"Straight Murder (Giggs & David)," the second collaboration from the South London rappers Giggs and Dave, peaked at #35 in the UK singles charts. This isn't particularly high for a UK rap track, but it's significant for two reasons: Giggs has only breached the top 40 once before and, more interestingly, "Straight Murder" doesn't embrace the pop song format. No hooks or choruses, no singing, just two rappers spitting extended verses over Keyzmusic's icy trap beat. It's not exactly radio-friendly.
This is the power of the Dave effect: pop appeal plus prodigious lyrical talent. When the two rappers last collaborated, on the excellent and similarly no-frills "Peligro," many considered Dave's guest appearance the best of 2017. His verse on "Straight Murder" is even better. This time he goes first, weaving back and forth between mild braggadocio and barbed social commentary, every line bursting with snazzy wordplay and cultural or hyperlocal references, from Of Mice And Men to the Streatham school Dunraven, cleverly disguised here as "done raving." Every time I listen something new clicks into place.
In the four-bar pause between verses, Giggs ramps up the tension with a fit of "aaaah"s and "yeeaaaah"s. The jolt of electricity when he jumps on the beat is off the chain. He isn't the most intricate lyricist. Instead he's all flow and energy, his voice gravelly, his eyes twinkling. The way he snarls the names of cartoon characters is him at his peak: silly humour cut with menace. Observe two very different rappers at the top of their games. Straight murder, indeed.
Tracklist01. Straight Murder (Giggs & David) feat. Dave