Bonkaz – Working Under Pressure EP (Review)


The EP definitely serves as a reminder to the doubters and the haters that Bonkaz is here to stay.

Some rappers don’t even release one project in a year, let alone write, record, and mix one in FOUR HOURS. But that’s exactly what Bonkaz has done, and in the process has released his second project of 2016. The “Working Under Pressure EP” consists of four tracks, and started with a couple of tweets about being inspired recently and having an urge to record after listening to instrumentals the night before. The EP definitely serves as a reminder to the doubters and the haters that after a rollercoaster year, Bonkaz is here to stay.

After releasing “Mixtape of the Year” in early January, the tape highlighted his confidence in his own ability and was a statement of his intentions for the year. The mixtape was met with rave reviews from fans and critics and set a benchmarch for other rappers in the scene, while marking Bonkaz out as one of the best rappers of this new generation with his originality and versatility shown through his lyricism, flows and production choices.

But soon after, reports emerged of his past jail convictions, leading to him doing a NFTR (Not For The Radio) interview to tell his side of the story and to clear up all misunderstandings.  He was also forced to cancel tour dates as well as receiving a lot of hate on social media. But since then Bonkaz has just let the music do the talking.

In the last six months the former MOBO Awards nominee has released freestyle videos on both Youtube (4pm in London, 1 Take) and Twitter, jumped on both features (Mad Ting) and remixes (Controlla), as well as released new songs on soundcloud (Sauce, On The Road) and shot videos for M.O.T.Y tracks (Heart, And Dat) . He’s even teased a N.B.A 2 (No Boys Allowed), with New Gen compatriot Renz with the release of “Jodeci & Ginuwine”, which I recommend everyone listen to, especially when you’re zoning or chilling with your other half.

“My first single was evidence I was up, but second time around I swapped legacy for a buzz”

The “Working Under Pressure EP”  effortlessly shows off his trademark versatility with a mixture of woozy rap bangers, indie samples and cuffing season anthems. Bonkaz often talks of his commitment to being honest in his music and trying to inspire others by just being himself. That’s what makes his passion for writing and his natural ability to switch flows and jump on different production styles even more unique. He doesn’t do it to try and show he can do different things, or to try something different. He does it because it feels natural to him and he finds it fun. Bonkaz is consistently proving that he is one of the most unique and also one of the best ARTISTS in the UK scene as a whole, whether he gets the recognition for it or not. He’s the same guy who said “‘I don’t want to kill my soul doing pop tunes’ , stating his ambition to build a legacy over losing credibility by going the pop route like so many before him.

The “Working Under Pressure EP” could be seen as a representation of Bonkaz’s work rate, hunger, determination and skill while not trading off for quality at all. How many other rappers do you know that could have a project written, recorded, mixed and mastered in four hours? One track off of the EP, “Pressure” is reminiscent of J.Cole’s Dreams or Killer or even Wet Dreams (for you new fans), due to the narrative and storytelling qualities. Speaking of Americans, Bonkaz’s music has even caught the attention of New York’s biggest Hip Hop station, Hot 97 with the main man Ebro giving a cosign and listing Bonkaz as one of the future stars of the genre. And he’s not easy to impress.

You ain’t getting rid of me, till I really get to see all my niggas whipping Porsche’s

Bonkaz has to be applauded for making and releasing a project of such a high standard at such short notice. It would be nice to hear how he felt during the hard moments he went through publicly this year, and how he managed to stay focused and motivated through those times, but maybe thats a song for another project. This EP, whether on purpose or not, is a reminder to all the doubters and haters that Bonkaz is here to stay. With his New Gen team growing from strength to strength, headline shows announced in November (tickets still available), and a “Mixtape of The Year 2” already announced for 2017, the future for Bonkaz is looking brighter than ever.

Listen to the EP below. It is also available on Spotify and iTunes:

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