When MoStack preceded his full debut album by dropping a Stormzy-assisted single, it coincided with the sun coming out after an English May that had been unusually blighted by dipping temperatures and, in some parts, snow. “Released SHINE GIRL yesterday. Now look at the weather... Thank me later,” he tweeted. Controlling the climate probably isn’t within his powers, but across a series of playful and melodic mixtapes, EPs, and freestyles, the North Londoner has brought plenty of warmth and vibrancy to UK rap.
That continues on Stacko, where the music draws on pop, Afrobeats, dancehall, UK garage, G-funk, and ’90s R&B for its luminous, upbeat hooks, while MoStack’s sharp wit and charisma ensure he’s never overshadowed by gold-tier guests including Dave, Stormzy, and J Hus. “I’m a hustler, I thought you knew that/I could sell a Biggie Smalls album to Tupac,” he quips on “What I Wanna.” Stacko often revels in career success and romantic adventures, but it’s done while recognizing the struggles he faced to ascend the hip-hop ladder (“Stinking Rich”) and surveying some unvarnished realties of the road (“Respect & Love”). And throughout, MoStack operates with an appealing self-awareness that breeds swagger-puncturing lines such as “My girl even put her arms around me/She’s so comfy she even fart around me.”