Some grime albums were great.
Some grime albums were...
Well, disappointing if you tap into grimey hearsay. It wasn't a work of art, but I think this CD gets a lot of undeserved flak, which is down to a harsh fanbase and the hype around Greatest Hits to name a couple of things, as well as 2007 being a forgettable year for grime, giving the CD expectations that it was unlikely to attain. However Skepta didn't help himself, with Jay-Z sends that, despite being harmless, don't reflect well given that the man has a discography Skeppy will never have. The Skeptatron also becomes a victim of his own lyric, since there are no autopsies or intensive snares here and it's apparent that, on this evidence, his old music is better than his latest shit, and the inclusion of Duppy proves the point.
However you can't deny that there are some on-point tracks. Shape Shifting has a hard beat and, along with The Journey, some sort of concept that should be praised. In a Corner is arguably the best grime song of 2007, and Blood, Sweat and Tears has good bars from all involved on a tune that enjoyed good radio play.
The problem is that there's no middle ground. Sweet Mother was a fair idea but it's novelty wore off after 5 minutes, the beat to Not Your Average Joe was poor, and Cold Turkey is a skip track.
Still, who was expecting a flawless debut? Kano made an interesting point about those breaking first from the scene, and that there was no blueprint to follow. While the same excuse can't quite be applied here, it's still relatively early days, and Skepta does seem to try and mould himself on what's gone before. He's 'Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Wiley, Lethal, the sequel', and has to 'stand up tall' for his 'home sweet home' and the 'UK people'. Dizzee arguably has the most talent out of those that have gone, but what is more revealing is that 'Boy In Da Corner' was made organically, with no designs at a wider market and consequently giving a raw, uncompromising sound that was tied together with precocious song-writing skills, with no bait sweet-boy tunes that seems a part of every formula when a grime MC has a go at making a pre-designed mixtape or album.
£20 that they'll be one on 'Microphone Champion'.