Sunday, 31 May 2009

BBK - Too Many Man

It's been a while since I locked in to the charts, and the days when I recorded Daniel Bedingfield's Gotta Get Thru This on cassette. I would sigh heavily when the guy hosting the show would feel the need to talk all over the start and end of the track, mocking my third-rate piracy.

But time changes. Listening religiously to the charts is now part of a hazy childhood nostalgia. Bedingfield now makes soppy ballads. In fact I don't even know if he makes music nowadays - I'm just not very interested.

I've tuned in a bit more recently though - once in a while - to see how our grime acts are faring on the other side.

Boy Better Know's Too Many Man was released this time last week. According to the iTunes store, Too Many Man is #99 in their Top 100 Songs Chart.

iTunes isn't the be-all and end-all for getting music. Fuck it, it's not even the official charts. But #99? For a song that's had wide airplay on the underground for the last three-odd months?

But I think it's a fair achievement. Chipmunk may have reached #22 in the charts independently, and Dizzee Rascal may have shat on the charts from very high above independently, but Too Many Man isn't a Chip Diddy Chip or Dance Wiv Me.

It's an independent grime track and, with its funky elements, an accurate reflection of the scene now. Skepta's Rolex Sweep, despite Busta Rhymes sweeping all over the O2 (or wherever it was) and Chris Martin wailing about glasses of champagne while tinkering the piano at a Coldplay gig, got to #92 after release in the iTunes Top 100 Songs Chart. Surely grime music, and underground music in general, can take something from that?

Added to the fact that the single was released a week before both Wiley's 'Race Against Time' and Skepta's 'Microphone Champion', and the track being on both albums, it's not too shabby is it?

Or do I need to brush up on what constitutes mainstream success? If so, I hope it doesn't mean I have to listen to the charts any time soon.

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