In the often over-crowded and woefully under-regulated scene that is UK hip-hop, Onoe Caponoe is a curiosity. If you're a casual listener—especially since he signed to behemoth UK hip-hop label High Focus—you'd be forgiven for having him down as a more traditional if impressive stoner rapper. But sift through his recent offerings, and you'll find a slew of stubbornly avant garde tunes, coloured by psychedelics, Afrofuturism and razor-sharp collabs (Jehst, Chemo, Drae Da Skimask—it's a healthy list).
Today's single, "Lazer Riddim"—premiered here by Complex—is brilliantly current and aggressive in context. Working with appropriately-named producer Mutant Joe, Onoe fires out double-time across a beat that's all bass and distortion and in-your-face aggro. Lyrically, it has inflections of Onoe's signature style—the kind of spangled conversation you might have at 3am at a house party after ingesting a lot of shrooms. But this is all together harder and more focused, and it'll probably make your hippy friends feel uncomfortable.
"Lazer Riddim" is the first single Onoe's forthcoming album (release date and title tbc). And if this is a sign of things to come, we should all be keeping our blown-out pupils on this prodigious space cadet.