19-year-old rapper Cheikh had only been rapping for two years when he decided to take his talents out of the playground and into the studio resulting in the release of his first mixtape P.U.S.H (Pray Until Something Happens).
The southeast London rapper who grew up in the States has been mentored by Richie Montana (responsible for spotting Tinie Tempah and Nu Brand Flexxx) and so it seems he’s got the right backing behind him for future stardom.
Cheikh’s latest mixtape, Progression, begins with the track Superman, a soulful production mixed with hard hitting high-hats and snares making it a perfect example of what to expect from the rest of the mixtape. The whole production could be best described as a straight, no-holds-barred energetic rush, fueling good vibes as Cheikh rides along to an old school Kanye West style beat.
Apart Of Nature is one of the best tracks from the mixtape and becomes an instantly addictive song featuring vocals from the voice of a lady simply known as Brooke. The beat is simple but effective and sounds like an influence of the UK on Cheikh which serves as a plus, demonstrating that the rapper can switch it up and adapt and doesn’t just stick to typical American rap type beats. Apart Of Nature could possibly be one of the favourite tracks from the tape, almost sounding like a Davinche production – the song is a slow synth chord vibe that put’s you in a daze.
Conscious rap seems to be a key focus of Cheikh who gives some realness with Opposite’s. As he raps ‘we just did the opposite of what was taught’ he touches on some light-hearted subjects as well as more serious topics over a Mos Def sounding beat.
To close Progression the rapper finishes off with another Kanye sounding beat with a looped sample. As he plays with his flow Cheikh shows an even more varied style and proves he can certainly control his flow and mess around with it.
Over all Progression is a well made mixtape and shows time and thought was put into the making. Not only does Cheikh manage to create a work of art almost solely featuring on the mixtape alone, he also brings something fresh. There’s no doubt about his ability to create tracks with credibility and dimension. His style could easily become his selling point in the UK and his flow will also definitely carry him through to do bigger things and be accepted.