Social Anxiety is the new mixtape from South London’s Lil Si, released online as a free download (www.lilsi.co.uk). The Croydon based rapper is relatively new on the scene, taking off in late 2009, but has already collaborated with Eliza Doolittle and Natalia Kills. He cites a variety of musical influences including the expected rap, hip hop and R&B, but also electro and neo-soul. At first glance this seems a bit of a mish-mash, but upon listening to the mixtape in its entirety, the genius of this recipe becomes clear.
Throughout there is a distinctly British feel, yet in places it’s more similar to current American artists. If you ignored the accent, ‘We Will’ could easily be a Drake track (who he both name checks on ‘Your Amazing’ and samples in ‘The Fear’), especially with its assured “we will/take over/you know we’re the illest motherfuckers in the game right now”. The opening sirens on ‘Mindgames’ indicate a switch in tone, adopting a more relaxed, poppier sound you’d expect to hear from Pharrell or even Justin Timberlake.
The soul inspiration can be heard on ‘All I Want Is You’, as he remixes Miguel’s track with his own segments, and their stark contrast with the sleek chorus is a winning combination. See the ethereal ‘Strangers’ for a further example. The album again shifts in a different direction with ‘If I Die Today’ , towards a more electro vibe like that of Chase and Status. It’s a valid comparison, considering the opening chord progression immediately makes it clear that the track has been sampled. Apart from both including a sung melody, that’s a far as the similarities go. Lil Si’s track is a lot more assertive than its predecessor, and in all honesty it feels as though the beat was written for his words.
All in all this is a fantastic debut, perfect music to chill out to but simultaneously have you hanging onto each track.
Standout Track: We Will
For Fans Of: Drake, Professor Green
Written by: Sophie McLoughlin