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After the success he enjoyed with XL, Nines signed with Warner Records late in 2018 with ambitions to scale even greater heights than last time out. ‘Crabs In A Bucket’, his forthcoming third studio album, feels like his most ambitious and decisive yet. Drawing on a difficult period of time that saw Nines caught up in needless situations on the block – “I could have been chilling on any beach in the world but I found myself back there just chatting shit” – it’s an album of self-reflection, a promise to himself never to let things slide again. Sonically, it represents his most viscerally expansive record yet too, taking in the gritty rap stories he excels at telling, as well as slick, colourful afro wave collaborations with NSG and smoked-out trap cuts with artists like Nafe Smallz and Canadian rapper, Roy Woods. There are also nods to the next generation in North London rappers like Clavish and NorthSideBenji, both artists that Nines is helping to develop behind-the-scenes. “I’m hoping for another Champions League spot”, says Nines of the new album, a reference to football and the top 4 qualifying positions in the Premier League, “I’m coming for the top four definitely”.
Relaxed, confident and making the best music of his career so far, there’s every chance he’ll go one better.