As comfortable and charismatic alongside dancehall icons and modern house crossover hits, Croydon rapper Nadia Rose is poised to follow cousin Stormzy towards widespread acclaim. From the outset of ‘Skwod‘ and its one-take MOBO-winning video, the reasons why are clear: “Guess who’s back, but you never left / Yes I did, I rose from the dead / And now I’m here to kill them with flows / And some punch lines that’ll go over your head.”
Released today, her Highly Flammable EP ably represents the multi-faceted energy that pervades Rose’s music. New single ‘Tight Up‘ samples and features Red Rat, sliding comfortably into Radio 1’s daytime rotation with its thundering refix of a 20-year-old Jamaican staple. Likewise, Sweetie Irie drops by to bring a rousing growl to ‘Crank It (Woah!),’ the EP’s closing number. Their vocal additions, especially with Rose’s masterful flow (“You know how long me I pree you for / From longtime like VCR / Lay me down, make me say uhh / Mouth to mouth like CPR”), presented Brighton house producers Kideko and George Kwali with exactly the punch their instrumental club jam needed for an 11-week chart run and a truly unique (at least for this era) Top Of The Pops spot.
Yet, despite this platform, Rose’s south London roots look set to never fade. Few rappers (if any) would dance on train tracks and open freestyles with samples from Southern’s incessant delay announcements (see and never emulate ‘Station‘) and her teamups with other rising grime talents, including a lively verse on a ‘Big N Serious‘ remix with Coco and AJ Tracey that introduced her to many a specialist radio audience, have set her in such a Sony-backed lane to the top of the field that she has represented a grime delegation at the Rio Olympics and been featured by NME as “A Game-Changer Of Generation Nomad.”