UK markets close in 7 hours 48 minutes
  • FTSE 100

    7,094.75
    +18.58 (+0.26%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    22,590.68
    +99.32 (+0.44%)
     
  • AIM

    1,254.28
    +1.59 (+0.13%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1529
    +0.0019 (+0.17%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3918
    +0.0026 (+0.19%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    40,200.16
    -817.25 (-1.99%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,462.74
    -8.67 (-0.59%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,201.62
    +34.03 (+0.82%)
     
  • DOW

    34,548.53
    +318.19 (+0.93%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    64.79
    +0.08 (+0.12%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,818.80
    +3.10 (+0.17%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    29,357.82
    +26.45 (+0.09%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    28,538.53
    -98.93 (-0.35%)
     
  • DAX

    15,323.19
    +126.45 (+0.83%)
     
  • CAC 40

    6,363.54
    +6.45 (+0.10%)
     

AJ Tracey: Flu Game review – a confident slam dunk

Kitty Empire
·1-min read

West London rapper AJ Tracey’s ambitious second studio album doesn’t just nod to the pandemic; it references a 1997 NBA game when a visibly unwell Michael Jordan overcame food poisoning to help the Chicago Bulls to victory. Tracey is also digging deep to triumph over the odds, the title implies, with a US audience in his sights on this “sophomore” album.

What follows is a three-pointer taken with poise and verve. Despite the many basketball references – tracks like Draft Pick, Kukoč and Eurostep – plus the presence of US guests such as T-Pain and Kehlani, Tracey’s output remains reassuringly hyperlocal, not diluting his flows but rather taking plenty of familiar UK specifics international. West Ten, his terrific garage-revival hit with Mabel, is most obviously sited in Ladbroke Grove, but granular references to Tracey’s “opps”, upmarket restaurants and Vimto also litter these confident, irresistibly rhythmic verses.

Related: UK rap star AJ Tracey: ‘I’m not all the way out of the streets’

Similarly, Flu Game’s bouncy productions tread a nimble line between trap beats, international party music and London forms. If these 16 tracks sound like end-to-end bangers (three have been hits already), the slight downsides are also familiar: Tracey is a clever wordsmith who can do better than some of the more obvious metaphors and hilariously retro chat-up lines. “I got something in my trackies and it’s only for you girl,” Tracey promises on Coupé.