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Ain't It Different

by Headie One
feat. AJ Tracey & Stormzy

Muting the beat and/or bass line to emphasise certain lyrics is one of my favourite hip-hop production tricks. I remember talking about some months back in relation to Stormzy’s 'Vossi Bop', for instance, so there’s a pleasing circularity in such tactics appearing in Stormzy’s verse here, most strikingly under “…day, woulda got yourself wrapped on Clifton” and “Boy!” at 2:29. Headie One has similar moments too, under “…prison, but I don’t know no different” and “…piss test”. What’s interesting, though is that AJ Tracey’s rap doesn’t use this technique at all, and furthermore features a more consistently double-tracked vocal sound, both of which factors contribute to his verse holding my attention a lot less than the others either side.