If anyone is taking the UK Rap scene by storm this year it has to be Riley Davies, otherwise known as ArrDee.
The 18-year old is proudly waving the flag for Brighton, winning just about everyone over with his geezer-raps and audacious wordplay. There is a sense of familiarity in ArrDee, as if he embodies the badly behaved student that teachers can’t help but love (not literally but we’re sure you get the gist).
Despite his sudden surge to the top, ArrDee’s journey routes all the way back to an early adolescence, when he received his first microphone at 12 years of age. Now his passion runs deep through his veins, quite literally, as he reveals that same musical instrument inked across his whole arm. Indeed, there is no turning back for the bold youngster, racking up a joint total of 9.4 million views with his ‘Cheeky Bars Freestyle’ and follow-up banger ‘6AM in Brighton’.
Fast-forward to June, the rapper has propelled himself up the charts, featuring on Russ and Tion Wayne’s remix of overnight success ‘Body 2,’ merited as the first drill track to reach Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart.
There’s no doubt that ArrDee has much more in store for us and, after an impressive few months, it’s only right to delve a little deeper into the fresh faced talent with these five essential tracks…
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‘[email protected] S16 Ep.7’
Taking it all the way back to 2019, this [email protected] Freestyle signposts one of ArrDee’s first steps into the limelight. As a popular platform for emerging MCs, graced by the early likes of Dave and Abra Cadabra, Brighton’s newcomer hits listeners with gritty bars and storytelling that bag him a reload within the first minute.
Aligning with his musical influences, ArrrDee spits over Eminem’s ‘Mockingbird’ during the second half, delivering an incredibly raw insight into the struggles he faced growing up, weaving through personal anecdotes and obstacles.
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‘Cheeky Bars (Freestyle)’
For many, ‘Cheeky Bars’ served as an introduction to ArrDee after the freestyle became heavily circulated around social media sites and blogs.
The self-proclaimed “cheeky chappy” shares his rhymes with ease, casually boasting about his hectic love-life and unruly outlook on life. Whilst still touching on a rough past, ArrDee uses this track to manifest his bright future, striving forwards with his love for music.
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‘6AM In Brighton’
‘6AM In Brighton’ presents the charismatic geezer in full effect as he strolls, very fittingly given the title, down Brighton Beach. Carrying himself with nothing but finesse over menacing strings, the rapper shines through lyrically with a wide grin on his face, gravitating towards crude humour and an unapologetic frankness. Regardless of his rocketing popularity, ArrDee assures listeners: “Nah the views won’t change me / Seaside made me / boy I’m so wavy.” Undoubtedly, this freestyle is a strong contender in defining the art of charm and authenticity.
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‘Body 2’ ft. ArrDee, 3x3E1 & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo, Buni
When ArrDee stepped up to the challenge of hopping on the ‘Body 2’ remix, he may have not realised just how iconic his opening line would quickly become.
Currently at 42 million views on YouTube and viral on TikTok, ‘Body 2’ is the main focus of conversation when discussing top collaborations of the year, with the original already reaching Number One in the UK Singles Chart. Indeed, this is a seminal achievement for drill as a genre, bearing in mind mainstream success has often felt like a distant reality at times.
One thing is for sure, this remix only gets us more excited for clubs to re-open…
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It would have been easy to sit back and watch ‘Body 2’s success continue to soar however, ArrDee is keeping up the pace with his latest track ‘Oliver Twist.’ In true Dickens fashion, the rapper illustrates a growing hunger for recognition and longevity with an unforgettable hook and punchy delivery.
Never failing to crack a smile, ArrDee unashamedly brings listeners along on his booze-riddled benders and mischief (sonically, of course) - staying true to his reckless, teen-aged self.
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Words: Ana Lamond