Versatility. The blowfish of the music world. Enlist it in the wrong way or too early in the process and it can become an artist’s Kryptonite. However, in the hands of a chosen few, it’s a tool to be wielded with great appreciation; even if it takes those surrounding it a moment to see recognise that. In the case of Headie One, it’s a valuable instrument in a growing armoury that seems to be getting better with time as highlighted by his latest offering EDNA (Deluxe).
Riding on the success of its initial release, the deluxe introduces 8 previously unreleased tracks and sees the rapper experiment with a variety of new sounds, two of the most intriguing being an element of indie on “Siberia” and a trap-soulesque vibe on “How Much Times”.
The album debuted at No.1 on the UK Albums Chart making history as the first drill album to achieve this milestone. As whispers turn to rumbles around the development of R&Drill the growth of the sound is becoming more and more likely, making Headie’s exploration of R&B and its sub-genres at a time like this all the more pivotal.
“How Much Times”, while an enjoyable track, admittedly only scratches the surface of possibility. Nonetheless, Headie’s collaboration with NorthSideBenji on the ADP produced track does excite me for the future.
If history serves as any indication, this won’t be the last we see of songs like this from Headie One.
On the original release of EDNA, “You/Me” exampled an effortless meeting of the two worlds featuring the soulful vocals of British singer Mahalia and an equally successful blend of similar sounds on “Cold” with Kaash Paige and “Everything Nice” with Halie.
Even prior to this, GANG displayed Headie’s willingness, to utilise melodies and sonics deemed to be less than typical. Noticeably a lot more refined this time around – even down to the ‘singing’ – his versatility continues to be something he wears a badge of honour.
As a rapper who is widely regarded to be the King of Drill, he is primed as the ideal candidate to bring R&Drill to the mainstream in due course; should he choose to.
The ability to keep evolving without diluting what drew listeners to him in the first place is exactly why Headie One will be here for years to come.