In a poignant promo for his new compilation, Radar Radio DJ, podcast presenter, and event promoter Ralph Hardy talks about what's it been like to run hip-hop-focused events in a time when London is experiencing a crisis of nightclubs being closed. With his club night NANG, Hardy aims to foster a sense of community for a scene and a genre he feels is being especially sidelined as the city gets more and more gentrified. "I don't want people growing up thinking trap music or the bait commercial music is all we have to offer," he says. "There's an underground, that could very well be the mainstream."
To hear what that underground sounds like, you need look no further than Growing Pains 2, the second compilation Hardy has curated in two years. The 24-track release is a who's who of London's rap, grime, and R&B scene: heavyweights like Skepta and Ghetts weigh in with verses alongside fresh bangers from up-and-comers Nadia Rose and Jay Prince. Alongside the known names, there's the artists whose names you'll want to learn. JGrrey's trippy contribution has echoes of the early songs of James Blake and The Weeknd; singer Kemi Sulola brings a touch of jungle to her heart-fluttering R&B, and spoken word poet Tania Nwachukwu delivers a powerful piece on grief that lingers long after it ends. Stream the whole release exclusively on The FADER below.