We often talk about rap having an attitude, but I think in reality, we’re talking about fortitude. There’s a commitment to speed, stamina, and breath control, something that Crae Wolf seems to have mastered, or at least come pretty close to pretty perfect.
Hailing from East London, Wolf is seeing success upon success, having landed several tracks on the MOBO UnSung Class of 2022 album, and support from Girls of Grime, the independent female-led grassroots organisation getting women in grime in front of the mic. And what a marvellous job they did this balmy Saturday evening on day four of The Great Escape.
From her sultry intonation and slick choreo, to the way she uses storytelling to frame her gothic setlist, there’s something noticeably fantastical about Crae Wolf. Coming to the stage adorned in a layered tulle train and waist long blonde braids, Crae Wolf was enchanting, delivering a captivating set in, of all venues, a ballroom. A space defined by a somewhat perilous in-room balcony, heavy hanging embroidered curtains, and a chandelier or two to write home about, this venue felt out of the ordinary, not least for an anime inspired artist with a penchant for drill.
Ballroom aside, being a multilingual lyricist is no mean feat – spitting bars in English, French, and dare I say Español, came so naturally to her – I felt like I could understand the sentiment without knowing the first thing about European syntax.
Crae Wolf’s performance was the fairy-tale fever dream that I didn’t know I needed. Her hit track “DND” gave the impression of a speculative Dungeons and Dragons remix, rather than the perhaps more apt GenZ acronym; “Do Not Disturb”, but I’d be none the wiser. Keep tabs on this one, she’s destined for greatness.
Follow Crae Wolf @craewolf
Crae Wolf, Paganini Ballroom, Saturday 13th May