The voice of the streets, Backroad Gee has released his hotly anticipated mixtape ‘Reporting Live (From The Back Of The Roads)’ which comes off the back of a phenomenal rise for the British-Congolese rapper, dating back to 2020, with release of the ‘Mukta Vs Mukta’ EP, collaborations with Pa Salieu on hit single ‘My Family’, NSG’s ‘After OT Bop’, recruiting Lethal Bizzle and JME for ‘Enough Is Enough’, and unleashing street heaters such as ‘Party Popper’ and ‘A Yo’. BRG’s first full-length project is here, and is the culmination of two years hard work and tears shed, but no doubt champagne-popping and fun times.
‘Reporting Live (From The Back Of The Roads)’ features familiar tracks including ‘Enough Is Enough’, the high-energy Grime-infused Drill banger featuring two Grime legends, Lethal B and JME, the Nick French-produced melodic Drill heat ‘A Yo’ along with BG and Tizztrap, and ‘Fear Nuttin’, which BRG performed live for The Agenda. These are great introduction to Backroad Gee’s vigorous style of rap, scattered with distinctive ad-libs delivered with zeal.
However, BRG opens up ‘Reporting Live’ with an unofficial title track ‘Live In The Flesh’, which combines brazen lyrics on a bouncy trapesque production from Kodi Starr, channeling his aggression into ferocious barking ad-libs. Tizztrap and BG link up with BRG once again on Drill-heavy ‘Fxct It’ produced by BRG and Katmandu, and just like it’s successor ‘Top Boy’, are effortless, street bangers drenched in talk about the hustle.
Having come from a lifestyle where he felt he had to do what he had to, Backroad Gee acknowledges the heartache and pain that he has experienced, firstly on ‘Dark Place’, and then on ‘Fear Nuttin’, but whilst he seems unapologetic with no regrets, there’s a sense of tiredness and willingness to escape his past, for the sake of his Mum and God.
Backroad Gee enlists some huge names on the album, including Stefflon Don, Ms Banks, NSG and Pa Salieu on the remaining tracks. BRG teams with Stylo G on ‘Warning’, a Dancehall twerker anthem produced by Iron Bryan Beats, ushering in a change of sound. Backroad Gee moves from gritty and gully Grime and Drill vibes to harnessing his African roots with a number of melodic tracks soaked in Afro-centric influences, Dancehall, Afrobeat and Afroswing.
‘Diamond In The Dirt’ is a tribute to the ladies in our lives, as Backroad Gee is joined by Stefflon Don for this infectious riddim produced by Joffstar, Stefflon Don bossing it with smooth, elastic flows and witty lyrics. This is followed by another Joffstar production, bringing perhaps one of the best partnerships in UK music right now together, BRG and Pa Salieu, on ‘Crime Partners’. Pa blesses the track with infectious melodies on the chorus, both catching a vibe to the Jazz-infused beat.
‘Ready Or Not’ is an R&B-inspired track featuring the amazing singer Nissi, who showcases her beautiful soulful voice on the chorus, both bringing with them passion and finesse.
‘Bad Mind’ is a brilliant showcase of Backroad Gee’s melodious vocal talents, providing his own chorus on his own beat, creating what is one of many carnival-ready anthems, including ‘Ancestors’ featuring NSG, which also was released with a music video. ‘Mbote’ is a personal favourite, featuring Syra, both riding the wave on this sunshine-soaked track which translates intro “hello”.
Ms Banks and Backroad Gee come together on ‘Nyege Lewa’, that was created from BRG conversing with Ivorian musical group Magic System, so has Ivorian influences in the title, Although featuring fiery, passionate lyrics, BRG’s delivery combined with the alluring production is imbued with sadness. On the flip side, ‘Take Time’, produced by Joffstar, is an uplifting Jazz-infused love song, with calm, slowed down vibes from BRG who once again provides fantastic vocals that are melodic and infectious. ‘See Level’ brings the carnival experience to your ears, with a video filmed in Lagos, along with Olamide who features on the hook.
Always one to bring the vibes for every occasion, Backroad Gee leaves us with positivity on the final track, ‘Ferragamo’ featuring Dabully and produced by Kel-P and Kly, promoting self-worth. It’s the kind of positive, strong-willed mindset that has got him to this monumental moment in his career.
Speaking on the album, Backroad Gee says, “After almost two years of hard work, blood, sweat & tears (literally), I can say I’ve had some of the craziest life changes which makes this mixtape mean so much to me.” He continues, “If you know me personally, this music and energy I give you is me from my heart. It’s not a job I go to or an identity I put on. Every word, every punchline, every ad-lib, I feel through the energy and the music is real, not a fairytale. This is I, King Brukz, Reporting Live From The Back of The Roads!”
Not only is Backroad Gee celebrating the release of his new mixtape, but he also very recently contributed to Netflix’s ‘The Harder They Fall’ soundtrack, featuring on ‘King Kong Riddim’ alongside Jay-Z, Jadakiss and Conway The Machine. Backroad Gee’s incredible achievements and accolades don’t stop there, as he has also featured on Rudimental’s ‘Instajets’ alongside D Double E and The Game, as well collaborating with Chase & Status for a cover of Metallica’s ‘Wherever I May Roam’ for the 30th anniversary of The Black Album, which both prove his versatility and eclectic taste in music.
Backroad Gee’s wide-spread reach has garnered support from the likes of BBC 1Xtra, and has blessed Charlie Sloth and Apple Music with a Fire In The Booth. BRG was also revealed as part of Tiffany Calver’s Street Heat: The Class of 2021, got three nominations at this year’s GRM Rated Awards, and was made the face of Skepta’s Nike Air Tailwind V collection. From sets on BBC 1Xtra, to joining Pa Salieu on his Send Them To Coventry tour, Backroad Gee has also played sets at Reading and Leeds festivals, and even made an appearance at Burna Boy’s headline show at London’s O2.
There’s no doubt that Backroad Gee has plenty more lined up, and as we head towards the new year, we’re sure he’ll keep up the consistency, and go on to hit many more milestones. Backroad Gee is the future sound of the diverse, vibrant UK music scene, he’s the voice of the streets!