London may claim to be the birthplace of grime, but over the last 12 months Derby MC Eyez has shown that there are riches to be found by those who foray outside the capital. Nowhere has he made this more apparent than with Nuttin Like We, the second single released ahead of his debut Square One EP, and a terrific achievement in lyricism, production, and flow.
From the outset, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Nuttin Like We for a new hit by Brit-nominated rapper J Hus: the slick, tropical-inspired production is straight out the Stratford MC’s playbook. That’s not a criticism; that Eyez (and his production team of Zdot and Krunchie) can produce a beat as striking and intimate as the sort produced for grime’s top rappers this early in their careers is testament to his raw talent as an artist. Just listening to the music behind his flows is engaging enough to keep you involved throughout the song.
Delve into the track a bit more, however, and you’re rewarded with some truly wicked lyricism. Nuttin Like We moves at breakneck pace, touching on Eyez‘ meteoric rise to the top of Derby’s grime scene, as well as his ambition (‘Never lose your passion, anything you want in life, you can make it happen’) and sheer grit to reach where he is right now (‘I ain’t scared of spiders, I grew up with tarantulas’). It’s sumptuous stuff, part motivating and part biting, providing much for the listener to feast on.
Of course, the serpentine lyrics would be nothing without a decent flow behind them. Fortunately, Nuttin Like We is confidently delivered by an MC who is only on the rise in his game. The hunger in Eyez‘ voice is palpable; the confidence near inescapable. Despite the many twists and turns his lyrics throw at him, the rapper flows through it all without missing a bar, complementing the impressive backing track with his self-assured delivery.
Nuttin Like We is a tremendous second chapter for Eyez following the ferocious Init, but the real main course is his Square One EP. By all means dig in to that masterclass of grime as soon as you get the chance. However, as far as introductions go, there are few better ways to become acquainted with the Derby MC than with this sublime single.
Eyez Nuttin Like We is out on Spotify and iTunes now.