. So, you need a hook with good melodies to balance things out. As sick as Emeli is, if I could sing, I’d do it myself! Seriously, though, I’m really proud of how this one turned out.” “Cold Feet Freestyle” “As much as I love the tracks here, this is probably the one I go back to least. I feel the storytelling on the tape is top-tier, and this is just your typical freestyle. Normally, when I work on music, I’m a perfectionist—I like to tweak things over time—but this was just raw.” “Dear Southwold Road” (with Maverick Sabre) “ I feel like this is a tune that a lot of people from ends can relate to. This one is me talking to my area, Southwold Road, as if it were a woman. I rap about losing my bro because of this ‘person’. And Maverick [Sabre] sent me two different hooks, which I eventually asked him to chop down into the one you hear.” “Soul To Da Streets” “I’m chatting to the streets on this. When I listen to my music, I want it to sound a certain way. I don't want people to get bored—that’s why I switch up the topics, features and my approach. I don't want listeners to feel like I just rap about pain and money or that the beats are the same. ” “Headline” (with Nemzzz) “So, [British producers] 5ive Beatz, Junbeats and Gernot produced this tune. I was in the studio and [Manchester rapper] Nemzzz was in the booth next to me. He came into the room, we started chatting and he jumped on the song. just like that. After his verse, he went back to his session. Simple.” “Irreplaceable” (with Zion Foster and Amun) “Sometimes I get criticism for not making songs for the ladies. I loved Meek Mill, PnB Rock and Jeremih’s [2018 single]‘Dangerous’ and I wanted to make a track in a similar vein. A lot of their music appeals to a female audience, so I feel like I was able to harness some of that energy for this track.” “Life On The Endz” (with Snap Capone) “This is one of the hardest tracks on the tape, it was recorded back in 2020. I actually met Snap in jail, he’s my brother for real. He’s currently incarcerated, but before he got locked up, we agreed on recording a collab tape. I loved this track and wanted it for this project—Snap is in his element on this one.” “5am In Clapton” (with Frogzy and Raph Racks) “This track takes things full circle to my first tape. Frogzy and Raph are from [Hackney], so I also wanted them to shed light on the ends. I want people to listen to this, and know there’s more people from Clapton that can do what I do too. I let the mandem come through and spin me on this one—but this is the first and only time I’ll let it happen.”

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