AJ Tracey

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AJ Tracey
Birth name Ché Wolton Grant[1]
Also known as
  • Looney
  • Loonz
Born (1994-03-04) 4 March 1994 (age 24)
Brixton, London, England
Origin Ladbroke Grove, Latimer London, England[2]
Genres
Occupation(s)
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2009–present
Labels My Team Paid
Associated acts

Ché Wolton Grant (born 4 March 1994), better known by his stage name AJ Tracey, is an English rapper, grime MC and record producer from Ladbroke Grove, West London.[3] In May 2016, The Guardian listed him in a list of "best new acts to catch at festivals in 2016".[4] His fifth EP, Secure the Bag!, entered the UK Albums Chart at number thirteen in October 2017.

Career[edit]

Under the stage names Looney and Loonz, Tracey's music can be found online dating back to June 2011. An early SoundCloud account, Looney Tell 'Em, contains eleven tracks, each with free downloads enabled. These include four songs from the scrapped grime EP The Dungeon (featuring non-exclusive beats from Spooky and Rude Kid) and two songs from Didn't Make the Cut, originally slated for release on the scrapped hip hop mixtape Fuck a Fairytale.[5] His debut mixtape, Didn't Make the Cut, was released 13 September 2012,[6] and comprises 21 British hip hop and grime songs and freestyles which, in his own words, are "the tracks that didn’t make it onto my actual mixtape". The project was initially to be titled Scirocco Musik, and its artwork still reflects this title. In August 2013, his collective, My Team Paid, announced that they were to release a joint mixtape entitled My Team Paid.[7] One single, "Clouded Skies", emerged, but the project was ultimately scrapped. Tracey's second mixtape, No More Looney, was released through DatPiff on 30 August 2014. The project includes thirty-three tracks, many of which feature fellow My Team Paid members Big Zuu, Jay Amo, Wax and Sketch.[8]

Tracey first gained attention through appearances on pirate radio stations, and the release of his debut EP The Front in mid 2015.[9][10] In December 2015, Tracey released his second EP Alex Moran, which featured acclaimed tracks including "Spirit Bomb" and "Naila".[4][11][12][13] During this period, Tracey also recorded (but did not release) a trap EP entitled Rain.[14][15]

In 2016, Tracey - a Tottenham Hotspur fan - appeared in promotional material for BT Sport's coverage of the Premier League.[16] He also collaborated with Santan Dave over a remix of Ruff Sqwad's Pied Piper to create a well received track entitled "Thiago Silva".[17][18]

In October 2017, Tracey released his fifth EP, Secure the Bag!.[19]

2017 also saw Tracey foray into record production. He made his production debut on "LA4AWEEK", co-produced by Nyge and released in April 2017, and later produced label-mate Big Zuu's "Tell Man Twice", released in August 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Tracey's father, of Trinidadian origin, is a former rapper, and his mother is a Welsh former jungle DJ.[20]

Tracey is the cousin of fellow Grime MC and close collaborator Big Zuu.[21]

Tracey was educated locally at Middle Row Primary school and went on to attend Holland Park School.

Tracey dropped out of a Criminology course at London Metropolitan University in order to pursue his music career.[22]

Politics[edit]

In June 2017, Tracey endorsed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 UK general election. In a Labour Party campaign video he said: "The Labour Party strongly support the youth in following their dreams and giving people a chance". He added: "In my opinion we need a Labour government to give young people a hope, a chance for their future and I genuinely believe that Corbyn is the man to do it."[23]

Later that month, following the Grenfell Tower fire, he was asked for his thoughts on the disaster by The Guardian. His brother Mickey told the cameras: "The central government response has been shambolic. Theresa May, you have a lot of questions to answer, genuinely." Tracey added: "She needs to resign, to be honest... She came with heavy security, no one was allowed to approach her. And then Corbyn comes down, do you get me? No security, chats to the mandem. This is why everyone loves him... It seems like he genuinely cares."[24]

On 14 April 2018, in response to the May administration's decision to launch airstrikes on Syria following the Douma chemical attack, Tracey tweeted: "why is a woman none of us voted for dragging us out of europe [sic] and into world war 3? 😂".[25]

Discography[edit]

Mixtapes[edit]

Title Details
Didn't Make the Cut (as Looney)
  • Released: 13 September 2012
  • Formats: Free digital download
No More Looney (as Looney)
  • Released: 30 August 2014
  • Formats: Free digital download

Compilations[edit]

Title Details
Left Back[26]
  • Released: 9 December 2015
  • Formats: Free digital download

EPs[edit]

Title Details
The Front[27]
  • Released: 12 June 2015
  • Formats: Free digital download
Alex Moran[28]
  • Released: 4 December 2015
  • Formats: Free digital download
AJ's Stocking Filler[29]
  • Released: 25 December 2015
  • Formats: Free digital download
Lil Tracey[30]
  • Released: 2 December 2016
  • Formats: Digital download
Secure the Bag!
  • Released: 6 October 2017
  • Formats: Digital download

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[31]
UK
R&B

[32]
UK
Ind.

