East London rap talisman Jimmy unpacks the personal experiences that inspired Where Should I Start: his intimate new drill mixtape.

East London rapper Jimmy is establishing himself as a powerful voice in the UK rap scene with the release of his new mixtape, Where Should I Start, which dropped last Friday. A key member of Hackney’s 98s collective, his hard-hitting drill has been steadily gaining traction. ‘Hackney’, taken from his critically acclaimed mixtape Risk It All, made its way onto the Top Boy soundtrack, introducing the east Londoner to new audiences. 


Across 10 tracks, on his latest project, we delve into the artist’s more recent personal experiences, as he blends grime, drill and hip-hop with icy instrumental features and enchanting hooks. Vocals tiptoe between gritty and smooth, as Jimmy relays considered lyrics that nod to the question he posed to fans recently on Instagram: “When you look into my eyes, what do you see? Do you see happiness or do you see pain? Do you see a hero, or do you see a villain?”


The project includes two hard-hitting, irresistible beats from jungle legends Chase & Status. Elsewhere, collaborations with prominent names like Potter Payper and fellow 98s members Unknown T and Smokes, add new depth to Jimmy’s evolutionary sound. Leading the charge is ‘Welcome To E9’, a drill-heavy anthem that highlights his streetwise wordplay and dynamic delivery.


A balaclava may conceal the rapper’s physical identity but he’s willing to showcase other sides of himself on Where Should I Start. As for what’s next, Jimmy remains focused, expressing a desire to open doors for others in the UK rap community. Speaking to the rapper we learn more about the record and how he plans to take his artistry up a level with future releases. Tap in below:

Talk us through your new  project Where Should I Start – what are the main themes and inspirations within the narratives?

The main theme is my environment and how it affects me as an artist and as a normal person. The inspirations mainly stem from my personal experiences.

In terms of sonics and atmosphere, how does the project differ from Risk It All?

Risk It All was more of an introduction to Jimmy and Where Should I Start is my story over the last couple of years. I think the new project shows growth and maturity in my lyrics.

There are so many amazing features involved in the project. How was it working with Chase and Status first and foremost, how did they bring out a different side of you as an artist? 

Working with Chase and Status was an amazing experience, from listening to them when I was a kid to then actually being in the studio with them. It definitely brought out a different side of me, using their style of beats which involves hard-hitting instruments and bass. It changed the whole vibe of the song. 


Fellow 98s members V9 and Smokes are also across the record. Why do you think your collective is still going so strong after so many years in the game?

We’re still going strong because we all have our own talent, which attracts different types of listeners. Rap, drill, wavy music… we can do it all.

What was Where Should I Start’s creative process like? For example, where did you come up with the bars? And who or what was around to inspire you whilst working?

I come up with all my bars myself, it’s natural. To be honest I wasn’t really inspired by anybody, this tape is more of a personal project.

The album sonically takes listeners on a journey, what do you hope people learn, feel or take away from that journey? 

I hope my music motivates my listeners to never give up and to put their all into anything they want to achieve in life.

The intro track, ‘Welcome to E9’, is an ode to east London, where 98s was born, in what ways has the area shaped you and your creativity?

 Just from real life experiences. My raps not only paint pictures but they give an insight into what’s going on in my area. 

Jimmy rules the world for a day, what’s going down?

Give all my people freedom.

If you could make a five aside team of your favourite rappers or rappers that inspire you the most, who are you having in your team?

My five a side team would be me, KO, V9, Unknown T and Alchubbino.

What’s next for Jimmy in 2024? Beyond this project, is there anything else you’d like to achieve this year?

This year I want to achieve double what I achieved last year.

Listen to Where Should I Start now:

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