Wednesday, 31 December 2008

"You Can't Chat To Me About The High-Road, Back Then I Was Moving Psycho"

I don't know. New Year's always comes as a bit of an anti-climax. Building up for a new start, expectations of a new dawn. It never turns out like that though; a nasty hang-over and other fuckery that suggests the same as always.

Fuck it though. January 1st is just a day that follows 31st December; time's relentless move forward. I'm currently listening to Kano's This Is The Girl though so the disillusionment is slightly allieved. Remember when the tune adorned the front page of the 679 Recordings website? When Vectra used to play it so often that you thought 'London Town' would be the real deal?

Logan's show last Monday sums up '08 really. He may have had glazed eyes during his retrospective look on grime last year, I don't know. But remembering particular moments of last year perfectly, and then its start seeming like ages ago, is a bit odd. I feel a bit ashamed with my preoccupations of Rolex-sweeping, which eclipsed the brilliant Dark from early '08. I only forgot about the tune after deleting the radio rip because I played it about fifty times. Double S's Pot Of Gold nearly joined the annals of anonymity as well. That was a banger. And what happened to Skengman Mode? It was played on nearly every set early this year, only to then vanish like President T.

Anyway, a couple of token predictions for 2009. Might as well.

Double S may have had an alright year, but he's only been a big, recognisable name for just over twelve months. He has a good flow and similies, but most importantly he makes good songs. As a crew, Marvell seem to be moving as a more unified unit now, but he can still individually build on what he's done this year. There's been a few steps, but they're solid ones.

Wiley is a highly unoriginal choice, but the Manchester air is obviously doing him good, since everything he's touched recently has turned to gold. His flow is flawless, and his spitting is the best it's been for a while. The straining for the elusive, classic release must be a burden, but with recent signs, off the back of one of the best vocals of his career in Where's My Brother, there's abundant promise. 'Race Against Time' now has even bigger expectations.

Ice Kid is also an unoriginal shout. He's the wildcard of 2009; not yet complete, with more proof of his song-writing skills and work-rate needed, yet he has the raw skills and intensity that raise him above the large majority. It's about time he made his mark on the scene.

What are your predictions? Surely yours are more original and interesting than mine. The truth is it's half five in the morning and I'm pissed.

A Happy New Year to you all, and hopefully a good year for grime. Twelve months is a long time. Or is it?

Saturday, 27 December 2008

"From Lamppost To Lamppost We Run The Roads"

Kano sprinted back to the scene this year while copies of London Town were hurled at him from behind. His newly-acquired sunglasses dearly dangled from one ear, trying to save themselves from a trampling by the chasing, marauding masses who expected better after a promising debut. Efforts at a mellower sound for these ungrateful gits fell flatter than a Lenny Henry gig, and the divorce from 679 Recordings followed.

Credit where it's due, and at least Kano is still going, unlike his former label who've made a few changes. He's even restored some credibility with the release of 140 Grime Street, which was a good CD that couldn't even be dragged down by the inclusion of Soldier. It's no coincidence that the big names uniting on the album resulted in its best three tracks. In this context, Soldier didn't matter.

Kano has given a lot to the scene this year. His return has proved a catalyst for grime's biggest names to stop slyly looking at each other's myspaces and actually work together. Wiley, Skepta and Chipmunk enjoyed a trip to Radio 1's Big Weekend in Maidstone and, by jumping out of the woodwork and delivering the P's & Q's bars, the Garden of England bloomed into life. Kano officially marked his return.

The Provincial Pleasures of Maidstone High Street

However, it was surpassed by the concert at the 02 Arena, and 'The Greatest Grime Show On Earth' exorcised the demons of the place once being the Millenium Dome and just a big waste of money. The general unity is reflected currently; Wiley and Ghetts proudly place one another in their Myspace top friends, a sure sign of affinity, and one that quashes the two's temper-tantrums about vocalling Rude Kid's The Best earlier this year, not to mention bigger battles in the more distant past.

Kano's return has also made Skepta and Ghetts peculiarly pally, and the two both featured on Logan Sama's 140 Grime Street show, one of my favourite sets this year. Skeppy's allegations of Ghetts sending for him 'every two minutes' were replaced by interchanges of 'buss one' and 'god forgive me', a lovely moment as well as proof that Skepta must have listened to the CD before he threw it in the bin. He's recently shown signs of normality, relapsing into a few old words for Ghetto on Westwood, but there's still the impression that progress has been made.

'Politics', and the scene's best talent not combining often enough, has been to grime's detriment in recent times. Maybe things are changing.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Nicole's Groove

Christmas Day.

The Allies and the Germans stopped killing each other and had a game of football, Jesus was born and gave all of us sinners a chance, and none other than Shystie was born. Dubplate Drama wouldn't have been the same.

Big up all the guys that ordered stuff off the net and are still waiting for the goods to arrive. I know there's a few of you about. I'm just gonna wrap up a couple of things now but first of all, I just wanna say thanks to all the people that have read the blog over the past year. Thanks to all who have taken the time out to read what a next guy thinks and leave a comment, and thanks to all who have left feedback, positive or negative. It's appreciated.

Special thanks to the grimeforum gang; Lemon, Hij and Elijah at
butterz, and a big shout out to Davide Machado at Gold Seal Recordings.

I think I posted POW as last year's Christmas jingle, but it's a different vibe this year. I just like the tune, and it's also nice to reminisce on Breeze being a top mic-man in comparison to his paltry status nowadays. I suppose it's partly his fault.

Wiley Kat & Breeze - Nicole's Groove

Spyro, Maximum and Mak 10 should be on Rinse FM later. I'm starting to plan my excuses from the dinner table now.

Happy Christmas.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

"Usually Drink, Usually Dance, Usually Bubble"

I remember JME welcoming the new year, while hosting the Boy Better Know Rinse FM show on Christmas Day 2007. The mood was happy, with the anticipation of a new start. Big things would happen. In a way, the expectations were realised.

Wiley made Wearing My Rolex on his January birthday and, if he hadn't, the scene would have been very different this year. 'Electro-grime' was born. Despite the Guardian columns, its not a genre; it's just a few tunes that followed the original by Wiley and Bless Beats. I suppose the main reason for defining music into a genre is for marketability. However, only the first charted so it all looks like a big, commercial failure.

Top 4 Desperate Attempts For Mainsteam Paper

1) Lethal B - Keys To The Bentley
2) Ribz & Skepta - Dance Like Me
3) Mz Bratt - What Would You Do?
4) God's Gift - Ringtone

I suppose the electro, cross-over tracks cemented the idea of the 'artist'; making the one, the tune that brings new opportunties and recognition. For me, one of the most disappointing moments of this year was Fuck Radio 6. On it's own, the set was perfectly fine, but it's a blot on the previous five sets and the name of the 'Fuck Radio' series. Only three MCs turned up; Double S had never featured on one before. The rest couldn't spit on the radio any more; they were artists.

The set was on Logan Sama's show, and his broadcast has been part of the revitalisation of radio in the last few months. However, his national show doesn't dwarf the efforts of other DJs, who have travelled to the pirates in the late hours. The likes of Spyro have given a good account of the genre on tour, but sets from Vectra, Silencer, Sketche, Score Five, JJ and others, including up-comers such as Meshack Nasty, isn't forgotten. The last few months of radio has been very strong, and just about saves face for a year as a whole in which the radio too often gave quiet crackles.