[33]
"Thiago Silva"
(with Dave)
2016 non-album single
"Leave Me Alone"
"The Rumble"
(with M. J. Cole)
"Buster Cannon" Lil Tracey
"LA4AWEEK"
(featuring Swoosh and Sloan Evans)
2017 non-album single
"False 9"
"Blacked Out" Secure the Bag!
"Quarterback (Secure the Bag!)" 75
"Mimi" 2018 51 25 7 non-album single
"Butterflies"
(featuring Not3s)
19 7 2

Promotional singles[edit]

Year Title Album
2011 "Curry Chips Freestyle" (as Looney) Non-album single
"Banger" (as Looney)
"MegaTron" (as Looney)
"Touch a Button" (as Looney)
"Spring Freestyle" (as Looney) The Dungeon
"Crud Tip (Bricks Freestyle)" (as Looney) Didn't Make the Cut
"Catch 'Em '16" (as Looney)
"Skeng'd Out" (as Looney) The Dungeon
"Winter Freestyle" (as Looney)
2012 "Lord of the Hypes" (as Looney)
2014 "Afternoon in Madrid"
(Looney featuring Rico, Sketch and Jay Amo)
Slime City
"Kun Aguero" No More Looney
2015 "Spirit Bomb" Alex Moran
"Chalk"
(featuring Merky ACE)
"Trapsuit" AJ's Stocking Filler
2016 "Naila" Alex Moran
"Final Flash" Non-album single
"Pasta" Lil Tracey
"Luke Cage"
2017 "Alakazam"
(featuring Jme and Denzel Curry)
Secure the Bag!

Guest appearances[edit]

List of guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Artist(s) Album
"Clouded Skies" 2013 Big Zuu, Sketch, Riks, Jay Amo My Team Paid
"It's Going Down" Santi N/A
"Everybody" (Remix) Devinkz, Enkay, Big Zuu
"Stormy Days" (Remix) 2014 Santi
"Man Wanna Talk" 2015 Capo Lee, Big Zuu
"Ride Out" Big Zuu, Marger Big Who?
"Owe You Nothing" GHSTLY XXVII, Lyrical Strally, Big Zuu Recon
"Opp Anthem" (Remix) Jay Amo, Big Zuu, PK, Capo Lee Ammi
"Tekkk Freestyle" Sir Spyro, JLSXND7RS N/A
"Hoe" AJ Tracey Complex presents #GrimeTimeWarp Vol. 1
"Slap Yourself" (Remix) GHSTLY XXVII, Jammz N/A
"Bucktown" Kahn & Neek, P Money, Jammer, Rocks FOE, Saint, Nico Lindsay FABRICLIVE.83
"War" 2016 Wax N/A
"Bowser" Filthy Gears, PK Filthy Features
"10/10" (Remix) P Money, Blacks, Mez, Capo Lee, PK, SafOne, Coco, Jammz, Discarda N/A
"Str8 Riddim" AJ Tracey Trapstar x Logan Sama Mixtape
"Like That" Reeko Squeeze Str8 Authentic
"All Four Walls" (Zdot Remix) Gorgon City, Vaults N/A
"Leg Day" (Remix) Tinchy Stryder, Capo Lee, Frisco
"Big n Serious" (Remix) Coco, Nadia Rose
"Arrogant Stance (Eski Thug)" Darkness, YGG, Big Zuu, Darkos Strife, Kwam, Nico Lindsay, Elf Kid, Hilts, GHSTLY XXVII
"London vs. Midlands Cypher" Eyez, Mez, Kamakaze, Dave, Jammz Red Bull Studios presents Mind the Gap
"Ascend" Last Japan N/A
"Don't Talk Like That" (Remix) YGG, Spitz, Jay Amo, Big Zuu, Mic Ty
"Rudeboy" (Remix) Fusion, PK
"AJ Tracey Intro" Mez, DaVinChe The M1 EP
"Shoulda Known Better" Mez, DaVinChe, Harvey
"Oops" (Remix) Haile, Akelle Charles, Yung Fume, Tremz, Louis Rei N/A
"Thinking of You" (Cadenza Remix) Mabel
"Domme Jongens" (Remix) Mula B & Louis
"23" Reekz MB, Youngs Teflon Right & Wrong
"Fighting" Maniac BrOTHERHOOD (Original Soundtrack)
"Be Somebody" (Remix) Clams Casino, ASAP Rocky, Lil B N/A
"Knotty Head" (UK Remix) Denzel Curry, Rick Ross
"My Ways" 2017 New Gen, J Warner New Gen
"Wild Goat" Lancey Foux, Nyge, Kojey Radical, Jevon First Day at Nursery
"None of That" Faze Miyake, Merky ACE N.O.T.
"REDMERCEDES" (Remix) Aminé, Missy Elliott N/A
"Look What I Did" Yung Fume Noughts & Crosses 3
"Popstar" Nessly, Blackbear N/A
"Tell Man Twice" Big Zuu Big Zuu
"Apologies" Sloan Evans, Swoosh N/A
"Bully" Sloan Evans mia
"Don't Get Me Mad" (Remix) Fusion, Big Zuu READY
"Somebody Like Me" 2018 Craig David The Time Is Now
"A List" D7, Big Zuu The Waiting Game
"Have U Seen" MISOGI N/A
"London's Calling" GRM Daily, Skrapz, Avelino, Asco, Loski
"3AM" Baauer, Jae Stephens
"Trekked Like Me" Not3s Take Not3s II

