Novelist is an artist who’s always kept things interesting throughout his career. He doesn’t follow the traditional rap formulas of MCs who have come before him, instead playing by his own rules while always delivering high quality music.
The last big move he made was the Reload King EP – a 4 track, 1 skit project taking his listeners back to grimes’ roots. He touched classic grime instrumentals delivering that authentic, Lewisham McDeez grime energy that he had trademarked when he first emerged with The Square.
But 2020 brings a different move altogether – the ‘52 Weeks of Fire’ campaign is a brave, year long project promising to deliver one instrumental every week, a music video every 2 weeks, and a project at the end of the month. It’s an ambitious project that promises 24 videos and 52 instrumentals, and what has already delivered a large amount of music, touching a number of different genres and sounds.
Today Novelist touches a drill beat like only Novelist can. A loose track from last summer, ‘Different Shoes may have went under fans radars but with the video dropping this week, now’s the perfect opportunity to catchup.
Produced by frequent collaborators Sus and APEX, the beat is hard to say the least. The drum patterns are clearly inspired by drill, and are matched with powerful, energetic sound effects, as well as a booming bass line. The lead synth is packed with momentum and its noisy sound is the perfect backdrop for Nov’s bars.
Speaking of Nov, he sounds surprisingly comfy on a drill riddim. Not because he’s copied a flow, but because he manages to sound just like himself. It’s got the same stand off attitude as any other South London drill artist, but with a different perspective and message. His subject matter is really the same as a lot of drill artists, but with a message of peace and growth rather than violence. As he says in the chorus ‘difference between me and you is I like freedom I don’t snitch on tunes’.
My favourite thing about Novelist is that he’s one of the rare rappers in the UK scene who absolutely means what he says. Every bar is a gem packed with intent. He’s got some real quotables here, like ‘this yute was trynna run up his gums, till I bore through like a wisdom tooth’, as well as my personal favourite ‘how can a guy wanna beef man when he don’t get up on time’.
The real release here is the video, which definitely matches the energy of the tune. It features what looks like the two ends of the spectrum of Novelists’ life - Nov on ends, and Nov on the stage. It’s well made and definitely adds to the quality of the tune.
You can watch the video on Novelists’ channel below, and keep an eye out on the regular for more from the 52 Weeks of Fire this year, cause with all this music dropping, it definitely won’t be a quiet year for Nov.