manwithXface is one hell of a producer. Capable of pulling together swathes of talented rappers for legendary posse cuts, his best chemistry remains alongside fellow Alabama native SeKwence. The two have worked together on excellent songs like ‘Red Pill’, ‘Huffy Bike’ and ‘Dream Eater’ as well as ‘Dxngeon’ from FULGORE and ‘AITE THEN’ from TSIF, so this EP, which dropped with little announcement just days ago, was always going to be a killer offering. The third artist to appear here, Krow AKA Big Gucci Krow, is a Souless affiliate who drops some gold standard lyricism to complete the marvellous triumvirate. The difference between the two rappers is that, while Sek has dropped four projects this year (and a fifth is soon to come), Krow’s discography essentially begins here.

Although this EP is primarily about collaboration, Krow gets a solo joint here over one of noface’s most interesting beats and the result, ‘Take Flight’, is a grandiose-sounding joint that bursts with optimism and is filled with one of the best rapping performances I’ve heard this year to date. It’s a far cry from Krow’s grimy guest appearance on ‘Bread Truck’ last month, giving listeners a whole different side of the artist’s lyrical prowess. The bouncy feel of the production is in keeping with the EP’s sound, a whole new direction for noface, who has largely delivered beats of a dark, gloomy nature in the past.

Of course, the other three songs here are opportunities for bar-trading between SeKwence, whose searing delivery remains brick hard, and Krow, whose material is sufficiently tough to meet his rhyming partner equally and also to make me very excited about a full tape in this sort of style. However, I doubt noface will stick to this type of music as he’s known for exploring different musical avenues, and while these songs are short there’s no doubt that they (in particular opener ‘Private Vices Public Benefits’) equal anything the Souless master-producer has released so far.

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