London-based producer & DJ J Rick releases his debut mixtape No Retreat, No Surrender which was launched with the release of new single ‘Want’, featuring fellow Essie-gang member Octavian last night. The mixtape is available to stream/purchase HERE.
Speaking on the mixtape, J Rick said: “This record means a lot to me; its my first solo project release and is commemoration of my uncle Erroll Christie who died in June 2017. He was a big inspiration to me. I just wanted to express how I was feeling about the situation at the time and see what the music turned out like. It was a reflection of me at the time but people will take from it what they can relate to. It’s mad important for me to put out my own project cause I was working on this before I even started working with other people. On my own music, it takes longer to complete and I basically completed a whole other tape before scrapping it. I think producers don’t get what they deserve and if they wanna do something for themselves, they depend on artists to help them. I wanna change that.”
In the past twelve months, J Rick’s pervasive, intoxicating productions have become instrumental in sound-tracking the sound of London. His expansive production work with friends and fellow Essie-gang affiliates Octavian, L3 and Michael Phantom have come to define British rap this year, meanwhile recent solo releases ‘Close’, ‘Short’ and ‘Gone’ hint at a richer and more diverse sonic palette. Nowhere is that more evident than debut mixtape No Retreat, No Surrender.
A homage to his uncle, British boxer Errol Christie, and his life mantra, the album assimilates elements of rap, house, garage and grime to showcases everything unique about J’s differentiated vision. Featuring a who’s who of exceptional talent such as Obongjayar, Rimon and Octavian, the album was interpreted with clips of Errol’s interviews and inspired by the arc of his life; from growing up in the National Front heartland of the UK midlands in the 1970s to becoming a British boxing champion.