Best Radio MC Award

1) Jendor
2) P-Money
3) Blacks

However, a side-affect of the artist talk is that mixtapes are a much more professional affair. Announcements today of Zavvi being placed in administration isn't a good look for the MCs who jubilantly announce on Logan's show that their latest is stocked there, but it is more indicative of CDs being more viable products to a wider audience. Bashy's 'Chupa Chups' mixtape was praised last year for its 29 tracks. Such a move now would be seen differently, which reflects the change in mixtapes and the rise of EPs and albums. Also, with the lack of raves and the dominance of the internet, free downloads have increased greatly, and in both quality and quantity.

Top 2 CDs That Didn't Get The Praise They Deserved

1) Little Nasty - Hungry Season (some old songs, but they're good)
2) Warlock - Friend Of Mine, Foe Of The Music

Best Free Download

1) P-Money A Little Back Then With Now
2) Griminal - Not Just Barz
3) Brutal - 10% Effort

You can't begrudge an MC sitting in the studio, carton of Ribena in hand, contemplating their next hit as an artist. Times have moved on, and it's necessary to have a professional frame of mind for prolonged success. All the same, the classic moments that shine in grime's past from a fan's point of view have all but gone. There's been a sad lack of hype this year, and even a part of that has seemed contrived.

Most Hype Moment of 2008

Killa P sending for Trim on Rinse. (It was so greazy I had to run from my computer and sit in a fully-lit room for half an hour).

However, there's still the amateurish moments. With the rise of the arist, most these days revolve around MCs wading into unfamiliar waters. Kano made a fair point a while back, about the first grime MCs peeping their heads above the parapet without any precedent to follow. I should have some sympathy, and from Wiley's RWD Forum cries for help I do. A bit. But comedy is comedy.

Top 2 Cringe-worthy Moments

1) UK Cypher - Chipmunk, Ghetto and Skepta at the BET Awards
2) Skepta playing Timmy's Mallet with Kelly Osbourne

There were genuinely funny moments though.

Top 3

1) Dot Rotten walking out in the middle of his Logan Sama set
2) Skitz Beatz skanking, contrasting to the no-nonsense pose with Styles P
3) The offical video for Rolex Sweep

Just a couple other ones.

The 'Grime Has Blown' Award 2008

1) Wiley shouting "OLI OLI OLI" with Hot Chip at Glastonbury Festival. And you thought Dizzee with the Arctic Monkeys was big.
2) Busta Rhymes moving from the Tribe Called Quest days to the Rolex Sweep
3) Erm, Mistajam doing the Rolex Sweep

The Rolex Sweep all seemed like innocent fun, until Skepta took things a bit too serious and felt obliged to give instructions. No freestyling allowed, but Macarena shuffles and all sorts. Rolex Sweep is serious business.

Finally, a mention for Ears. He comes back to the scene early this year after prolonged speculation on his whereabouts, drops his mixtape Millionears, only then to swish his cape and disappear into the darkness about a week after he came back.

I wonder what he makes of the electro-grime Rolex-ing business. Although someone would have to find him first.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

"Some Have Got Albums, But No Singles, CDs Full Of Bare Skits And Jingles"

The Logan Sama show last night was a bag of madness. A couple bits to listen to.

Jendor - Dun Dem (Radio Rip)

Jendor's first mixtape, 'Grandmaster', is out on January 26, and I assume this is on it. The bars on the track have got silly reloads in the past few months, but the beat here doesn't really match the hype, nodding to other tracks such as Sunshine. He'll always be more of a radio/rave MC to me, but his features on 'OG Season' showed the hype can relate to a physical release, so there's no reason not to have expectations if you're a fan.

Roadside G's - Sweet Tooth Freestyle (Radio Rip)

Wiley - Time Flies By (Radio Rip)

Autotune season.

God's Gift - You Don't Know About Me (Radio Rip)

You may well have heard this beat being used on Wiley's Westwood freestyle. I believe Bless Beats made it and, if so, he is doing a lot of stuff at the minute. I quite like his melodies, and there have been productions in the past I've liked, such as Dis Likkle Yout with the obvious choices Local Lad and 16 Bar Rally, but he seems to be much more consistent now from what I'm hearing. Wiley laced the beat very nicely on Westwood, sitting at home afterwards to unanimous 'King of Grime' forum talk. Goodz had other ideas.

Goodz - Who You Talking To? (Radio Rip)

Goodz - Party N Rave (Radio Rip)

Goodz - Destruction (Radio Rip)

Goodz - More To The Floor (Radio Rip)

Goodz - Upset Me (Radio Rip)

It's always nice to hear Goodz spit, and after all the electro-grime efforts you can't help but smile and feel a bit of relief. All the tracks feature on his pre-album Ultrasound which is out in January. There's no Throwaway Thoughts there, which I think I enjoyed more than all of the tracks played last night, since it's my favourite Nocturnal beat and an all-out grime banger, without the dubstep elements that seem to linger in the production on 'Axiom' and the forthcoming project.

The set had novelty value, with Big Seac bowing to public pressure to deliver bars we've all heard before, and also in Logan's clanging. Nah I'm joking, there was a technical issue but the set was still top-drawer with a nice selection. Download it from grimepedia.


NOCTURNAL // ?????
NOCTURNAL // ?????

Fill in the gaps please.

Two last bits. Chipmunk was (I imagine) cordially invited to the Radio 1 Christmas Party, and he performed his single Beast as well as the follow-up, Chip Diddy Chip. He's had a very good year and I suppose it's all a lovely, fitting and commercial end.

Credit should be given where it's due. Beast is one of the best songs that came from the scene in '08. It's good to hear grime or near enough performed live, and the guitarist was obviously having a ball with his liberal solo. I don't know what to make of the other track, but it wasn't bad, and it reminded me a little of a Fix Up Look Sharp, maybe because of the drums. It worked for Dizzee any way.

The third Earth 616 sampler is out later this week. I've come up with the idea of guessing what's on it. I'll probably regret it later but I plan to make it too late by then.


Someting from that. Surely.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Untitled - Misconceptions Review

'Misconceptions' is the latest release from Untitled, and it shows an awareness and maturity that provides an alternative voice within the scene. While not perfect, this CD is a good, well-constructed achievement and, within the genre, a highly original release.

The mixtape is definitely a grower, which is down to the breadth of topics scrutinised under Untitled's microscope. The content is not something a grime listener would necessarily expect, yet the issues are largely relevant and often complemented with a humour that cuts into the density of the subjects.

The emphasis on personal experiences leads to greater immediacy and relevance to the listener, contrasting to the more distant and arguably cliche Euthanasia. The personal is shown to maximum effect on one of the best tracks, Be Alright, and the spoken asides add to the beat as well as the general theme of storytelling.

The spitting tackles the subjects well enough, yet at times the flow could be better, and there is some montony in delivery. However, the hook on Councils shows the possibilities when everything comes together, and the track itself represents the broadening scope of a CD that still sticks to familiar and pressing issues. The peer pressure of Knife and characters wasting away in Alchi emphasise breadth, yet it's all rounded off with Music, a good song that proves a fitting ending.

