This year, Skrillex has been in full-on creative-reinvention mode. He released the back-to-back collab-heavy albums Quest For Fire and Don’t Get Too Close, and he got together with his friends Fred again.. and Four Tet to release some music and to fill in for Frank Ocean as last-minute Coachella headliners. Now, Skrillex has teamed up with a couple of very different rap heavyweights for a trans-Atlantic collaboration.
Earlier this year, Skrillex released two collaborations with the veteran London grime MC Flowdan — “Rumble,” with Fred again.., and “Badders,” with Peekaboo and G-Rex. For the new track “Pepper,” which has nothing to do with the Butthole Surfers, Skrillex and Flowdan worked with Atlanta star Lil Baby. (The big Skrillex/Fred again../Four Tet track from earlier this year was “Baby Again,” where the trio basically remixed an old Lil Baby verse.) “Pepper” has a beat that sounds like hypercharged UK drill, and it’s got Flowdan and Baby going back and forth. Flowdan has an easier facility with this type of track, but the combination works better than you might expect.
The “Pepper” release is somehow tied in with the upcoming Tyson Fury/Francis Ngannou heavyweight championship match. Courtney Phillips directed the song’s extremely slick video, which stars Ngannou, Flowdan, Lil Baby, Cristiano Ronaldo, and a leopard. It looks like a Nike commercial. Check it out below.