Hackney lyricist and producer Jammz has had a prolific year. 2018 has seen him release songs alongside the likes of Jook, Stogey, Slickman Party, and Nonames, as well as a full EP alongside UK funky pioneer Roska. Meanwhile, he won the Beat Boss 7 producer clash and, since October, he's been holding down a Rinse FM residency with the I Am Grime show alongside Jack Dat. On Friday, to conclude the year, he released the long-awaited eight-track EP Warrior 2, the hotly anticipated sequel to his acclaimed 2016 project.
The EP's extensive release campaign was first marked by the release of lead single "Everything Dead" in April. A limited run of yellow T-shirts inspired by his then-unreleased track "Lemonade Man" followed. Around a week before Warrior 2's digital release, a vinyl containing instrumental versions of seven songs from the EP became available to pre-order via White Peach. On the eve of the project's full release, he also held an intimate listening party at Mode FM.
The bulk of Warrior 2 is self-produced, although there are some exceptions. Bristol's 'purple dubstep' kingpin Joker lends a hand on standout track "Play That" in the form of his signature vibrato-drenched synths, alongside co-production from Jammz's past collaborators Jack Dat and N.Y.T.A. Los Angeles duo Collapsing Scenery assist in "International Jammz". Pusha T affiliate Sebastian Sartor is single-handedly on production duties for the drill number "Need That Now". Many of the songs audibly share the familiar hallmarks of a Jammz hit—brass strikes, booming 808s, and sliced-up female vocal samples—although there's significantly more sonic variation on here than on his previous efforts.
There's also a lot to unpack lyrically on the project. On the hip-hop-esque intro, he tackles salient political issues such as the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster ("They let people burn in their towers and they don't even tell you the dead, just missing / The class gap's getting wider, the streets ain't safe right now; the context is gripping") and London's crime epidemic ("It's like the whole ends is an off-license / The way it keeps dispensing spirits"). On "Need That Now", he offers a scathing critique of gentrification – a topic he's previously visited in depth on "It's a London Thing". Meanwhile, closer "Set You Free" is a refreshingly vocal stand against self-professed badmen in the music game ("Nobody's saying you should tolerate violations / But you ain't gotta say you're a shooter").
Pastel visuals for the huge bonus track "Lemonade Man" dropped via Complex UK on the same day as the project, featuring the iconic tees, and can be watched below:
Stream Warrior 2 in full below, and find Jammz on Twitter and Instagram for more updates. You can also catch him embarking on a three-date tour in February, with shows at Rough Trade Bristol, Rough Trade Nottingham, and London's Pickle Factory. Visit See Tickets to guarantee your place.