Approaching different topics is respected, but the more conventional grime tracks are highlights, such as Fed Up and You Don't Know, and both are pushed further by great productions from J Beatz and Z Dot respectively. The production is one of the best parts of the CD, and the faith paid in new producers plying their trade reaps dividends. Rude Kid is the most established name, and he leads the way at the start yet Moony, Troublesome and Royal T all contribute.

Naturally there are some weaknesses, yet it doesn't hide the fact that Untitled has put together a professional product that is a breath of fresh air. Go and support it.

The CD is available now from:

UK RecordShop
Uptown Records
Avalanche Music Hut
And Untitled's Myspace

Friday, 19 December 2008

"Topboy Now I Get On Better With Grime"

Who doesn't listen to DJ Cameo?

I shamefully raise my hand, like I used to way back when I had to admit I didn't have the cash for own clothes day. Maybe I should listen to Cameo, but there's just not enough hours in the day. Especially when you get up at 12.

Anyway, on the last show Ghetts tells his 'UKG' story. I was expecting narratives of a young Justin rising from the gutter to heady heights but it didn't quite turn out like that. A few things were said though:

● Griminal, Chipmunk and Ice Kid are the best 'youngers' in the scene,
● Rapid, Nocturnal and Maniac are the best three producers,
● And himself, Kano and Wiley are the best MCs in the scene right now.

Not the most controversial list. Except for that bit.

Later on in the show there was a Little Dee vocal, which is the first track I've heard after a bit of an absence in the wake of the Dot Rotten, OG-Civil War fracas.

Little Dee - Deep Blue Sea (Radio Rip)

It's only a clip since time was running out, probably because Cameo was unable to resist the unholy urges of bassline. Despite the length of the audio, the tune sounds decent. The hook is not bad by grime standards, and neither is the beat. I thought Don't Let The Name Trick You was a good effort; the release happened a bit too early for him in my opinion, but the beats carried the CD a long way.

A debut album is in progress, so maybe this will feature. Little's year next year? I've been hearing a lot of '2009 is mine' talk. Only one can have it.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

DJ Spyro - Old School Set

Cheeky update.

I hadn't locked into Spyro for ages until tonight. The set was brilliant, with flawless mixing as standard and a top-notch selection. I didn't record it all; TNT's Nissi escaped, but still there's about an hour and a half's audio here with more than enough classics: 138 Trek, Champagne Dance, 21 Seconds. That Gorillaz tune.

It worked though. Nothing but happy vibes, this is a straight download. Enjoy.

Stream and download on Zshare

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

"I Ain't Giggs But I See I've Been Covered In Red Like A Portion Of Chips"

First thing first. Jammer is the best MC in grime at this moment in time. Are you dumb. Second, here are some track rips from the Logan Sama Show last Monday and, probably for the first time, a Manc was responsible for the best track on the show. What's going on.

Shifty - Off Da Radar (Radio Rip)

I hold no accent-stigmas any more and, to be truthful, the London-centric presence that lingers over the scene may give identity, but it also hampers. Loosening up about it a bit should help the scene broaden and move forward at the same time, while on its own terms. Which is good, in my humble opinion.

Some more rips.

Ribz Freestyle (Radio Rip)

Imp Batch - Out In The Street (Radio Rip)

Jammer - Champs & Weed (Radio Rip)

With the distinct lack of warring in 2008, I suppose I should be heralding the fact that, on the set, the alliterative titan Jeeday Jawz proclaimed live to the nation that he wasn't a 'nerd like Rinser'. However, I can't hide the fact that I don't really care.

Download or stream the set here.



Last week's set with Jammer, Frisco, Tempa T and others is still on repeat. And one beat in particular.

Dirty Danger - 20 Minute Massive

This needs a release sharpish. Some bits and bobs have been said about the nature of grime now compared to its original sound but, to be honest, there are plenty of good beats about that bodes well for the future. Such a view contradicts Prancehall's statement, bemoaning Ruff Sqwad's Bethnall Green as 'the final turd in grime's now festering, fetid septic tank'. 'How the guys responsible for "Anna" can now be making something which sounds like a discarded Mitchell Brothers B-side is utterly depressing'.

To overlook beats like 20 Minute Massive, as well as Bring Your Click, which is one of the best current grime tracks around, is a bit of a shame. Still, he does make a valid point in that if Ruff Sqwad are straying from the sound, then we all might as well forget it. I doubt that will happen any time soon.

Right. The year's nearly up and, before I have to buy presents and shit, expect reviews of Untitled's Misconceptions, Nasty Jack's Shotta Music, and Wiley's See Clear Now. All a bit late, I'm ever so sorry. And maybe some serialised year review with some unofficial awards business.


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

"Listen To Logan Just To Keep On Track Of Ya"

The Logan Sama Show round-up. Four radio rips to have a listen to today.

Durrty Goodz - Throwaway Thoughts

The second track in was the latest Durrty Goodz freestyle. It's one of the best things I've heard this year, and Nocturnal on production plays a hefty part in that. DG shimmers behind the curtain while the kids argue about who's the King of Grime, or who has the best cross-over hit, only to drop a bomb that reminds everyone he's still lurking. Underground material is coming soon, and the sooner the better. As much as I respect the achievement of an Axiom, this freestyle shows that, on grime beats, Goodz can surpass it.

Big Rem - For This Town

Big Rem follows his Messy collaboration, We Make Money, with For This Town. The nasal delivery has been banished by the 'Nigerian Ryder', so it's at least some re-invention, and we'll see where it takes him.

Sharkey Major New Tune

Sets is one thing; now tracks. I still can't believe it. Sharkey Major is back with a tune I don't know the name of so use some artistic licence and make one up. Silly beat.

Wolf - Sound Like That

Wolf's latest is a good idea, with a funny chorus but, ironically, the autotune he's mocking comes back to haunt him, and by the end it really pisses me off. But isn't that the intention?

The set featured Jammer and guests, and it was absolutely ridiculous. Download it if you haven't already. The quality of radio has been very high in the last quarter of 2008, and Logan has been leading from the front.

Shame his site isn't updated though. If Logan has an assistant he must have made the stupidest paper aeroplane by now, during all the time not spent on putting up tracklists.

Here's a partial one. Any help filling in the gaps would be greatly appreciated.


Happy listening.

Monday, 8 December 2008

"What Do You Know About Violence?"

No one minute clips, but the full thing. There's some odd sound effects here; presumably the Generals covering themselves with a piece of cardboard against the monsoon of internet piracy.

Newham Generals - Violence Video

I've been waiting for this album for far too long. It was really the only thing I cared about this year, along with R.I.P Young Dot and possibly Skepta's Microphone Champion. I thought I had become immune to the everlasting disappointment of dashed hopes, but this video suggests otherwise. Roll on '09.

The video is good, and I appreciate the polished yet amateurish, home-made feel to it, which contrasts nicely to an MC with little credentials pontificating in front of a camera, swarmed by half-hearted women and rented cars.

I could have sworn the original of this had Footsie's "I will overly war man" bars, but Dizzee Rascal and G-Man's features put such thoughts on the back-burner. For me, D Double E not appearing is a bit hard to take, and Dizzee could have at least wrote some new bars for his signings, yet this is a strong, first single. Head Get Mangled next?

