Drill Commandments

Drill Commandments

On 2019 mixtape Frontstreet—its title taken from the name given by locals to the entry passage of London housing blocks—Tottenham’s OFB [Original Farm Boys] presented a sinister walk-through of the famed Broadwater Farm Estate. The area, and its crime, investment and diversity has been recounted in the folklore of street gossip and the column inches of national newspapers for years, and here OFB members Bandokay, Double Lz and SJ’s voices joined the chorus of clashing ideas and views of the notorious strip. With a topline of hard, rattling synths, their pacy and uncompromising strand of drill drew on the tension of their lives for a hypnotic sound that embraced this outsider status. On Drill Commandments, Bandokay and Double Lz set their sights on something more ambitious. Central to the execution is the connection between the life-long friends. “All we need is to decide who goes first,” Bandokay tells Apple Music on his devastating back-to-back style with Double Lz. “After that I can bounce off him and vice versa. It’s all about the way you do it.” Bandokay and Double Lz released this mixtape as a duo with support from other members of the broader OFB collective—but not SJ, who received a 21-year prison sentence in January 2020. “Even if anyone thinks that we’re doing good without him, they need to know we could be doing much better with him,” Bando admits. In his absence, Izzpot fluently integrates into the group dynamic (“Pull It”) and earmarks himself a worthy successor. But Bando and Lz take centre-stage. They connect on thrilling, jumpy and looped patterns reminiscent of moonlit sound clashes at Jamaica’s Sting show for “No Lie” and “Bullseye.” They assess personal trauma (“The Process”) and extend their platform to the next generation of Broadwater talent on “Farm All Stars.” “I know how it was to be that age,” says Bandokay. “All we were thinking of was money, money, money. So it’s only right that we can help them with something positive. Instead of being out in the streets, they’re in the studio, with us, trying to make Ps [pounds] from music.” Here, Bandokay and Double Lz take you through selected highlights from their second mixtape. Hashtag Bandokay: “This was produced by M1OnTheBeat—he used to live on Broadwater Farm Estate and we’ve been going to his studio for years, since before we blew up. He’s been hearing how we make music for so long, now he knows exactly what we do and what we need.” Double Lz: “We sat down and decided that this was the track [to intro the mixtape]. With this sound, it just made sense.” Flick Of The Wrist Bandokay: “‘Police on my back and they keep playing mind games,’ honestly, that's just real rap. I said the same thing on our Black Lives Matter single [‘BLM’] as well: they target me because of what I look like and who I am. They keep on playing mind games. The police don’t need to trouble us, but they want to. That’s mind games.” Double Lz: “I’ve been in and out of prison from a young age and due to that I’m a target for the police. Once you’re known to them, it’s a different reason they’ll make up every time but they’re always invalid, basically. It won’t stop them from targeting us.” Little Marco Bandokay: “This is probably my favorite track on the tape. It means a lot to me because it’s about my cousin, my uncle’s son. And this track touches on things that probably happen anywhere else in the world. You know, people drift apart and eventually turn into enemies. You start off with certain people and then in the long run, you see they’re not with you anymore. You could have gone to the same school or even grew up with someone but on the roads things change so quickly. I think it all depends on other people’s friends, who hangs out with who, stuff like that.” Farm All Stars (feat. Akz, Dezzie, Izzpot & Dsavv) Bandokay: “I feel like we’re all All Stars [in the crew]...but this track came down to who was in the studio that day! I was thinking, ‘Besides Izzpot, none of the other brothers are on here.’ We’d never say no to anyone either. It’s a family ting. Dezzie’s hard and he’s got great energy too. He’s been around us for years and years. Akz, that’s like my little brother, and he raps in a duo with Dsavv a lot of the time. They’re about 16. We’ve all grown up with each other so whoever knew they had this talent first ran with it, if that makes sense. Now the rest have got the confidence to say, ‘Yeah. Let’s go, too.’” Pull It (feat. Izzpot) Bandokay: “Izzpot had been releasing music for a while, and he was doing really well by the time we got to test out our sound together, and we were shocked. Everyone’s eyes opened. Because when there’s three on the track, you have a shorter verse, and you have to rise up to the standards. Before Izzpot was more involved I didn’t have that much confidence; now I see him coming, with all the guys in the studio, and they makes me want to go harder.” Double Lz: “Izzpot is the live wire. We all have energy, don’t get it twisted—but Izzy brings a different kind that we haven’t really seen before. He brings a lot to us.” The Process (feat. Abra Cadabra) Bandokay: “Abz just happened to walk in the studio as we were working on this track. Straight away, he says, ‘You need to get a touchy hook on this,’ and he jumps on it. He put that in and from then I knew this song would be crazy. I’ve never, ever called someone to say, ‘I need you on this’ or ‘Can you make the song better?’ It’s always about liking a song first, and then we go from there.”

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