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Bumba EP

It’s taken three years for Skittles to follow up his Estate Recordings debut with a second solo release. In the intervening years, he’s been busy touring with a slick live unit around Europe, guesting on other artists’ tracks and causing commotion with the Hit & Run affiliated super group Levelz. Despite all his extra-curricular activity, his solo work still has its own sound set apart from his peers.

Three of the four tunes on this EP are self-produced and opener ‘The Pre’ highlights his production talents. The backing track sounds like an outtake from Illadelph Halflife by The Roots, with lyrics recalling an era “prior to the MC pre-event fee”.

‘If I Knew Then’ and ‘Marijuana’ share similarly mellow treatment, which may throw people who are used to his more visceral style in recent collaborations. Upon first listen, both of these tunes seem like wistful addresses to his younger self, but Skittles is an MC who eschews the clichéd wisdom of regrets. Having the luxury of foresight would only have meant he’d “be even more before my time, then I’d really be running my mouth”.

This boastful persona shines through again on ‘Bumba’, a cheeky self-advertisement over a sparse backdrop from Chimpo, which he “got down in one, cos I’m a bit of a don”. Whereas some MCs’ descent into self-aggrandisement can be off-putting, Skittles has a charm that gives light relief to his brand of social commentary – “and if you don’t know, now you know ginger”.