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It’s a good thing that the Gipsy Hill rapper begins his second era with the album The last Whip II, a hard-working sequel that is that is made of the same fabric as the original.

K-Trap has stood up to the storm. He’s witnessed the results of his labor as a drill pioneerand and has been welcomed into the new time with all-embracing arms. However, there was some bumps in the road to reach this point. The goals of K-Trap had been set to explore new territory and pursuing his own content on trap-inspired templates for his first studio album Street Side Effects which was released in 2020. But, the reception from fans was mixed, leading to K-Trap leaving his label and going back to the basics. Fans demanded pure drill, so K-Trap did what he could, and returned with the much-loved Trapo mixtape later in the year. Six months after, K-Trap continued to follow demand, and released the collaboration mixtape featuring Blade Brown, Joints the mixtape was released in March. It was K-Trap’s most chart-topping project for his entire career. He’s back with his second prime this year, the K-Trap has eye on proving another prime.

The Last Whip II positions K-Trap once again on the top of drill, continuing the run of success started by Trapo and being his most dependable work since the release of 2019’s “No Magic”.

Photography: Zek Snaps

It’s as if K-Trap has returned in time to the year 2017. The drill’s production might have changed over time however, the artist can recreate the same vibe that he made his debut on the scene. The spirit is comprised of a number of elements. K-Trap’s lyrics are in line with expectations of authentic drill and tells of a time of crime which is interspersed with his popularity in the field of music (“I signed with the label, but then quit the label, threw the whole thing away, I had Yola to sell”). This is followed by a number of one-liners on the mixtape that are delivered with K-Trap’s trademark flow that never seems to become boring (“Fill your tank with water Lean out the window, scratch man’s head like we’re trying to get rid of dust”). Together K-Trap South London rapper delivers a project that captures the essence of a mixtape and contains the essential elements of memorable drill tracks.

This is the key to the excellence that is the song The Last Whip II. K-Trap is adept at creating an effective drill track without the extra. You’d expect this from the dad of UK drill however, it’s not hard to lose touch with that song when you’re five years into your career. The other factor that helps is the production of the project, which is crucial to make K-Trap’s lyrics resonate like a car hitting an unfinished wall. K-Trap enlists the names of household names such as M1OnTheBeat, Chris Rich, H1K, Soundboi100 and many others, channeling the thumping 808s that remain the dominant sound of popular music. Songs like “G19” and “Rolling” contain that spooky quality that can only exists in the finest of drill beats. They’re also quite unsettling in their basslines and swagger.

In the event that the last Whip II isn’t delivering singles that stand out, it’s indulgent with the right collaborations. A tribute is made to the 2017 album featuring a return appearance from Headie One, Youngs Teflon and S Loud. K-Trap as well as Headie One showcase their usual collaboration with “Extra Sleeve”, which corresponds to the high quality of Their track from the album The last Whip. Youngs Teflon trades bars on the fun “Molly Mae”, a trap cut that offers an essential break from the drilling production on the tape. However, the most effective partnership is shown by LD and LD on “Golden Goal”, proving that the two only make classics when they’re on same page.

For those who seek creative advancement, there’ll be doubts about K-Trap’s decision to rethink his music. However, his willingness to try new things was tested and tested by K-Trap’s debut album. It proved that drill enthusiasts do not appreciate the need for an artist who is a driller to grow. The same was true for Headie One which was released in the same year that his Fred Again collaboration with GANG put avant-drill at the forefront, yet it is often portrayed as the ugly duckling in his discography. K-Trap’s experience shows that the pull and push of the UK crowd continues, though there’s a lot of effort put into the apprehension of day-one-lovers, rather than creating a project that’s based on the numbers.

Through the release of The last Whip II, K-Trap makes drill sound like second-nature, and delivers one of his most successful albums to date, which has all the vigor expected from this genre. It’s back to basics with K-Trap and to the very best.

8 / 10

Top tracks:“Spoilt”, “G19”, “Golden Goal”, “Molly Mae”, “Charts”, “Feel It”, “Manners”