Yes yes it’s that time again. Section Boyz are back with a brand new mixtape and here at GRM Daily we just had to grace this one with one of our patented 1st Listen Reviews.
It’s been six months since Section Boyz’ last offering in the form of their collaborative mixtape Attack The Block with Chris Brown. It’s been a year and a half since we’ve had a solo tape from the South London crew.
2015’s Don’t Panic hit the Official UK Album Chart and firmly cemented the crew as one of the key players in grime’s big revival and despite the lack of long form releases, the boys have stayed at the forefront of our “recently played” playlists ever since. Don’t Panic’s stand out tune “Lock Arf” is still played in the raves on a regular basis and is guaranteed to shut it down every time. Same goes for another 2015 tune “Trapping Ain’t Dead’.
Last year’s Attack The Block saw the lads join forces with Chris Brown and, in a groundbreaking move, we saw an entire UK/US collaborative project from them. Let’s not forget their epic Halloween joint “Worst” with Skepta which dropped in the end half of last year also.
With their epic and important history, when we heard latest release Soundcheck was set to drop, we knew it would be a madness.
Read below GRM Daily’s initial thoughts upon our first listen, track by track.
Okay, okay, starting with a Rude Kid production that’s nice. This beat sounds almost like “One Take” part two, lots of energy and exactly how I would imagine a Section mixtape to start. Hopefully this sets the tone for the rest of the record. I’m noticing a lot of eclectic name checks already including Tracksuit Mafia, Raven Simone and Tony Hawk. Side note: “now man get paid to party” is going to be my new LinkedIn bio.
This one has instantly got a deeper, darker vibe. With minimal bass on the Montage produced beat the tune relies on the boys’ ominous lyrics. Bars like “came up on the block better run away from them shots” and “won’t run from man, only run from cops” are making me feel a way, definitely a darker offering from the Croydon collective.
“Fivers and Tenners”
This one has more of an old school feel to it. Co-created by Zdot and Krunchie, both producers bring their trademark sound to the track to form a bizarre and erratic beat. Section bring the diss bars with their usual tone of sinister jokes. Stand out like is “need a peng ting not a dead ting, your wifey looks like bredrin.” Also can’t remember the last time I heard someone say “preggers” so many times on a tune.
Real hard beat on this one – it elicits a real hood up on road state of mind. The energy and bars sound like the boys are literally stood in a circle passing and grabbing the mic off each other, it’s got the energy of a clash without the disses. The beat is simple and ad-lib sample ridden, leaving the listener to fully focus on the bars. Stand out line: “I like gyal with boobies and curves”, who doesn’t tbh.
Young Chencs on the beat with this one. At this point we haven’t had the same producer more than once yet the whole project flows and every tune is a perfect Section beat, there is definitely a thread of continuity running through this project that we unfortunately don’t get on a lot of mixtapes these days. Only risk is the tracks might end up sounding too similar if this what we’re to expect for the next 15 tracks.
Ah here’s that classic Nintendo sounding grime that I love. Oh SH-T with an orchestral sample thrown in too. This is that kind of intense old school vibe that Section can easily slip into when they choose. “Mee Too” is going to be my new catchphrase. It’s like the UK version of “More Life”, wanting and chasing absolutely everything that life throws at you.
Pinerobeats produced this one, bringing up the energy with plenty of high hats and sporadic doses of bass. Section match this energy with a generous helping of their trademark ad lib sounds, lots of “mmhmm!”s thrown in for good measure. “So hot I make fire look cool” makes me want to go take a selfie just so I can use that bar as an Instagram caption.
Everyone knows that feeling of walking into a room and the atmosphere being bare bookie but also calm. In this LA Beats produced track the boys reminisce on those rooms where you’re greeted by a combination of “bare weed smoke” and “wavy settings”. Moral of the story is, regardless of the situation you got to make sure man know themselves when you step in.
“Swear On Ur Life”
Another classic Section vibe on this SX produced beat. This one is for the wannabe rudeboys, with a cutting hook “them boy there just lying, swear on your life, you ain’t ever fingered a nine” calls out all the fake badman who talk the big man talk but aren’t actually about that life. Section are affirming their authenticity on this one by calling out the fakes.
This is some Bonnie and Clyde flex. The boys are talking about them kind of ride or die gals in this one. The bad bitches are the real ones for man that “come from the block. “We don’t Netflix and chill” with the kind of girls Section are after.
This one was produced by Swizzybeatz (not to be confused with American producer/Alicia Keys’ baby daddy Swizz Beatz). This beat is violently hard. Never letting up for a second, this unrelenting tune allows Section to go as hard as they can with the bars. There are to many good lyrics to list in this one – just know that even when the girl is peng she “can’t know my real name”.
Quick vibe switch up on this one. The piano led beat slows everything down to almost a halt. Though instead of feeling jarring, it’s a welcome interlude to the rest of the energy driven record so far. “Good Stuff” gives Section a chance to reflect on their careers and lives to this date through mundane everyday life activities.
Back to form with this Mikabeats joint. The track begins with a More Life reference, I was wondering if Section would shout out Drake on this one but it was pretty much set that they would. “Loading” is an upbeat smoking tune, the perfect follow on to “Good Stuff” as it continues the theme of life and career reflection. Section affirm their individuality with this one.
A return from Rudekid on “OMDs” and the first time we’ve seen a producer make a return appearance so far. This one has a slightly trappier sound, as the lads pour out their outrage with enough “oh my days!” thrown in there. Another “hood up on road” vibe to this one, pretty much impossible to not bop your head to.
Is it just me or is there more female driven bars on this than usual? Or maybe it’s just been too long since I had a proper sit down listen to Section. I like it. This one is going to bang at house parties, it’s upbeat enough to dance to with suggestive enough lyrics, but not too far that the galdem will think it’s too hood.
Is that an electric guitar on the beat?! This tune really is a f-cking madness. One of the reasons Section Boyz enjoy continued success is they manage to balance a trademark sound whilst simultaneously blowing our head tops with unexpected moves. Big tune.
“Devil Face I think she’s a devil” is definitely going to be another Instagram caption, I’ve been collecting them throughout this project. The MindInTheMusic beat focuses more on high hats and snare drums than bass to bring a trappier sound whilst still remaining laid back enough to bang out at home.
I’m guessing with these last two tunes Section are bringing the barz and the lyricz, just to remind us all that they can bring the fire with both. Bars are certainly next level on this one, you barely have time to catch your breath from start to finish. Pinerobeats makes a return on the menacing beat, too.
We’ve had the bars and now we’ve got the lyrics. Slightly slower on energy levels on this tune, which allows us to fully appreciate the words that are being laid down. Hard tune, hard mixtape.