Sample Sessions: SL - Selhurst SE25
Updated: Jul 11
The perpetually masked, rising star in the UK Hip-Hop scene SL, has now presented us with Selhurst SE25. Known to many as just a borough in the London suburbs of Croydon, it's a prominent location to this Peckham-born Croydon-raised soon-to-be mogul of the Drill game. This 10 minute and 34 second single was produced by American record producer and songwriter Kenny Beats, who has worked with names such as Denzel Curry, JPEGMAFIA, Rico Nasty, Gucci Mane, Freddie Gibbs and many more. The fusion of this local rapper with one of the most sought-after producers of this generation has created a concoction of tongue-in-cheek lyrics amongst golden-age rap sounds, with a modern trap twist. Whilst obscuring his identity comes hand-in-hand with avoiding scrutiny from the media and the protection of Drill artists in general SL, at only 18 years of age, has delivered insanely addictive tracks since his breakthrough song 'Tropical' released in 2017. Having worked with big UK names such as Nines, Hardy Caprio and Krept & Konan, SL is South London's Bruce Wayne who has the ability to astonish anyone within his radius and disappear without a trace. This is my no skips, no pauses and only one listen Sample Session review of Selhurst SE25.
1. Hit The Block ft. Pa Salieu
An instant infectious beat with eerie chimes. Pa Salieu, who gained significant attention through social media with his track Frontline, gushes steadily on this track that makes you inadvertently head-bop. This is where SL's idea of relaying a golden-age sound comes though, with the contemporary notes of modern rap. Lyrically, the track has a steadfast chorus similar to the likes of Skepta whilst he talks about smoking, girls and large amounts of money: "Hit the block, I got what you want, I got what you need / Fuck your bro / I got loads of cro, I got hella tree / That your ho? / Good at takin' bone, better on her knees / I don't sleep / cah the money won't, and that's where I be"
Highlights: A really great opener that sounds mysterious, eerie and catchy. I like that the first verse comes from Pa Salieu.
Lowlights: Personally I would have preferred SL's verse to be faster and a bit more snappy.
Lyrical Content: 6.5
2. Bad Luck
A tropical and uplifting sounding trap beat, reminiscent of the US. The rapping is a little faster to suit the tempo with lyrical content that tells a story rather than it being super repetitive. But the flow comes nonchalant and relaxed, like cruising along a shoreline during a sunset. Kenny Beats' production on this track comes sweet that fuses the UK and US in terms of making a chronic beat that sets a chilled out mood with the lyrics being interesting when you really listen to them.
Highlights: I love the beat on this track. It's catchy, chilled out and engrossing all in one. Will make someone go digging around for anything he's done previously if you've never listened to SL before.
Lowlights: Possibly too short!
Lyrical Content: 8
3. Little Bird
A nice-sounding Hip-Hop beat with Kenny's iconic Woah Kenny! tag in the beginning. This track has a great beat change when it comes to the different verses with a stringy-sounding instrument like a violin in the back, that switches it up ever so slightly so that we can have some variation. As much as we enjoy SL's extremely laidback composure and flow, it's nice that the beat change can add a different sound to the song as a whole. A great thing to note would be the use of imagery and visuals like crazy crane shots which put a tracksuited SL in different locations, making him look like he's got an important job to be doing. SL has a great way of bouncing off the beat like having a conversation with it rather than the flow and song being two parallels. The sound is completely different to what you would usually compare to 'traditional' Drill and Grime.
Highlights: I really like how the beat switches up throughout. The line "Plus I come up from the streets like Masvdial" was clever.
Lyrical Content: 8.5
4. Leave Me Alone
Wow. Okay. That intro is DEFINITELY something that will make people go wild in clubs. I absolutely love that repetitive chiming in the background. SL experiments with different speeds throughout the chorus and verses. The chorus explicitly has SL warning someone off for getting in his way and although the lyrics are possibly not as strong as his previous tracks, he does come out with some great bars. I'm really enjoying how he says the lines "We let his cookies out his cabinet, now we ain't havin' it / Busy smokin' on your cannabis, I been a fan of it". But in all honesty, the beat is something that is so incredibly catchy that I feel like I'm going to be listening to this on repeat. Kenny Beats' has done an excellent job capturing a UK sound, even it might seem a little bit random for this collaboration to happen. This track was a strong ending that makes you yearn for more.
Highlights: THE BEAT IS INSANE
Lowlights: The lyrical content might be a tiny bit weaker than the previous tracks on the album but it's not anything dramatic. I also wish it was longer.
Lyrical Content: 7
Average Rating: 8.5
You can also stream Selhurst SE25 right here.