Digga D has had the midas touch when it comes to making music over the last twelve months. An extremely popular and controversial figure in the UK drill scene, the West London rapper’s career has been on an upward trajectory ever since the release of his “Next Up?” freestyle in 2017, in spite of the obstacles created by the stringent regulations of his Criminal Behavioural Order. Made In The Pyrex sees the rapper follow up his success from singles such as “Woi” and “Chingy” to create a tape that feels as if it will propel him to international stardom, creating a UK drill sound that is accessible on both sides of the pond whilst maintaining artistic integrity. There are also moments on the tape that see the rapper being pushed outside of his comfort zone, both sonically and emotionally, adding a depth in dimension to the thirteen strong track list.
A master of the ad-lib, Digga D has been able to create catchy hooks and verses that combine street chronicles with humorous punchlines and greazy boastfulness. Whilst some have criticised him for this, and dubbed him a ‘TikTok rapper’, it would be naïve to undermine him with such a title purely based off his popularity. The 20 year old’s ability to find pockets within beats, especially for his ad-libs, as well as his flow switches, cement him as one of the most versatile artists within the UK drill scene. “Bluwuu” sees Digga at his confident best, as he raps ‘Take me in when I talk on beats, trust me it’s more than rapping, I see my man turn into Usain Bolt and – turn into Gatlin’. Made in the Pyrex however does not pigeon hole the rapper into creating bangers for the charts, as Digga is able to open up and expand his range on the track “Trust Issues”. Here, we can see the emotional toll that street life and prison has taken on the young artist, as he raps, ‘If I shoot that yute and boot everyone gon’ call me the bad guy, I got PTSD from when I got chinged, yo look at my bad eye’.
It feels as if there will be more scope for artistic growth and depth after the end of his CBO, as the rapper will be able to express himself with more freedom, but this is not to take away from his presence and delivery on the microphone. Only turning 21 in June this year, Digga D has already established himself as one of the trailblazers of UK drill, yet his energy, aggression, and approachable lyricism on Made In The Pyrex makes it feel as if he is about to explode into a global star, and there is still room to grow.
The production across the mixtape is studded with some of the best producers in the genre of drill, from the likes of AOD to M1onthebeat and Ghosty. “Gun Man Sound”, produced by Chris Rich, has beautiful layers of haunting string sections and heavy bass, allowing Digga D to pen an anthem for the ‘Gun Man’. Cage’s production on “Trust Issues” makes use of a guitar and saxophone sample, creating layers of rock and jazz influences offset by the hi hats and distorted bassline.
It is also encouraging to see the inclusion of female producers Ceebeats and Lizzi Miribaby on the track list of such an anticipated tape, opening doors for talented women in such a male dominated scene. Miribaby’s production on “Windows” is perhaps the most surprising and original moment on the whole tape, using influences from dancehall that allows Digga to experiment and switch up his flow and accent, taking him out of his comfort zone and creating a track that sounds fresh and original. The production across the tape thus breeds creativity for the West London rapper, empowering him to skip across drum lines and weave in and out of pockets.
The use of features on Made In The Pyrex work brilliantly with the rest of the tape. Too often it feels like a mixtape release from a UK artist is too reliant on features to create traction with wider audiences, yet Digga uses features sporadically to punctuate the body of work. “Bringing it Back” with AJ Tracey sees the two rappers trading verses with great technical ability, with both artists complementing the other to create a throwback sound to the early days of their careers. “Folknem” with Sav’O and ZK, who have previously collaborated with Digga on “No Porkies”, bring energy and combative force to the second half of the track, coming in hard on top of a haunting drill instrumental.
Arguably the highlight of the mixtape however is the collaboration with M1llionz on “No Chorus”. It feels as if both rappers are at the top of their game, bouncing off each other to create an instant hit. M1llionz’s rework of Digga’s bar in “Woi” at the end of the song is cold, and also creates a sense of chronology in the tape.
Made In The Pyrex therefore secures Digga D’s place as UK Drill’s golden boy, as the rapper has created a mixtape rich with club hits as well as deeper cuts. The star studded production allows the West London artist to flow impeccably across each song, while the use of collaborations brings new life into the tape, allowing the rapper to bounce off other artists and therefore elevate his own verses. Digger D might be made in the pyrex, but it seems he is destined for international stardom.