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Published on July 22nd, 2019 | by voxx

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Octavian – Endorphins

The Anglo-French rapper hones his genre-blending hip-hop…

Lille-born, South-East London raised Brit School dropout Oliver Godji first put himself on the transatlantic rap map with his 2017 single ‘Party Here’. It was a moreish combination of crisp grime, smouldering dancehall and the kind of half-crooned trap perfected by Drake, who later bestowed one of his career-making co-signs on the 23-year-old. On his third mixtape, Octavian continues to effortlessly traverse stylistic barriers, uniting grime, R&B, Afrobeats, synth-pop, emo-rap and more via a throaty sprechgesang equal parts menacing and wounded.

Endorphins’ sonic progressiveness isn’t always matched by its lyrical content. In fact, Godji’s bars can be eye-watering in their crudity. In particular, Skepta collaboration ‘Bet’ sports some jarringly direct oral sex-related gloating. Yet the track’s clever instrumental, which interweaves a comically bombastic video game sample around an austere synth line and gently fluttering trap beat transcends the subject matter. ‘Feel It’, meanwhile, might centre around the hardly edifying image of a “big ass on the dancefloor”, but its juxtaposition of ’80s-style pop effervescence with its maker’s flat, gravelly vocal proves exhilarating.

And this is what really marks Endorphins out: an infectious sense of fun, a promiscuous approach to genre and the sound of Godji carving out a signature style that’s both singular and impossible to second guess.

- By Jake White


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