AJ Tracey loves a surprise. The west London-based rapper and MC recently popped up on "Apologies", a mellow dancehall-inspired track by R&B singer Sloan Evans, with no warning. And you may remember when he quietly uploaded "#LA4AWEEK" onto his Soundcloud account in June, after teasing it a little on social media. The track, produced by AJ and Nyge and featuring guest verses from Sloan and rapper Swoosh, rides along speaker-jiggling bass and has been primed for sticky dancefloors since it first dropped.
Now, AJ's put out some visuals to match – co-directed with Mornix – and he's looking as carefree as ever. The video opens in black-and-white over west London, the charred remains of Grenfell Tower just within view; they're still so hard to see. But then you transition into colour, and hop over the Atlantic Ocean to Los Angeles, where AJ, Swoosh and Sloan live out the "I'm in California!!" fantasies of every kid who grew up in a place as grey and rainy as London: they ride through the city's palm tree-lined streets, hang out on the boardwalk and turn the pavement outside a bodega into an impromptu party.
It's great to see AJ picking up credits in production and direction like this, flexing his creative muscle beyond his lyricism and performance. With his EP due out next month, we'll be asking ourselves what he can't do by the end of the year. Watch the video above and keep an eye out for the next surprise.