18 year old grime MC Novelist announced his departure from South London crew The Square yesterday via Twitter. He wrote: “I've left The Square. Shifty things have been happening for a while & I'm 18 carrying a lot of people's careers alone. Time to be myself.”
Since breaking through at 16, Novelist has become, to many, the personification of grime’s exciting future: dropping double a-sides on XL Recordings, sharing stages with Kanye, staging clashes at McDonalds, and generally carrying everyone’s inflated hopes on his shoulders with the unshakeable confidence of a kid that gives few fucks.
It would be unfair to say that Novelist has unshackled himself from The Square - the young South London crew has plenty more talent in the shape of Elf Kid, Faultsz and co - but the unquenchable hype around Nov alone has certainly put him on a different path to the crew he first came up with.
Just a few hours after announcing his departure, he dropped an empowering new freestyle on YouTube titled "Novelist on da Block", which riffs hard on themes about building a career and going it alone. There's some fiery lines in there, open to interpretation, like "Most of my boys are kinda lazy" and "I don't wanna hear it, I wanna focus", before the whole thing is split up by a local resident telling them to pipe the hell down.
The departure and freestyle come quickly after the South London MC previewed a new track on Twitter last week, and then smashed up the Rinse Birthday Weekender stage at Notting Hill Carnival. So, his exit from The Square might seem weighty and deep, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow his pace at all.