Digga D scored his first UK Quantity One final week together with his third mixtape, Noughty By Nature. Amongst these listening and poring over the snappy West London drill rapper’s lyrics had been the Metropolitan Law enforcement officials answerable for imposing the circumstances of his extraordinary Felony Behaviour Order (CBO). Below the phrases of his CBO, Digga, born Rhys Herbert, has to inform the police of any new music inside 24 hours of it being launched and supply lyric sheets. Breaching his CBO can imply extra jail time (Digga, now 21, has already found this the onerous approach). However for Digga, these circumstances aren’t a authorized oddity. Since 2017, he’s been pressured to adapt, which suggests verses thick with misdirection and a lyrical dexterity and comedian wink that outstrips most of his drill rap friends.
The very first thing Digga says on Noughty By Nature, pattered over a plaintive harp, is “Something you hear man rapping about is info. Nothing’s fabricated.” He proceeds to slip on fats kicks and skittish snares right into a potted autobiography—however the names of individuals and locations have all been skidded by by the censor’s pen. The tussle between info and Digga’s personal freedom is on the coronary heart of his output, each as a conceit and a instrument to unpick the depths that his braggadocio conceals.
The way in which Digga raps about violence is especially complicated. Over drunken trumpets on spotlight “Caught within the Mud,” playground video games are the setting for avenue duels, the place sickly candy Jammie Dodgers biscuits turn into slang for defective firearms, and being present in a sport of hide-and-seek has lethal penalties. On “Addicted” (a half-successful piano ballad), he attracts parallels between bodily and psychological addictions and the way violence has turn into embedded inside his peer group. Even whereas he raps about having “Blood on my cutlass” (on “Rambo”), he’s alive to the futility of those conflicts: The brutality on present right here isn’t all the time to be gawped at. As Digga recollects a sufferer’s “horrendous” scream on “Let It Go,” the track’s knotty double entendre—with its chorus of “I advised bro don’t let it go”—encapsulates the stiff push and pull of avenue violence.
Digga hasn’t forgotten find out how to have enjoyable. He likes flashing his money. He likes touring: to influencer petting zoo Dubai, the place he shot a glitzy video for “Pump 101” (one in every of three boisterous 50 Cent homages on the tape); and to the U.S., the place he hyperlinks up with Hotboii, B Lovee, and Moneybagg Yo for a string of convincing collabs. And he nonetheless will get giddy over blowjobs in a approach that solely teenage boys do. His fast supply and class-clown advert libs—of “glee” and “whee” and “woi,” and different variations that little doubt hang-out the sleep of oldsters and college academics—are TikTok catnip. The have-a-go method inevitably spits out the occasional dud: “Why,” a collaboration with fellow West-Londoner AJ Tracey, raises solely the query of why—with its droning refrain and ham-fisted Robert Miles pattern—it was included on the album in any respect.