If it was any other grime act I would have lost faith and not given two shits. Says a lot about the Newham Generals really.

Or is that just me?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Rinse 07: Spyro

I haven't really been following the Rinse Mix CDs but, after seeing Spyro's latest edition, I might have to change that.

I've only listened to Skepta's Rinse 04 mix and, despite the selection being true to the genre, the lack of versatility thanks to the glut of Boy Better Know tunes, tunes which most fans have heard before, did disappoint.

Rinse 04 partly serves as an introduction, but still Spyro's attempt seems to bring greater variety with grime still holding a slight sway. And the mix should be better, what with him still regularly DJing and all that.

Have a look at the Fact Magazine preview here.


1. J Mixer (Feat. Badness) - Dem Dem VIP
2. Lil Silva - Seasons
3. Sway (Feat. Stush) - F Your Ex
4. Skepta - DTI VIP
5. Ruff Sqwad - Ruff Sqwad Man Dem
6. Reservoir Dogs - Buddha Finger
7. Dizzee Rascal - I Luv U
8. Joker - Retro Racer
9. JME - Standard VIP
10. DEA - So High
11. DVA (Feat. Alahna) - I’m Leaving
12. Maniac - Ouch
13. Dee Kline - I Don’t Smoke
14. DOK (Feat. Lauren Mason) - PS VIP
15. DND - I Will Never Leave
16. DOK - Rapid Speed
17. R1 Ryders (Feat. Karnak - Rubberband)
18. Terror Danjah (Feat. Badness, Bruza & DEV) - Interested
19. JBR - Lost in Vegas
20. Bless Beats - I Wanna Be Your Man (Instrumental)
21. Lil Silva - Funky Flex
22. Most Wanted - Last Man Standing
23. Sticky (Feat. Tubby T) - Tales Of The Hood
24. D1 - Ongie Bongi
25. Menta - Sounds of the Future
26. Teebone (Feat. Sparks and Kie) - Fly Bi
27. P Jam - Unknown
28. Terror Danjah - Scotch Bonnet
29. Scratchy - Shangooli
30. Spyro - Shadow Boxing

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

"Can I Call Myself A Darky?"

Nasty Jack must have blustered into the Kiss studios last night. Comments flew left, right and centre during his interview with Logan, including "are you saying my mum listens to hardcore grime?" It was a twist from Jack's Westwood appearance, after demanding an apology for the host's sleight to his mum. He didn't even get one still. I remember Bless Beats copping the same treatment a while back so at least Jack can take that for consolation.

I concluded he might be a bit on edge, and maybe even unconfident after dropping bombshells such as the ladies not feeling his afro a while back, but I just divorced myself from the context and laughed at the whole thing.

I was waiting to hear about the Logan dubs, his masterful change of musical direction after the ill-fated Pimp On Flows, and hopefully the general story of NJ rising from the recent rubble of grime scene non-acknowledgement, arm extended in the air with clenched fist, while screaming "suck ya nan-a-nan" to the doubters in the wake of the resurrection.

But it was all a mistake. The Logan dubplate that kicked it all off was apparently a "joke", after Jack put his "heart and soul" into something that didn't quite pay off. He may have felt he didn't get what he deserved before, but I think you do get what you deserve in time. Perhaps Shotta Music is the unintentional break.

Jack ended with the obligatory "2009 is mine" talk, and said that more mixtapes and an album are coming. Shotta Music wasn't his normal style, and would probably be a one-off.

You can talk about deserving something but, after the anticipation of Shotta Music, willing to leave it all behind makes no sense at all. There may not be huge longevity in the bashment-influenced style, but at the least he's distinguishing himself from others and doing something different.

Maybe he doesn't want to pigeon-hole himself, but I can't help thinking that Logan did him a massive favour when he spontaneously decided on a second edition of Shotta Music. I would rather listen to material an MC enjoys making rather then the latest, contrived effort to break the charts.

Couple new rips for you here from last night's show. Might as well.

Ghetto - Don't Phone Me (Feat. Griminal)

A bit late, but fuck it.

Tempa T - Next Hype

Frisco - Ignorant Remix (Feat. Roadside Gs)

Big Rem & Messy - We Make Money

Saturday, 29 November 2008

"I Write Bars On Showerman Rooftops"

Better late than never. Radio is really picking up after the summer months when everyone was in Ayia Napa having fun and I was sitting indoors, with no holiday fun, trying to avoid the rain, gales and all other sorts of meteorological fuckery. Perhaps unfairly I looked to the grime scene for some sort of relief, but nothing was forthcoming.

The outlook has now brightened up, and Vectra was on Rinse last night, with Jammer making a surprise appearance. However, maybe it was more of a surprise that Blacks wasn't there, given his regular appearances on the pirates in the second half of this year. Nevertheless a track of his was played, which I'll just call Grime Kid after the name of the Maniac production and Wiley vocal. Divshare seems to be down yet again so I've popped my zSHARE cherry. Listen to the track here.

The hook is a bit weak but, regardless of recorded output, it's the radio performances alone that have catapulted him up the list as one of the best MCs in 2008, representing the sound in one of its most natural and rawest mediums.

At the moment, grime needs more MCs like Blacks.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Maniac Vs Stryder Review

In the unlikely event that you didn't clock, Tinchy Stryder Vs Maniac does indeed feature the Bow residents, with the MC and producer coming together to unite yet also compete against each other in the CD's central concept.

The idea of the two going against each other is interesting, and one that surely intends to raise levels. I remember Skepta on JME's 1Xtra producer Takeover Show saying that when he hears a good beat it makes him want to fight against it. Maniac was also on that show, and it was the first showcase of his beats Star In The Making Remix and Warzone. Both feature on this mixtape.

Competition is also reflected in the structure of the CD, with six vocals comprising the first section, six instrumentals the second, and two bonus tracks which I'll generously call a bonus section. It may sound simple, but in the context of the grime mixtape such a format is innovative, and further adds to the dimensions of the grime CD, which in itself has vastly changed in a relatively short space of time into a slick and more widely marketable product.

Nevertheless, Stryder Vs Maniac is firmly rooted in the underground, and the hype beats don't allow scope for 'sweetboy' tunes which Tinchy can actually make respectably, and intense spitting is required to keep up with the beats. Tinchy generally doesn't fall behind but No Cape, featuring Fuda Guy, has a bad hook and isn't as good as previous collaborations such as 16 Writers. Fly Away is well-produced, but the vocal slips at points leading to disinterest.

Excuses are given on the Warm Up but Stryder is in decent voice, which flows into the second track Wait Till The Moon Comes Out. The chorus, like most in grime of late, doesn't escape the autotune but it doesn't sound too forced. The hook and its content of the black cape, evoking super-hero connotations under the romantic image of the moon coming out, is soon dashed with references to the black star nine. Maybe I read too much into these things. Regardless Big Seac pops out of nowhere for a rare cameo appearance which almost made me fall off my chair.

Familiarity is gained again in the banger Rollin', the highlight of the vocals that still has integrity after being battered by Logan Sama and every other DJ on the underground. The Bow theme here continues, with Delusion booming over the original track and carrying momentum which perfectly complements the production, and Roachee features on the bonus remix. God's Gift makes it three's a crowd for features on the bonus E3 Shank Shank.

