Reporting Live (From the Back of the Roads)

Reporting Live (From the Back of the Roads)

Armed with a fiery flow and charisma to match, BackRoad Gee was already a star in the making when he featured on Pa Salieu’s 2020 single “My Family,” the London MC setting the track ablaze with the energetic hallmarks that propelled him to national acclaim. After then receiving the call to add his unmistakable timbre to “King Kong Riddim” alongside JAY-Z, Jadakiss, and Conway the Machine for the soundtrack of the 2021 film The Harder They Fall, BackRoad Gee reflects on his rise from the backstreets to the big screen throughout his third solo mixtape, Reporting Live (From the Back of the Roads). “This is for everyone who believed in me,” he tells Apple Music. “I do it for my family—mum, sister, brothers, everyone! I do it for them and myself.” For this 18-track seesaw journey across genres—moving between trap, drill, grime, and Afrobeats—BackRoad Gee calls on such British stars as Salieu, JME, Stefflon Don, Stylo G, NSG, and Ms Banks with thrilling results. “You just can’t pigeonhole me right now, man,” he says. “There’s so many surprises here, it’s a different energy. I’m ready for anything with music.” Here, BackRoad Gee talks us through the mixtape, track by track. “Live in the Flesh” “This is a statement piece. It’s a song I made from my slogans and ad-libs, and it gives me the feeling of [2007 film] 300. You know, when they’re about to go to war with spears out? That’s why I had to go with this first—it’s straight to the point.” “Enough Is Enough” (feat. Lethal Bizzle & JME) “The big homies [Lethal Bizzle and JME] heard a snippet of this song, and they wanted in. It’s crazy how they ripped this up for me. I had both of their verses in under a week. I was gassed because I grew up listening to them. They’ve been a big part of my journey, and they were really supporting me from the get-go.” “Fxct It” (feat. TizzTrap & BG) “BG and TizzTrap are my killys, from my block, my brothers. The process for this was quite smooth because I don’t write—it’s all in my head. We only took a couple of hours in the studio, and that was it.” “Top Boy” “I think the ‘Top Boy’ is the one guy that runs everything, and whether for good or bad, everybody knows him. But whether there’s a top boy in real life? I don’t know.” “A Yo” (feat. TizzTrap & BG) “Recording this was fun. I filled out the studio with about half of my block. So many people in there, and we went mad. Once the song was finished, I’m telling you, we had a rave.” “Dark Place” “It’s kind of self-explanatory. I just wanted people to understand that my life has not always been happy. People haven’t always looked at me like I’m the one to bring life into the room. There is that side of me, but I wasn’t always this guy. The world is not a safe place—I’ve had depression and there’s a lot of heartbreak and trauma that people go through, that we don’t speak about.” “Fear Nuttin” “This song is about fearing no one because I fear nothing but God. Of course, there are things in life I’m unsure about, but that doesn’t mean that I fear it. I’m just very...cautious.” “Warning” (feat. Stylo G) “This track was lit. Big up, Stylo—he’s been supporting me from the beginning. He came down to the booth, and we were just working side by side on this track. He’s a musical genius.” “Diamond in da Dirt” (feat. Stefflon Don) “I don’t think enough people take time to appreciate our ladies, so this one is there for them. I’ve been in the studio with Steff before, but this time around, I posted the song up on Instagram, and she was like, ‘Yo, send it, now.’” “Crime Partners” (feat. Pa Salieu) “Pa, that’s my brother from another. He didn’t even come to the studio to make this song with me. He came to chill, but when the beat was finished, he had a hook for me. I had faith in my brother, and this is what he did—the same thing that happened with [2020 single] ‘My Family.’ I just went to the studio to chill, smoke, and catch a vibe, and then boom!” ”Ready or Not” (feat. Nissi) “Nissi is one of the coldest. That’s my sister. She has a beautiful voice. My boy had circled the beat to me, and I played it there for Nissi. I said, ‘Pause the beat, stop there. Nissi, I need you.’ And then she went into the booth.” “Bad Mind” “Let’s start with the hook—well, there are two ways to ‘chop.’ First, we’re going to chop all the haters, in halves, in segments. And the other way is to chop the money, man. To spend. We go chop life, to enjoy. We go chop everything. And this is produced by yours truly, by me.” “Ancestors” (feat. NSG) “This is a very spiritual one. I’d sent [NSG] a couple of beats, and they were 50/50 about them, until they sent me this one, with OGD on the hook. This song is about how people that you meet along your journey can end up being the most loyal.” ”Mbote” (feat. Syra) “‘Mbote’ means ‘Hello’ in [African language] Lingala. I’ll be honest, I didn’t pick the name for the song. That was my team. When I hear this song, it makes me feel like I’m on an island somewhere, with nobody next to me, and I can really just absorb everything.” ”Nyege Lewa” (feat. Ms Banks) “This song came about from chatting to the [Ivorian musical group] Magic System guys, the big homies. I personally don’t know what this title means, but it’s from the Ivory Coast. Big up, Ms Banks. I didn’t know what to expect, but she came in and blessed it. She’s the baddest.” “Take Time” “When I made the song, I liked it, but didn’t think people would take to it like they did. At the time I released it, nobody had heard me on that type of track. Little did everyone know that that is the sound I make.” “See Level” (feat. Olamide) “Big up, Olamide. There’s really nobody like him. We’d been chatting; he told me to check my email, and I heard this track. I recorded my verse there and then! Filming this video [in Lagos, Nigeria] was my first time in Africa. It was a crazy experience, meeting other artists—an experience money can’t buy.” “Ferragamo” (feat. Dabully) “This song is about self-worth and knowing who I am. I wanted to end the tape here because it’s like a scale. We’ve gone up, left, and right, so it’s now time for everybody to calm down.”

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