Kwasi Danquah III has built up an impressive portfolio under his stage name Tinchy Stryder, with early works with Dizzee Rascal, several UK top ten singles, collaborations with other producers like Calvin Harris and co-ownership of Takeover Roc Nation with Jay-Z himself .
ESG (which stands for ‘east side geezer’) is the British grime singer-songwriter-producer’s lead single off 360° (his first album in four years). A deep, overpowering bass designed for maximum impact on car speakers and in clubs permeates the track. This, combined with the bouncy percussion and fist-pumping ‘Hey’ backing vocals, result in an abrasive yet entertaining single whose energy doesn’t seem to diminish.
The pre-chorus hook, sung by Zimbabwean singer/songwriter Takura, colours ESG with a tropical flavour that would suit the Notting Hill Carnival. Tinchy Stryder’s raps are both abrasive and percussive. The hook ‘im-ma-ma, im-ma-ma’ is repetitive, yet drives the track so much that it is a crucial part of the beat. The rhythm would be much weaker without it. It is strange to see the product placement in ‘cash on the tour, no debit card Visa’ though. Admittedly, ‘no debit card Mastercard’ doesn’t quite have the same ring.
ESG has just enough rythm and swagger for the clubs. What it lacks in melody, it makes up in its beat, which commands listeners to dance, shake it or do the 2013 thing: twerk.