Some things have been said about the quality of the instrumentals, but in truth it says more about the producer, who consistently makes great grime tracks. The beats here are decent at worst, and finally having Star In Da Making Remix and What Da Rass is surely enough for any fan. Warzone and Mandem are also good beats.

Despite the different sections, the mixtape does have a unity of sound, resulting in a good final product that is comfortably one of the better releases this year. More importantly, the producer is rightly thrown back into the spotlight, a trend that is hopefully developed for the benefit of the scene.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Logan Sama Show - Track Rips

Just a few rips from Logan's show last night.

Chipmunk - Beast Remix (Feat. Wretch 32 & Bashy)

Jammer - Duppy Know (Feat. Skepta & Diesel)

Liquid E - Take Notice (Feat. Wiley)

Monday, 24 November 2008

"You're Not On A Beef Ting You're Cabbage"

Grime content is narrow. If you're bothered by this sort of thing, don't despair. It happens to all of us, but P-Money may well go down in the grime annals for realising a breakthrough in the war against writer's block: fruit and veg bars.

P-Money Bars on Midnight Request Line

I haven't listened to Midnight Request Line for time. I almost forgot how good it is. Anyway I'm finding it very difficult to refrain from a five-a-day pun so I'll quickly move on. Opening with the claim that some of "these man are fruity", what followed was a wringing of the towel to try and squeeze out as much as possible from the topic.

I have no intentions to cast aspersions on the fruity discourse, because I don't want to get "clapped in the mango", and think of the mess if "grapes are gonna fly like British Airways". Nevertheless, I was sceptical about the over-use of word-play on tracks such as Talking To Trainers and a few others on P Money Is Power, since it did get a little tedious but, like all good fruit, the bars are fresh here so the novelty value remains for the meantime at least.

I still don't really know what to make of the lyrics, yet I appreciate trying to do something new and the bars did say something generally, even if I didn't really follow the veg section. Still, I don't care too much for logic, and the vegetable chat did wake me up a little at 2:30 AM which is a worthy achievement in itself.

P-Money was on Rinse FM with DJ JJ, Blacks, Drifter and Amazer. The set was good as usual, and if you want to hear more then you can download the full thing here.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

"I'm A Big Sound Man Like My Dad"

I'm still pissed that I spent my hard-earned on Best Of Newham Generals Volume 1. I think I was unemployed at the time but still, it's money.

There was 20 tracks on there, but 7 of them were less than a minute long. A slap in the jaw really. Something that's less than a minute isn't a track, is it. One was a radio rip from Rinse FM as well. I just accepted that I got bumped.

However, I've stumbled on a slept-on tune that's been getting played for most of the day. Stay Fly is a DJ Semtex exclusive, which seems ironic given he asked the Newham Generals whether they were South Londoners or something a while back (it's on the start of Prancehall's mixtape I think). I accept that London is a big place, but the clue's in the name still.

"Stay Fly" isn't really Gens diction, yet the track is a Double and Foots back-to-back enterprise that's a near grime staple, and the content places itself back in the day; so far back in the day that Double wasn't blazing, Footsie was twining man with the ball at school and got signed. Visualising Footsie going on a 30 yard dribble is nearly as epic as It's War, Do You Hear Me and Scars combined, which says a lot really, especially given the fact that Scars is one of my favourite grime instrumentals ever.

Scars Clip - (Radio Rip)

I used to twiddle my fingers in anticipation for Generally Speaking. I don't bother now. And there was me thinking September was going to be album season. What happened?

Saturday, 22 November 2008

"I'm Going Hard"

I rate Dot Rotten highly not just because he's a talented musician, but also for his output that is generally consistent. I've had a few sly clocks of the myspace and, despite a couple of computer crashes, he seems to be keeping busy.

I'm Going Hard isn't brand new, but its recent make-over by Tenchuassassin is. I don't look out for anime, I've never watched those type of programmes, and I basically have no interest in it. It can only be because of my indifference that I was a bit sceptical about these videos, but an MC having a bar about food, consequently being matched by the obligatory clip of an ageing Oriental chap cooking some fried rice or something along those lines, just seemed to have little point.

However, I have come to appreciate them more and more over time, since they are artistic, and do add to the grime video generally. Even as a half-cynic, the scope of anime is something to admire, and fans of that genre could be drawn to grime music if more of these videos are made. Tenchuassassin seems to put his creations together well, and I did discover things I didn't necessarily see at first. Also, the lyrics are highlighted on a greater scale.

Dot Rotten - I'm Going Hard (By Tenchassassin)

Not that this latest Rotten tune is introspective at all, but a statement of intent over a Faith SFX production which is good with some big bass. The track collectively is decent, with no signs of the monotonous delivery which reared its head in places on R.I.P Young Dot, yet the verses comprise bars heard before that could give the impression that the tune was done quickly.

However, it's hard to guage when a tune was made rather than when it's first heard, so the bars may not necessarily be that old. Either way, it's irrelevant because the final product is good, yet Dot is arguably the best song-maker in the scene who is capable of better. Hopefully that's shown on his double disc and album which are due to drop in 2009.

Dot Rotten - I'm Just Being Me

I imagine quite a few of you have heard this track already, but it deserves a post regardless. It also sounds quickly made, but the trademark Rotten chorus jumps out and is further defined by the beat variations. The a cappella for the first 40 seconds is really quite a simple idea, but it emphasises the beat that is to come and, more importantly, adds variety to grime's structure of production which can be similar at times.

Lyrically, the track is a message to the "haters" yet the clever, melancholic twist in portraying himself as a victim adds atmosphere that contrasts to the stark message of intent on I'm Going Hard.

The "biological father of grime" or not, there's enough happening at the moment that shows promise and anticipation for the blank canvas of 2009.

Friday, 21 November 2008

"Sly, Look Into My Eye"

People have been doubting my credentials recently. My blogs aren't good enough in the highly competitive world of the blogosphere, and you should know about it son. Shaken and stirred, I tried to escape the accusations by wallowing in some Lauryn Hill, but it was no good. Not even Jon E. Cash. The shuffle went onto Swindle's 140 Mixtape.

Maybe it was the melodic synths, but still it proved better than the others, and stopped the cries of "boring" ringing in my ears. I listened to it all again, and concluded that someone needs to find Fuji, drag him to a studio and make him record some tracks.

He could well be doing stuff currently, but I'm unfortunately unaware of these things. I also spontaneously decided that Battersea needs a higher profile in grime and, with a lack of options available, it seemed fitting that Fuji would be the man to step to the plate.

Fuji spitting for about 15 seconds while walking through a tunnel

The hype verses of South Side Allstars Riddim and the Ska Riddim show grime at its most chaotic on tracks, and a time when MCs actually weren't doing their own thing and did decide to reply to sends.

I enjoy that sort of thing, but still appreciate tunes such as Don't Quit, which removes itself from the sometimes gimmicky world of the 8-bar track. The song has a decent concept, and promotes a message creatively while not sounding preachy or disingenuous. Fugi's enunciation isn't always great, but the comedy in being a "black Bruce Lee" more than makes up for it, and his distinct voice isn't overplayed on. There's elements of rawness, yet there's nothing wrong with that and he has talent that probably hasn't been fully realised.

