Entertainment platform and music outlet GRM Daily have officially been going for a decade now, and to celebrate the occasion they have gathered some of the UK's best known rappers and artists to release a collaborative effort titled 'GRM 10'. With so many big names attached to this project, there's no surprise that the expectation is for it to be great - but how will it live up to said expectations?
There are some well known producers on this album such as Da Beatfreakz, and overall the production is pretty good bar a few bland spots. There's some generic beats on here that you can hear commonly all over the UK rap scene such as on tracks like 'NBA' and 'Double Trouble'. There are also some good beats on this album, such as on the track 'Faith In My Killy', which has a darker feel and a catchy 808 pattern. The song is about the lives in the trap and how they've made it out, with Blade Brown, Skrapz and Nafe Smallz providing generic but decent enough verses (and Nafe a good hook with a nice melody), and Yxng Bane providing an enjoyable melody with a witty line or two in the process. The song overall is a bit predictable but definitely listenable. The production is tailor-fitted to the artist, with the majority being drills beats and the usual elements containing hard yet sliding 808s, hit hats and an ominous/sinister atmosphere. Another example of a great beat is on the track 'Amiri & Lamborghini', which has Hardy Caprio providing the verses and Lotto Ash on the hook. The wet synth keys and hard, sliding 808s genuinely sound amazing, as Hardy's hard delivery and cold flow sounds great over it - and despite him not saying much, the swagger of his voice carries him through. Lotto Ash has an enjoyable hook with a great melody too, and it's a good song of the album.
From a technical standpoint, the fair majority of rappers here are all decent enough in quality whether that be due to lyrics, flow, delivery etc. (such as Unknown T, Aitch, Chip and more). Lyrically the whole tone is very braggadocios and a good representation of the current UK rap scene. The opening track 'Moving Naughty' has B Young who provides a great afro-swing hook and Aitch who is a prime example of the braggadocio previously mentioned, with lines like "Baby, I'll be real, I ain’t takin’ you to France // But I'll take you to the dance if you’re taking off your pants // Pussy so good, had to stop and give thanks". The whole track is about having sex with this girl, and the beat bangs with the "mwoab" synths and catchy drum pattern. Aitch has a cold flow and his braggadocios delivery matches the lyrics - it's a great intro to the project. Fredo is the sole man on 'Ended Up', and again he has some funny, braggy one liners, "She came in on two legs, now she's on all fours". The beat has some hard 808s and a menacing yet upbeat feel, but despite having some entertaining lines the flow was a bit stagnant and repetitive - it's decent, don't get me wrong, but nothing too special. RV provides some enjoyable lines on the track 'NBA', "Every little helps like Tesco (Trappin') // If they ride at 9, slap man before 10, no AM and Skengdo // Bad to the bone, check my skeleton", but over than that there isn't much going for this song. The ominous piano and hard 808s just sounds like every other drill beat I've heard, and while RV had witty one liners and Ghetts had some hard bars - it's a passive track with generic verses sonically. The hook is at least decent, but the album starts to get tiring here due to follow the same formula for the last few tracks - overall an extremely boring song.
Content wise, considering it's a compilation album - there seems to be some common themes throughout - such as the trap life, the come up, drugs, sex and classic flexing. For example, the track 'Burning' is all about trapping drugs and flexing new found success, with Dutchavelli giving us some braggadocios and aggressive bars and M Huncho having a few decent lines - despite the meh coke rap bars. The flute inspired, drill infused guitar based beat is decent, and Huncho's melody clashes well with Dutchavelli's aggressive delivery - add a good hook to that and this is a good song. 'Double Trouble' focuses on Unknown T's prison release and stay - and he goes into quite a bit of depth on this topic. Unknown T has some hard bars, and it's interesting to hear about his experience as he paints an image in your head, while Double E also provided a verse but it wasn't as good as Unknown T's. The drill beat is pretty generic, the ominous synths and keys are something I feel I've heard a lot of times before in the UK scene. It's an interesting listen, but at times Unknown T's lowkey delivery felt a bit effortless (but not in a good way), like he wasn't trying and I also wasn't huge on Double E's cadence because it felt quite basic and generic - it's still a decent song but I felt the rappers performances could've made this better. 'Ying & Yang' with Chip and Deno talks more on street life while focusing on the negative aspects of it. Both rappers provide some emotional lyrics over this melancholy guitar/trap infused beat, as we finally get off that generic formula of drill songs that the last few tracks had been plagued with. There's more life to this track and it's a good song with Deno's melodic style clashing well with Chip's flow and confident delivery.
Other tracks to look at on this album include 'Peter Crouch' by M24, who doesn't really provide us with much entertainment, giving us some meh punchlines and a simplistic verse as this track doesn't do anything different to other drill songs - it's incredibly passive, but still listenable. The finale to this album 'Cash Train' is easily the best song on the album though. We get more wet synths and an upbeat yet hollow feel to the production as Not3s and Blade Brown talk about flexing and girls. Blade's flow and lowkey delivery are enjoyable as are his entertaining lyrics, while Not3s provides a catchy hook - as he always does. It's a chilled banger, which is fun and catchy - a great track coming in right at the end.
To conclude, this GRM Daily compilation album has a mix of good songs as well as some pretty forgettable songs - but the good songs definitely outweigh the forgettable ones. The styles of these rappers selected mesh well with each other for the most part to sound somewhat cohesive, as they are on a similar level and playing field of the UK rap scene. It has a good start and a good ending - it's the middle part that drags this album down, nevertheless though it's a decent project and I think they should start doing more collaboration albums like this.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Moving Naughty, Burning, Ying & Yang, Amiri & Lamborghini, Cash Train LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: NBA OVERALL RATING: Solid 6/10