Exclusives 18 June 2020
Author: Vince

GRM Exclusive: First Listen Review of NSG’s ‘Roots’

18 June 2020

NSG have created non stop waves since their eruption onto the scene, establishing themselves very early on as vibe makers in what has become the sound of today. Fusing various elements of UK rap with afrobeats and bashment the six piece group, from London, have seasoned the internet with viral hits and dance trends.

The group were active long before their journey to becoming the act we know today, and though a mixtape is no small feat the combination of their success and experience sets expectations high for the project. 

We’ve seen the versatility and range from the guys across their singles from “OT Bop” to “Trust Issues”. Whilst it is clear which lane they are dominating right now, it will be interesting to see how their sound has evolved and if there are any facets of their sound we are yet to hear. Jump in with us as we give our first impression of NSG’s new project Roots

“Political Badness”


NSG comes straight in with a banger “Political Badness”. This song gives ultimate Sunday morning vibes and is enough to make you almost forget about the current circumstances, and get lost in four minutes and seven seconds of island inspired delight.

The authenticity is strong in this one and the guys have really fused the sounds invisibly. All the classic elements of roots reggae pulse throughout this track with some subtle drum shifts that add even more bounce. The track, produced by 4 Play and featuring Randy Valentine, would have certainly had waists whining all over carnival this year.



Track two brings us more into the here and now with a real vibe switch. The instrumentation on the melody of this track sounds slightly darker and ominous, NSG still bring their high vibrations to lighten the entire sonic atmosphere. Teaming this with their now notorious hook writing skills to create what sounds like another hit from the lads.



The next track glides in effortlessly. Smooth R.n’B infused “Lupita” is a fresh twist on a classic 90s sound and it flows beautifully. A beautiful saxophone melody runs throughout the song instantly injecting the sultry bedroom atmosphere that gives this track an extra sexy, soulful RnB audio aesthetic.

The guys really demonstrate their pen game and musical prowess on this one. The vocal tones on the hook and the verses really showcase their singing abilities in a new way. This track will sit perfectly in a late night slow jams playlist.


“Nonsense”, which features Chip, embodies the classic sound which has gained them so many fans. This track is bouncy, confident and lyrically uplifting. Dismissing doubters and staying focused on the hustle is the theme here, as the rappers recall their journey to success and the negative messages they received whilst in education. Quotes from doubtful teachers are often included in bars, but perhaps this is the first time a teacher has been referenced by name on a track, we hope he’s aware of their success too!



This instantly catchy hook will have fans singing along before even finishing the first listen. The groove of the drum pattern in this beat, produced by 4Play, is insane and the artists cleverly use their unique phrasing to work various pockets of the beat, each of them in the different ways.

Every verse highlights a new sound in the instrumental that pulls you between listening to the lyrics and appreciating the elements of the beat. The lyrics from the hook are a ready made instagram caption. Their undeniable vibes makes their luxurious lifestyle feel relatable as if you’re a part of the group which makes for a really engaging listening experience.

“Why Stress”

Slowing the vibe down with this almost acoustic track, “Why Stress” brings back the RnB vibe. This time with more of an early 2000s style, again the styles are fused together so well, its familiar and recognisable whilst remaining fresh and original, something these guys seem to nail each time, The particular guitar sound used in this track brings the RnB to the forefront, but the melodies and flows from NSG are what really stand out and add that special flavour.



“Zanotti” is a singalong bop about ladies that like the finer things. Another great song to listen to the car, this track has a very classic structure with a really nice bridge section that gives space to the piano chord progression. The song has a lot of energy but maintains a steady pace which suggests the next track is going be pretty hype.



This one sounds like a new “OT Bop!” Its got a very similar bounce but again the boys are so sick with it, it doesn’t feel samey in the slightest.

This one is definitely a TickTok waiting to happen. High energy, clipped phrasing and laid back flows seem to be a formula that works for NSG. Another very vibrant moment on this tape that brings you back into the room as it were, back to their familiar sound.



Exactly as the title suggests this song is about luxury, luxurious items and  the luxurious lifestyle that the group lives. The beat choice isn’t exactly what was expected, however, it’s is very evident that as  songwriters these guys are not messing about.

The ability to bring their entire vibe to any track they sit on, and turn it completely to their own is astonishing, not once is their sound affected by influence which is incredibly unique.

“dRuNk GuItAr”


The beat on this is so nice. A Spanish sounding guitar and afrobeats is always a nice marriage and this track doesn’t steer away from that formula.

This vibe switch comes as a nice interruption in the track list and this is definitely a mood switcher. Laid back melodies and drawn out phrases gives this track equal amounts of drag and bounce for the perfect drive-time head nodder.



This ode to a stunning woman with a curvy body is definitely one to catch a whine to. The reggae/dancehall vibes are strong with this one, with cascading drum rolls and light airy melodies giving the song a real epic and classic feel.

This is another nod to the versatility of the group as they explore and fuse different avenues of these genres. When it comes to reggae, dancehall and bashment sounds they absolutely hit a sweet spot of authenticity and originality. It is this that makes the sound feel familiar and new at the same time, there’s something very inviting and homely about this song.


This beat has a whole lot of jiggle and bounce, where on other tracks the melodies guide and move the song, this beat, produced by Take a Daytrip, is prominent throughout and very intricate in it’s simplicity. What sounds like a lead synth and also serves as a bassline keeps the pace and energy throughout even in the presence of the vocals. That’s not to say that the guys haven’t done their thing with the bars though, far from it. In fact the beat and content sit together so well it begins to encompass a sound of its own.


The energy is back on this afrobeats track. “Grandad” is everything we love about NSG quotables, catchiness, dance worthy, caption worthy and whether its a workout playlist, or a commute playlist, the energy of this track is bound to get you pumped.

This beat has a beautiful horn section dispersed throughout the track which peeps through and accents parts of the hook. This song is giving all kinds of vibes for all kinds of situations, it’s clear they do a lot of sounds very well, but here they are particularly in their bag. Check the new video out here



So, we’re mellowing out again here and the vibe softens for “Ourself”. In the track the rappers talk about being self made and working hard to attain success without needing any assistance.

The track is almost celebratory as the lads are speaking from a position of success, however they still manage to highlight the struggles along the way and the ways in which their paths could have been different. They deliver the story in such a laid back narrative fashion and the shuffle and guitar riffs run alongside in perfect synch. 




15 tracks in and it’s disappointing that this is the last new track before the classics begin. The song is called “Roots” and with all the different influences we have heard so far it’s difficult to predict where they will go with this, or what roots they are referring to.

As soon as the beat kicks it’s evidently afrobeats. This track has a beautiful guitar throughout, but the tones of the vocals are slightly lower and harder, more rap led with melody supporting the phrasing. The track pretty much sums up NSG, unapologetically original, high energy, connected to their cultures and killing the game.

The last three tracks are the ones we are most familiar with “Trust Issues” , “OT BOP” and “Options” the perfect way to end up a hearty well put together mixtape.



These guys are very skilled at their craft and it shows. The versatility is astonishing, the authenticity is undeniable and effortless and the sound is a real education in the culture and the craft. The project is so broad in terms of mood and style it has the potential to cross genre lines in a big way.

This definitely was a discovery of the depth of talent that is within the group, and a testament to their ability to write hit song after hit song. This project will undoubtedly lead to more viral moments for the group. As they continue to grow from strength to strength we have a feeling this is just a fraction of what they can do.