The product is completed by a video that I didn't know existed until not that long ago. The best grime videos are the cheap ones with comedy gold, and Don't Quit is up there.

Don't Quit

Bring back Fuji.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

'If You Ever Saw What The Skeng Did To The Tree'

I was planning to have a little analysis of Skepta's latest foray into this electro business, Sunglasses At Night. However, the forum people have their eyes on the ball and I was too late. Like Skepta on the Cypher video.

He wasn't the only one, and I rate Skepta highly still. But Sunglasses, as well as the collaboration with Ribz, doesn't really inspire any sort of confidence. Artists do have to show versatility these days, but you still have to do yourself justice. Skepta is better than this.

Skepta - Sunglasses At Night (Radio Rip)

The track was featured on Logan's show last Monday, along with a couple of other tunes that caught my ears. Bring Your Click should feature on Rapid's album, and the sooner that comes the better.

Rapid & Ruff Sqwad - Bring Your Click (Radio Rip)

I only deal in threes.

Bullet Ah Go Fly (Frisco Remix) Feat. Badness, Riko, Flow Dan & Killa P (Radio Rip)

Voltage was Logan's guest, and the MC was on the set with Realist and Scruface. The set was very good, with a top-notch selection that kept me from nodding off. Realist again proved why he's a name to be reckoned with, and was allowed more freedom than his appearance on Westwood a few weeks back, which involved being paraded by Asher D and only being able to spit on one beat. Voltage came with his trademark bars, and Scruface's skippy flow cut through the hype beats on offer.

Download Realist, Voltage and Scruface set from


Wiley // Before This
Maniac // Salt Fish
Rapid // License
Skepta // Skankin' Ting
Wiley // Club 8
DJ Oddz // Champion VIP
Rapid // Knightrider
JME // Napa Prince
Maniac // Headshot
Nocturnal // Don't Phone Me
Davinche // What Is Mine
Maniac // What The Rass
Joker // Holy Brook Park
Maniac // Thug
Rude Kid // UFO VIP
Wiley // 5.27 AM
Skeamz // Greengate Guys
Maniac // Rollin'
Rapid // F'in Riddim
TNT // Nissi
Maniac // Grime Kid
Macabre Unit // Take Time
Lewi White // Mountain
Footsie // Do You Hear Me (Arnie)

Sunday, 16 November 2008

"It's 2000 And Nasty"

I had a crisis of confidence earlier today. What do I do for the scene? It's not enough to be a fan these days you know. I vainly searched for an answer against the backdrop of Nasty Jack, Stormin and Meshack Nasty on Axe FM.

The set is no-nonsense, with Jack spitting about being the "Hackney Kid" and bringing back welcome memories of the Sidewinder clash. Thinking that no-one goes to radio these days, I remembered quite quickly afterwards that Nasty Jack has a mixtape dropping on 1 December, entitled Shotta Music. Logan Sama is hosting the CD, probably because NJ has made a couple of spectacular dubs for the man in question.

Hosting a CD is a thankless task really, because it's not going to drastically improve the final product yet still maintains a massive scope for pissing off the listeners. Nevertheless, Nasty Jack has found a niche for himself within the last year and his new style tunes seem to be creating demand, so I look forward to hearing it.

A radio appearance to promote Shotta Music seems a bit cynical given that Nasty Crew are attempting some sort of revival at the minute. Griminal and Little Nasty firmly stuck to the Nasty name despite it being a shadow of its glorious past, and the brothers have done enough to get it into a position where something more substantial can be established. Crews are arguably not in trend at this moment in time, but Nasty is an exception.

Things look quite promising at the moment, with solo material being released and MCs going to radio. DJ Spyro presided over a great set recently with Little Nasty, Griminal, Stormin, Badness and Sharkey Major. Yep; Sharkey Major, resurrecting like a grimey Lazarus back onto the airwaves with Jesus nowhere to be seen. Something is happening, surely?

The original line-up is firmly consigned to the past, but time moves on. Emerging talent is apparent in the likes of Younga and DJ Meshack Nasty, and Stormin's words on the Axe set said a lot: "no old bars allowed". It's the best policy and, despite their heritage, and a heritage that includes Marcus Nasty and Stormin's appearances on Big Brother's Big Mouth, relying on past success won't achieve things in the future. All the same, it says so much that their past firmly informs their status now.

For the nostalgic fans that have been living under rocks for the last 6 months, Nasty sets are up for download on

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


I still hope for a Scratchy mixtape. Probably naive, but I thought there's not much wrong in hoping, so I just carried on.

Grime is arguably losing some of the many elements it once had, and one of those is definitely the use of a 'cockney' voice. Wiley has used it, along with the likes of Bruza, Dogzilla, and Scratchy himself amongst others, and it did chuck in something different to the melting-pot. Nevertheless, I can't say I'm kept awake at night pondering over the whereabouts of the Milkymans, even if they did play a part on the glorious, and triumphantly localist, personal favourite Southside Allstars Riddim.

Southside Allstars Riddim

Times change, yet Scratchy has made a seeming solo return on the microphone which could signal new intent. Mixtape? Logan played a new track called Rampage last Monday, which I made a hash of ripping:

Scratchy - Rampage (Radio Rip)

His quantity of output can't be described as immense, but there are some classic vocals in the archives, including the Ice Rink vocal which is one of my favourite versions. The Pied Piper vocal, Trim N' Scratch, and B.U.N were all memorable too.

Maybe one could feature on a belated mixtape. Nothing wrong with hoping.

Monday, 10 November 2008

'The King's Sat In His Throne My Head's Too Big For A Crown'

Unoriginal post today. I'm tired.

Chipmunk is obviously keeping himself busy, and the video has appeared for his single Beast. Featuring vocals from Louick Essien, the final product is very slick, especially placed within the context of his previous material. League Of My Own was only released just over a year ago, but the difference is huge.

Chipmunk (Feat. Louick Essien) - Beast

Good video, good production. The inevitable 'is it grime'? queries will pop out out of the woodwork, yet there's a fair amount of bass and, even if the hook has an R&B approach to it, Chipmunk's spitting very much suggests grime.

The subject matter also suggests grime and, more particularly, Chipmunk, sticking to the tried-and-tested 'I'm the best, I've worked hard and look where I am now'. There's nothing wrong with belief, and a little arrogance can take you far, yet starting the tune with 'can you please get down from the top of the scene' did make me cringe a bit. Every artist will indulge in their own ego, and a statement of intent is needed in a scene in which reputation carries too much weight, but making these type of songs repeatedly goes against the idea of versatility being needed for longevity.

He deserves respect for making grime music and not changing his style to suit a new audience, for moving on the pirate radio circuit, featuring on the mixtapes of numerous MCs, and being in memorable clashes on Rinse FM and during the Fuck Radio series. I rate Brutal, but Chip's 'you've got problems pronouncing words' did make me laugh.

The one-line flows also show an adherence to grime's heritage but, in Chipmunk's case, the over-used repetition of Fire Alie and Mandem seems to fit in with a currently superficial content, with little originality and insight. Beast continues the trend.

