The sky is the limit for UK rapper Pa Salieu, who’s been the name on everyone’s lips since the release of his breakout hit “Frontline” in January. Since then, the 23-year-old has released a string of rapturously received new tracks and appearances, including “Betty”, which was Radio 1’s record of the week for three consecutive weeks, and collaborations with FKA twigs and Burberry.
On Send Them to Coventry, the rapper lurches effortlessly between afroswing, dancehall, and UK road-rap, as he ponders his Gambian heritage and hometown in Coventry. Opening track “Block Boy” is an infectious introduction to the record; its raucous hooks and inventive production serve as the backbone to Pa’s raw lyrics (“My name is Pa / I’m from Hillside / bust gun, dodge slugs, got touched, skipped death”). “My Family”, featuring UK rapper BackRoad Gee, is a murky track with eerie synths lines and an insidiously catchy hook, while “Energy” is decked out 80s soft-rock sounds and vocals from UK soul singer Mahalia.
Elsewhere, French R&B artist Bonnie Banane stuns with her sultry debut Sexy Planet, while Milan club kid M¥SS KETA’s album is a pumpy mix of trance and hardcore, and Jazmin Bean’s release sounds like nightmarish fever dream – in the best way possible.