ArrDee – Pier Pressure

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Brighton-based ArrDee has risen to the top of the UK charts multiple times over the past 12 months – no small feat at only 19 years old. He grabbed a feature spot on the Tion Wayne and Russ Millions remix ‘Body 2’ that amassed over 90 million views on Youtube, while three singles have broken into the UK ‘Top 10’ over the past few weeks (‘Oliver Twist’, Digga D collaboration ‘Wasted’ and ‘Flowers (Say My Name)’). It’s safe to say that ArrDee has quickly become a UK favourite.

Now he follows up that breakout run with his long-awaited debut mixtape ‘Pier Pressure’, cementing his place within UK Rap and coinciding with his in-store UK tour. The eleven-track release is the most comprehensive sonic snapshot of ArrDee to date with the rapper saying: “After putting pressure onto the scene for a whole year, it feels only right to release my debut mixtape”.

ArrDee comes out the gate strong with ‘Locker’; the first of five singles on the mixtape, the unmistakable combination of hard-hitting drill beats and triumphant bars immediately set the tone for the tracks to come. This is followed by ‘War’ featuring Aitch; one of the very few features on the mixtape, the vivid track bounces between the two rappers, each channelling their own unique lyricism and wry perspectives.

Acerbic wit is an ArrDee staple and is plastered throughout the mixtape. It’s present even when he taps into his more contemplative sides on ‘Early Hours’ and ‘Late Night Driving’. It’s difficult to be both earnest and witty at the same time and yet ArrDee manages it with ease. On ‘Oliver Twist’ his playful lyricism and storytelling shine through, weaving between a playful bassline and illustrating rags to riches energy.  

‘No Biggie’ is arguably one of the strongest party anthems on the mixtape and follows ‘Flowers’, Arrdee’s own revival of the British garage classic with a new drill twist. The mixtape culminates in ‘Who Woulda Thought’ featuring Lola Young, a pensive reflection on ArrDee’s personal journey to where he stands now laid over a mixture of delicate strings and Lola Young’s soaring vocals.

‘Pier Pressure’ is a strong debut for ArrDee to hold to his name and the choice to keep features minimal shows that clearly he can stand strong as a rapper on his own. On this evidence there’s no doubting that ArrDee will continue his ascent through the UK rap sphere.

7/10

Words: Naima Sutton

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