There's no doubt Stefflon Don has built an unavoidable buzz in this past year with many eagerly awaiting her first full project. She has managed to deliver many notable features throughout the year which has left everybody wanting more. Last Friday, Stefflon Don decided to give those fans an early Christmas present with the release of her debut mixtape 'Real Ting'.
After having the project on repeat for the past week here at The Pit LDN HQ, we've decided now is the perfect time to share our thoughts on the project itself.
01 - Intro
First thoughts from the intro - I can't seem to avoid comparisons with Nicki Minaj, which is something I can imagine most females always want to avoid. However, the intro it has set the mood for this project as Stefflon proclaims the Don is coming.
02 - Real Ting
As I'm sure you're all aware, this record has created a huge buzz; arguably the hottest street record towards the end of the year out here in London. Definitely a club banger which throughout the week has been pulled up on numerous occasions. Speeding through the streets late night cruising, this ones definitely one to max out the speakers.
03 - Tight Nooki (feat. Jeremih)
This record here has to be the next single surely? I can see this record making waves all over the mainstream radio stations & it definitely has that feel good vibe. Steff & Jeremih compliment each other perfectly on this dancehall inspired tune. One to watch out for the coming months if our predictions are accurate. Two solid records to start this tape, so far so good.
04 - Gangsta
Wow! This record has that soulful ambience that is perfect when you need something to just sit back and kick back to. Took a few listens of the project to appreciate this one here, but I'm very glad I've given this song the chance. So far in, this is my favourite record. Perfectly chilled vibes.
05 - Narcos
The Don has definitely arrived on this one. On her boss flex. "I hop on the d**k then I dab bitch!" The verses have that confidence & conviction that show why Stefflon Don is definitely the Queen in Europe. Even breaking into Spanish shows her versatility. Turn this one up louder!
06 - Family Ties (feat. Dutch & Donae'O)
From the track listing this was a track I was most looking forward to, partly for the reason Dutch has got the feature. Dutch, also known as Dutchavelli has been making a lot of noise recently with some big bangers, check out 'New Jack City' & 'Rumours'.
From when this song starts, you can already hear this one is that much more personal. Reflecting on her relationships with her parents is such a breathe of fresh air that London rappers need to take note of. This that real rap. Donae'O slots in nicely on the chorus & Dutch went in with his verse too. So far this is my favourite record hands down.
07 - 16 Shots
Someone got the Don mad on this one here. High intensity from the jump, patois in full effect. This record is a straight banger. Sending a warning to anybody who's thinking of cussing her mum, don't do it, she got 16 shots waiting for you!
08 - Envy Us (feat. Abra Cadabra)
Another song with a lot of potential. Steff got man of the moment Abra Cadabra on this one. 'Envy Us' flips the script compared to the sound of the previous record. Another refreshing record, this one very catchy, one of the most played from the tape over the course of the week.
09 - Lik Down (feat. Tremz)
Starting with a sample from first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, dropping some gems from her interview with Dianne Sawyer for '60 Minutes'. Yes that's right - The Don pulled out Maggy Thatcher!
When the beat drops & Steff comes in, you can hear this one has a different energy. She's about to go in. This one will bang in clubs. "I am the Ting now, labels really wanna bid now" and after listening to majority of tape, I'm not surprised. She killin' it!
Excited to hear Tremz coming in, delivering high energy that has made him Liverpool's most formidable rapper. I have to say, from the features Stefflon Don has chosen, it shows she knows what's hot out here. She could have easily tried to go for artists with larger fanbases and they would have happily agreed, but through these features you can see she's done what's best for each track. Definitely appreciate her putting Tremz on this one! BANGER!
10 - Dem Never Warn Ya
This one feels like a classic already, the crud is in full effect. The way she switches her vocals up so effortlessly has me listening in awe. I definitely wasn't warned that Stefflon Don was gonna drop a tape this certified.
11 - Forever (feat. Fiona Bevan) [Bonus Track]
From the start of this record, with Fiona Bevan's vocals it's definitely provided a club sound that is different to anything this tape has presented so far. Then the drop comes with a type of Ibiza nostalgia. The way Steff flows and the beat drops definitely brings that summer vibe to fruition.
On a level, I genuinely didn't think I would care much for this release. It's hard for me to think of a better body of work from a female rapper in a long long time. Stefflon Don produced a mixtape stronger than a lot of rappers albums, period. This is one of my favourite bodies of work from a rap artist on this side of the pond this year.
And she's called this a mixtape! We can't wait for Stefflon's album!
After spending the week with this one I'm giving 'Real Ting' 8/10.
Support the project and buy 'Real Ting Mixtape' here.
Written by Kieran Spooner
Instagram & Twitter: @KieranSpooner13