54 London Limited
54 London Limited

In the past few years, the UK rap scene has transcended its region and hit the global stage, helping fans around the world to get familiar with its abundance of talent. One rapper showing no intent on stopping her rise to the top is Stefflon Don. Since the start of her career, she’s stepped up to the challenge of breaking out of her scene, collaborating with international rappers and artists like Jeremih and Lil Yachty.

Showcasing her raw talent and adaptability with tracks like “Hurtin’ Me,” Steff’s ascend has been steady. As a 2018 XXL Freshman, she became the first to lock down a spot, raising the expectations for her music and potential. She steps everything up with the release of her new mixtape, Secure.

Secure is only Stefflon Don’s second mixtape, but this 16-track project has the heft of an album. She brings strength and aggression from start to finish. The intro “Lil Bitch” sets the tone for the project; Steff is full of bite: “If you really want problems I'll be Dennis The Menace/Serena Williams hittin' 'em with the racket 'til I bend it.”

Giving plenty of bravado throughout, Stefflon Don calls out her haters with tracks like “Precious Heavy” and “Jellio,” on which she drops hard-hitting bars that boast her achievements. On the latter, she mentions the partnership between her own label, V-IV London, and Universal Records, to which she signed in March 2017. "Publicize my tweets but never posted when/I signed myself for more than half an M/1.2 to be exact, ask my nigga right.” Throughout the mixtape, the UK rapper communicates an intense focus on her craft, never letting a man or woman get in the way.

Secure features a balanced mix of features by artists from the UK and beyond. It's a fortunate position that most UK rappers could only dream of. She provides local appeal on the bedside anthem “Uber,” momentarily showing off a rare, softer side with UK rapper and producer Ebenezer. On the unapologetically explicit “Both Ways,” Steff’s also joined by her rumored bae, rapper Fekky, who adds some masculine energy on a bouncy chorus. But the London rapper also recruits beyond her home network, collaborating with DJ Khaled on the positivity-laced "Win.”

Secure is eager to please all facets of Stefflon Don’s multiple talents—she sings as well as provides different rap styles. She frequently gives us bullish bars, but she adapts her flow on tracks like “What You Want” with Future, an Auto-Tune showdown that seems highly inspired by his sound. But some of Steff’s strongest moments on this mixtape are when she raps and sings in patois, giving us dancehall vibes. Unsurprisingly, “Senseless” and “Pretty Girl” are official singles for the rapper. As one of Steff's standout strengths, these moments provide effortless listening and sees Don in her element.

Secure leaves listeners with a lasting impression. With all of the media coverage, accolades and cosigns that she's received so far, the project serves as a sampling of her immense potential. Displaying her reach and multitude of skills, Secure is just another indication that Stefflon Don’s career is only set to get stronger.

See Photos of Stefflon Don's Behind the Scenes at the 2018 XXL Freshman Class Cover Shoot

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