Production credits[edit]

Year Title Artist Album
2017 "LA4AWEEK" (co-produced by Nyge) AJ Tracey featuring Swoosh and Sloan Evans N/A
"Tell Man Twice" Big Zuu featuring AJ Tracey Big Zuu

References[edit]

  1. ^ ACE. "ACE Repertory". www.ascap.com. 
  2. ^ "Mubashir: 6 essential west London tracks and freestyles - hyponik". hyponik.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Rising Grime MC AJ Tracey Ascends To New Heights On This Silk Road Assassins Remix | The FADER". thefader.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "The best new acts to catch at festivals in 2016 | Music | The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  5. ^ https://soundcloud.com/looneytellem
  6. ^ "Toonz MTP on Twitter". 
  7. ^ My Team Paid (11 August 2013). "MTP - Clouded Skies" – via YouTube. 
  8. ^ "AJ Tracey - No More Looney". DatPiff. 
  9. ^ "Interview: AJ Tracey | Dummy Mag". dummymag.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "Hear ‘Champions League’ from AJ Tracey’s new EP | RWD". rwdmag.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "AJ Tracey's "Naila", Produced By Zeph Ellis, Is A Classic-In-Waiting | Complex UK". uk.complex.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "AJ Tracey announces second EP Alex Moran". Archived from the original on 4 December 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "One of the Most Killer Grime Tracks of 2015 Now Has a Video, Here's AJ Tracey's "Naila" | NOISEY". noisey.vice.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "AJ Tracey dons his ‘Trapsuit’ for new track | RWD". rwdmag.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "Daily Discovery: AJ Tracey | Pigeons & Planes". pigeonsandplanes.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "AJ Tracey vs P Money: The Spurs v Arsenal grime battle | BT Sport". sport.bt.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  17. ^ ""Thiago Silva" by Dave / AJ Tracey Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  18. ^ "Dave & AJ Tracey go international with 'Thiago Silva'". thefourohfive.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  19. ^ Armstrong, Megan (October 6, 2017). "AJ Tracey Drops 'Secure The Bag!' Grime EP: Interview". Billboard. 
  20. ^ BBC Radio 1Xtra (24 March 2016). "AJ Tracey drops a freestyle for Toddla T" – via YouTube. 
  21. ^ Boiler Room (19 July 2018). "Big Zuu Talks Incest, KSI, Gelatin & Jay Amo" – via YouTube. 
  22. ^ "AJ Tracey". www.facebook.com. 
  23. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (29 May 2017). "Watch AJ Tracey explain why he's backing Jeremy Corbyn and Labour in UK election". NME. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  24. ^ Amrani, Iman; Heywood, Mat; Sich, Adam; theguardian.com (19 June 2017). "AJ Tracey on the Grenfell Tower fire: 'We've seen no government response' – video" – via www.theguardian.com. 
  25. ^ https://twitter.com/ajtracey/status/985099475583733765
  26. ^ "AJ TRACEY - LEFT BACK (FULL MIXTAPE STREAM & DOWNLOAD)". www.grimeculture.com. 
  27. ^ "Exclusive: AJ Tracey - The Front [Free Download] - SBTV". SB.TV. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  28. ^ "AJ Tracey announces second EP Alex Moran". Fact (UK magazine). Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  29. ^ "AJ Tracey releases free EP for limited time, drops 'Trapsuit' video - RWD". rwdmag.com. 
  30. ^ "AJ Tracey's Lil Tracey Is Streaming Now". The FADER. 
  31. ^ "AJ Tracey | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 April 2018. 
  32. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 
  33. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 
  34. ^ "BPI Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 5 August 2018.