This Life, from his early days being 'Fresh Out The Oven', and Let's Change prove he can move from his favoured topic of 'going on sho'. It would just be nice if he did it a bit more.

The new single, Beast, is due for release on 1 Decemeber '08.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Dizzee Rascal on Newsnight

I haven't seen Jeremy Paxman speechless before but, you know what, I think he actually was after his little chat to Dizzee Rascal. How he got onto the Barack Obama-aftermath debate is questionable, but the result was pretty hilarious.

Baroness Amos, the first black woman to have a seat in the Cabinet, and with a growing high-top that with love, care and nurturing could be as epic as Tempa T's, looked on in disbelief in the face of the Raskit whirlwind.

Dizzee Rascal talks about Obama, political parties, and Martian-man

The role of hip hop in Obama's victory is pushing the boat out a bit too far but, nevertheless, everything else he said seemed valid, and came with a complementary cheeky grin. Asked whether he believed in political parties, the literal reply in 'yeah, they exist, I believe in them' was a masterstroke.

One of the faceless Youtube masses doesn't think so, coming with

"Yeah they exsist"


You can see that education shining through.

Preaching about education and then spelling 'exist' incorrectly doesn't reflect well. Someone fling that guy a copy of Boy In Da Corner.

'What Is Wrong With People Tim Though'?

A very unoriginal post today. Never mind.

Tim Westwood telephone interview with Wiley

I've been neglecting Westwood TV recently. Time, lack of inspiring artists, that sort of thing. However, here, Westwood talks to Wiley about his supposed death in a Hackney alleyway. The subject is quashed pretty quickly, and Wiley has 'learned' not to loiter down alleyways in recent times. No advantages of hanging around in alleyways currently come to mind, so it can only be a good thing that he doesn't engage in such antics now.

The link to the original, false 'story' has been taken down, but Bluntwun came with some evidence that was pretty irrefutable:

'So I heard about this news story happening and if they... didn't use Thames Valley Police statement for a Hackney based murder (lol), this could've been somewhat more believeable'

In the name of a certain Wiley instrumental - Bang Bang.

Westwood is a bit insincere in this telephone interview, contrasting to the approach of Ras 'hate is entrenched in our society' Kwame, but the mood lifted the morbid talk into something a bit more fruitful. Westwood's question regarding Eskibeat Recordings revealed that there's a project in the pipeline. I'll believe it when I see it.

Another good question was asked amidst the talk of Hummers, which was the albeit slightly cliche what do you want to be best known for. Just so that we all know when you actually do die. He's done so much in his career, but his pride in Where's My Brother is revealing. It still puts a smile on my face when I hear it played by Logan and other DJs, and it's definitely one of the best Wiley tracks I've heard.
Part of the track's appeal is the issue of who's Wiley's brother. All will be revealed on the video to Where's My Brother, which should be landing in early 2009.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

'This Weren't Made In Taiwan It's A UK Brand'

I can't lie. I'm a fan of free downloads, and Wiley - Mixtape Master, mixed by DJ Furious, is one of the latest that's doing the rounds now, adding to his archives which include the 2 Fast 2 Furious and Rhythm and Grime collections.

Mixtape Master is a good summary of the Tunnel Vision series, which admittedly I haven't listened to in a while. In the unlikely event that you care, the mix consists of 48 tracks and beats, running to a total of 72:27. The mix is comprehensive enough given the 6 volume output of the Tunnel Vision series and, despite quite a few of the Tunnel Visions being disappointing, this mix shows that there was good material on there. He's Too Much is a slept-on banger, and the numerous war dubs provide comedy in the way only Wiley can provide it.

The mix is decent, with an emphasis on selection that was generally good. Flying was a huge tune to drop at the end, the mix going out on a high, and providing pure vibes against Wiley not slewing Stormin's face but being a 'defender' of it. There's so many beats and vocals to choose from, but my wait to hear Dragon Stout for the first time in ages unfortunately continues.

Still, the instrumentals were the highlight, and it was nice to hear some relative rarities in Snowman, the When I'm 'Ere Remix, and Ice Cream Man Remix. In Eskimo, Ice Rink, and Igloo, the mix has the Eskibeat classics that arguably represent the pinnacle of any producer's achievement in this genre.

Download on Rapidshare
Download on Sendspace

Saturday, 1 November 2008

'If You Haven't Got A Vision Then Fam Where You Goin'

He may have been ruthlessly upstaged by the old guy with the loafers on the Movement Documentary, but Semtex's blog isn't bad and I might just have a look at it sometimes. I had a brief look earlier, and saw that Wiley's forthcoming album, See Clear Now, has been delayed until January 2009. Bravely ignoring the fact that Semtex was probably right, what with his contacts in the scene and all, I looked on and the worst of nightmares was confirmed.

Unlucky if you pre-ordered.

It's not that long to wait, but all the same I was eager to hear what the final product would sound like. With January and a new year not being far away, it's unlikely the CD will be changed, so hopefully lots of people will buy the tracks and download them onto their new and shiny ipods, and that youngsters will get the CD with the tenner they got from their auntie Sally. And so on.

I don't know if there will be any repercussions, since the delay isn't that long, added to the fact I'm not sure of the anticipation for See Clear Now, but it doesn't sit that well in the process that's led up to the album's release. Surely someone could have had a eureka-moment and realised that yeah, Christmas isn't long after November 10, maybe we should take this into account, rather than giving a date and not sticking to it.

I'm not that fussed really. Even if the title track is ridiculously catchy. As long it doesnt affect Race Against Time, which it shouldn't, then I'll be happy.

Friday, 31 October 2008

P-Money: P-Money is Power Review

Being one of the few MCs that has consistently gone to radio this year, and in the aftermath of the well-received promo A Little Back Then With Now, P-Money should be regarded as one of the best MCs of 2008. As a result, P-Money Is Power had high expectations. Unfair or not, it didn't match up to them.

The mixtape was a fair attempt with some good concepts, and the refixing of various MCs' bars was successful initially in The Grime Scene Part 1, and followed up in the wide air-play of Sounds and Gimmicks and P Is a Rascal. However, on the mixtape itself, the idea of taking different lyrics and making them into a new form was one in which the novelty quickly wore off. The attempt to reference as many people as possible tends to lead to a lack of focus on the track, resulting in little being said. There was hype on occasions, but maybe a Sounds and Gimmicks-like track could have been much more effective as an interlude since the track, running to nearly four minutes, did get boring by the end.

New subject matter is appreciated in a scene where content is narrow, but all the same Watch Your Drinks was an odd track, even if the message was valid enough. The track's beat wasn't great either, which is a sentiment that can be said for a fair few tunes on the CD.

However there were exceptions, with Big Shot's contribution providing hype and impetus that was vital to the success of a track like P Is a Rascal, and the Dot Rotten beats were generally good even if he has made better. All the same, the beat for Talking To Trainers was one of the best there, along with Wonder Boy.

The Motive, Slammer, London Boy, and What Did He Say Remix were also good tracks, and Talking To Trainers is also memorable, even if the metaphors were used too much, an offence that Sounds and Gimmicks is also guilty of. However, the style of references worked well on the intro, which related to the tracks that followed in a clever way. The CD 'intro' is often a wasted attempt at introducing the listener to the CD and the world it tries to portray, but this happily wasn't the case here.

