AJ Tracey brings the cartoons out on new song ‘Cat Pack’
AJ Tracey has had a big year. Since selling out his two back to back nights at Alexandra Palace and getting his ‘Ladbroke Grove’ single to the top 20 in the charts (all while remaining independent), he’s managed to secure his name as a consistent independent artist.
It looks like he’s aware of the success - so on top of that, he’s announced that his debut self-titled album released earlier this year will be getting an unexpected deluxe edition.
To kick off the roll out he’s dropped a surprise banger on the people. Cat Pack is the result, and it gives us AJ on a bouncy beat, with a catchy hook that will be stuck in your head for the rest of the year.
AJ’s a versatile artist so with any song he drops you’re not quite sure what to expect – he came up through the grime scene and proved himself to be an elite MC in those circles. However in the meantime he’s done drill, afro-swing, trap and garage, and collabed with everyone from Not3s to Denzel Curry.
On ‘Cat Pack’ he’s capitalised on his US connections and brought us what feels a little like a grime throwback produced by the US production duo, TakeADayTrip. The beat is bouncy, active and sees the duo try their hand at a very UK based production style, with great results. The beat alone, with its catchy melody and upbeat rhythm feels like it could be on one of AJ’s earlier EPs alongside tracks like Thiago Silva or Naila – so for fans of AJ on grime, this song is for you.
Lyrically though, AJ feels like he’s just having fun. As I mentioned earlier, since listening to the song for the review the earworm hook is firmly stuck in my head.
It’s not him trying to outbar anyone but he goes for a laidback catchy delivery that results in two solid verses as he flexes about being the ‘West London Saviour’, and talking about how his life has gone from rags to riches. One standout bar comes in the first verse, as he jokingly says “I was in cunch with the ting on my lap / And now I'm in the club with a ting on my lap”.
What stuck out to me about the song was the video. needless to say, it really captures the upbeat party vibe of the song. It’s a colourful and expressive video you wouldn’t usually see from a UK artist, as AJ raps surrounded by his boys masked up in the background. Only unlike his infamous Packages freestyle, he’s surrounded by cartoon characters like the Cookie Monster and the Cat In The Hat. It’s an entertaining and animated video for sure, co-directed by Tracey himself (alongside Hamish Stephenson).
This song is the perfect start to the rerelease for the album on October 25th – if you’re waiting on that then you can watch that video below.