When we first heard Mssingno’s momentous “XE2” last October, the R. Kelly vocal sample was like nothing we’d heard before, immediately identifiable, yet impossible to place. “A dog on the prowl when I’m walking through the mall” isn’t necessarily the most recognizable line in “I’m A Flirt”, but it functions perfectly when disassociated and re-appropriated by the London-dwelling Mssingno. It takes on a slinky, sidewinding quality that reinforces the grand nature of “XE2” and carries the track through several percussion-less minutes. The song came to define a year of instrumental grime, portraying the protean proclivities of the “genre” and highlighting many a peak-time set.
With a good deal of reverence, Los Angeles/Wisconsin-based producer Riley Lake has given “XE2” his own treatment and allowed us to debut the track. Utilizing vocals from R. Kelly’s original to beef up the harmonies and a fair share of eski clicks, Lake’s edit allows for both karaoke singalongs and gun finger waving. The edit belongs in a dystopian club and reminds of the hectic, world-colliding nature of much of Donky Pitch and Tuff Wax’s recent output. If grime is going to continue on its current path, colliding with Southern hip hop, old school electro, R&B and more, then we’re going to want producers like Mssingno and Riley Lake to take the lead. Stream and download Lake’s “XE2” edit below.