P-Money is currently one of the first MCs a grime fan would want to hear on a radio set or at a rave, and he's certainly one of the better MCs out there. He's raw and has an impeccable flow yet, on the evidence of this CD and as an artist, he's not quite the finished article.

'Hit 'Em Like a Lightning Bolt, 5000 Volt It's Your Own Fault'

It happens less these days, but still a beat that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up always results in replaying the beat at least ten times or something dumb that like that.

Dot Rotten Beat (Radio Rip)

It might be the strings, it might be the mini-drop, it might be the Dizzee Rascal sample that matches other Rotten beats such as Can't Test My Crew, the one with the Fugees' Ready Or Not excerpt, and Skepta's 'every time you see me wearing the glove' sample. Either way, the beat has an atmosphere to it that is a combination of all the individual elements and, even if it is a little old, the result is a joy to listen to.

The audio might not give justice to the clip from where I got this from, which was when Dot had a tantrum because Logan didn't deal him like one of them guys. So just listen to that if you like Youtube and Logan's mixing. And if you enjoy looking at comments from people who have the inability to think properly.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

'When I'm Saying Serial I Ain't Talking About Coco Pops'

Grime videos are a phenomenon that should be appreciated by all. They've got slicker over time, and this year has seen some good ones in Muhammad Ali,
Star In The Making, In A Coner, and Hustler.

The whole spectrum is there in grime videos, from the budget-ness of From Day, the polished slapstick of Pies, the comedy of Rolex Sweep, the dreads and mayhem on Message Is Love, the neon and erratic movements of Mr, and the hype of I Can C U. I appreciate the large majority of grime videos, but nothing comes close to Murkle Man.


Jammer - Murkle Man

Naturally, the latest contribution to grime's Youtube presence doesn't surpass the work of art of Murkle Man, but Tinchy Stryder's latest, Rollin', is a respectable video that's well shot. There's no real amateur moments here that make it a true grime classic, and the start gets off and running safely with a surely conscious nod to Jay-Z's Change Clothes. I still prefer the version with Dillusion, but this is a big track regardless.

Tinchy Stryder (Feat. Roachee) - Rollin'

The video has its moments, including Maniac's deserved cameo that follows in the vein of Mainstream Money and Kidulthood To Adulthood and, even more deservedly, he's spared the embarassment of being called a 'brainiac' this time around. Tinchy drops about two slices of probably Warburtons on the floor, and even 'Ricky from MTV' comes along for the 'Roachee's free!!' party. The dancing at the end, as well as the traditional cameos of various MCs, gives the video character and suits the nice vibe of the track.

The single will feature on the anticipated mixtape Stryder Vs Maniac, which is due for release on November 10.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

'I'll Leave Your Head-Piece Open, On The Door-Step With The Front Door Open'

Lord of the Decks is a grime institution that needs reviving. It was consistent, and their soundtracks were some of the best ever and epitomised the sound. I always liked the first one, with Crazy Titch's Destruction vocal, Esco's version of Ice Rink 2, and N.A.S.T.Y's Take You Out. The first Lord of the Decks and its shameless imitation of The Lord Of The Rings is full of character, and 'The Fellowship Of The Mic' is poetry. It's refreshing to look back on something like that now, amidst the hygienic yet necessary professionalism that's needed to market yourself these days.

The fellowship of the mic was represented on the DVD for the third edition, which is one of the best bits of grime footage I've ever seen. They might lack quality control, but I love grime DVDs, and there's always priceless moments that have replay value.

The footage of Kano's, D Double's, Jammer's, and Lethal B's weekend in Berlin has a ridiculous amount of highlights, including Jammer getting into the car for the airport at 4 in the morning while still blazing, Kano in the recovery position on the plane and scared shitless while Jammer and Lethal do their best to drown out the public service announcement, and Jammer laughing at D Double E's bag because it was made by Hi-Tec.

Jammer is the centre of everything comic, but his tour-de-force is yet to come. The records are left in the hotel room with the keys, and Kano just stands there as Jammer tries to kick down the door. While yelling 'POOOOOWW'! 'POOOOOWWW'!

After numerous attempts, the Merkle Man flies in mid-air, both feet extended for the aerial dropkick, the camera going into slow-motion, and Jammer eventually breaks in, only to fall on the floor in the moment of victory.

Bizzle described it best, in probably the best monologue Germany has ever heard.
'It's all mad out here but, did you just see that shit? It's fucking nuts, Jammer fucking Superman Dread licking off fucking doors and shit, see me rudeboy, IT'S REAL, THE BIZZLE, WE'RE IN FUCKING GERMANY, you see me, man are late for the gig, man are on some BLACK PEOPLE'S TIME, YOU SEE MEEE'

A lively weekend with even livelier grime ambassadors. Over four years on, they've all done alright for themselves. Where have the characters gone?

Monday, 27 October 2008

'She's Wearing The Rolex I'll Be Like Pass Me The Watch'

I used to dislike Westwood but, through listening to his shows more often after becoming a self-appointed grime patron, I've come to accept he has comic value. That said I rarely tune in to his show on a Sunday night. Rinse FM had a promising line-up but technology fucked off when it was needed so, with some thoroughly legal BBC backing, Westwood passed over the airwaves. I locked in.

Asher D turned up with Swindle and Realist. I rate Asher highly; he's released a lot of material, he was one of my favourite MCs in the So Solid Crew, and Bullet Boy was one of the best urban UK films I've seen. Not that making a UK urban film that's better than the rest is that difficult, but it was a good film all the same. He seems to have a plan with his label AD82 as well, and his recent signing of Realist seems shrewd, even if it's too early to make any major conclusions about it all.

Swindle is also a part of the AD82 roster but, unfortunately, Westwood wasn't too clued up on his movements, so had to ask what he was about. Swindle replied he released his 140 Mixtape, surely grateful for any sort of plug, only for Westwood to ruin everything by piping up with 'what dawg, Kano's joint'?

I laughed.

Westwood covered his tracks by suggesting Kano might have had a bite on the title name. He did quite a good job of it. Realist also did a good job too, barring over Nocturnal's Stay Down The Road remix which was a good selection that matched the hype. The bars were grimey but he also came across as a courteous chap in bigging up his mum not once, but twice.

A quick detour. I finally got round to listening to 140 Grime Street recently. After a few listens, it's not bad. There's some pretty good tracks on there, although some did make me wince, such as Don't Come Around Here, on which I expected Lil' John to start growling at any moment, and the totally unforgettable Soldier. The accapellas are good lyrically, but they highlight the newish, Kano slur, and Missing Me concludes with 'I garaged it, hip-hopped it, ragga'ed it, now it's back to grime because they've been missing me like Madeleine'.


140 Grime Street is a misleading title but it's a decent effort overall, with Hustler, Hunting We Will Go, These MCs, Anywhere We Go, and Seems Like Things Have Changed lighting the way. A journalist from the Guardian called the album 'tremendously heartening'. I think that's going a little far, but everyone is entitled to their opinion and, generally, I did enjoy the album. The Guardian article also claims that the album is a step 'back on the right path'. Hopefully Kano treads that path for a while yet.