Loski’s Ready To Take UK Drill To The Next Level

Loski is one of many underground artists breaking through prehistoric venue restrictions to connect with their cult of online followers. After growing his fanbase from the ground up—alongside his crew Harlem Spartans—with consistent online freestyles and sharp drill bangers from when he was as young as 12 years old, the rapper, now 19, is without question next in line to take UK drill to the next level. 

Form 696 may have been scrapped but the struggle to put on a rap, drill, or grime event in England—let alone in London—still remains. However, more venues are opening up and creating a compromise by increasing security and restrictions, allowing shows to actually go ahead. And on Monday 14th May at the O2 Academy in Islington, Loski, the cool kid who’s got the block hot, took to the stage for his debut headline show which had sold out in just a day.

DJ Kenny Allstar set the tone of the night with a heavy-duty UK rap set for the rammed-out space. While the crowd waited in anticipation, Loski sat downstairs with his team snacking on a takeaway, popping a bottle of Luc Belaire, and going over changes to his set. As close friends K-Trap and Headie One passed through to show love, nerves and relief filled the air as the Kennington rhymer realised that this show could indeed take his career to higher heights. 

High-pitched screams of excitement bounced between the walls as the sinister keys of “Hazards” crept into the mix, and Harlem Spartans’ star boy appeared. K-Trap entered soon after, breaking into his notorious “David Blaine” chorus and the crowd responded with the ad-libs “Whip it! Whip it!” Loski sipped his water and jumped back into “Teddy Bruckshot”—which saw the room darken and turn into what resembled a bank security system with red and green lasers splitting the stage (all in-sync with the drum beat, of course). 

Loose was then handed a stack of £5 notes, which he explained earlier was a way to give back to his loyal fans, as he performed “Money And Beef”. He threw the cash into the crowd and caused complete mayhem; fans were even spilling out into the photographer pit where I was standing.

Headie One joined the stage next for their collaborative banger, “Drill”, and then went into his soon-to-be cult classic “Know Better”—which further ramped up the hype levels for what was about to come. Rappers Avelino and Asco, and GRM Daily’s Posty, ran out and performed “London’s Calling” with Loski before the next-to-blow rapper closed out the show with “Cool Kid” and “Forrest Gump”, his tropical drill summer anthems.

The night was filled with sinister sonics but was brought to life with positive energy—from all involved. For UK drill to flourish with original artists, more venues need to work closely with the rappers to allow them the freedom to connect with their fans in a safe place, breaking down the decade of systematic targeting of black music events. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing more greatness from Loski and other artists blowing up the spot, with their honest tales of life in Britain.

Words + Photography: Laura 'Hyperfrank' Brosnan

Posted on May 16, 2018