Monday, 15 June 2009

Wiley and Skepta's Barnet Beef

Afternoon grime fans.

The internet moves too quickly for me to keep up nowadays, so I'm a bit late with this story. I could have let it pass; there's plenty more fish in the sea. However, fish stocks are apparently dwindling and grime's traditional summer drought is imminent, so I thought I would dive into my renewed quest for some of that search engine optimisation.

Forgive me.

'I'm a king when I roll through anywhere, you're just a king when you roll through Barnet.'

The unassuming North London borough is enjoying a welcome return to the spotlight again, a couple years after residents started 'vandalising' road-signs by dubbing their bits 'Barnét'.

Wiley's lyric on his album track Zip It Up has caused a bit of aggro. Skepta in particular took exception, and his barnet must have raised a few millimetres after hearing Wiley's dig because, soon enough, he made his way to Barnet's Dollis Valley estate where, apparently, the kids indulge in zooming quad bikes 'dangerouly around the estate's green spaces'.

Skepta - In the Country

Wiley left his house in the country to reply.

Wiley - Barnet Dub

538 years after the Battle of Barnet in the English Civil War, admittedly quite a big precedent as far as what we'll call 'Barnet war' goes, Skepta has taken this to the blocks in 21st century urban guerilla warfare.

Skepta half-sniggering outside a house that was presented as Wiley's, as well as dubbing Wiley his 'bredrin' before it even all kicked off proper, meant this was never going to be a Wiley v Doogz, two artists that don't really seem to like each other very much.

But who won this one?

Two top MCs battling. Essentially, over a lyric that at least acknowledged one of London's most neglected places.

Yeah. Probably Barnet.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Ruff Sqwad - I Wanna Let U Know

Wow. I had no idea this single was released nearly two weeks ago.

I remember hearing the tune on Logan's show a while back, and I really quite liked the song despite some part of me saying 'how the hell can you like this'.

I Wanna Let You Know video

Yet a few months down the line I still like it - probably even more. Yeah Roachee's on it and there's a half-hearted nod to James Bond at the start, but I just really like the sound. And despite the swathes of auto-tune, it doesnt really detract from the end result. I suppose auto-tune isn't very subtle - if you're gonna use it, you might as well just go for it or don't bother.

I just think Rapid is doing it right now. Given grime's current position, and the June 1st King of Grime 'I'm gonna shift more albums than you' braggadocio, isn't the King the one who can bring the music in a credible format to a wider audience?

Tinchy is having huge success, and it looks likely to continue with his second album 'Catch 22'.


1. Never Leave You feat Amelle
2. Number 1 feat N-Dubz
3. Take Me Back feat. Taio Cruz
4. Stryderman
5. I'm Landin
6. 1 of us
7. Spotlight
8. Story Unfold
9. First Place

'Catch 22' isn't grime music but he features on I Wanna Let U Know and, given he's the nation's favourite pocket-rapper right now, he's in a good position to promote Ruff Sqwad. The single builds on Rapid's new style, and Tinchy playing a role in that, after vocals like Stuck On My Mind.

Stuck On My Mind video

Rapid's CD 'Rapid Fire' and the Ruff Sqwad album need a release as soon as possible. But now I want to hear them so I can test the waters and validate my new theory. Admittedly he needs chart success first.

But Rapid - King of Grime?

Monday, 1 June 2009

Five Reasons Why You Should Buy Microphone Champion

Skepta's 'Microphone Champion' is out today, along with Bashy's 'Catch Me If You Can' and Wiley's 'Race Against Time'.

I've finally listened to Skepta's offering, and here are five reasons why you should buy the CD:

1) Giggs is on it.

2) Are You Ready features probably the best Midlands accent by a north-Londoner I've ever heard. The competition was admittedly slim but, by possibly reviving a three-quarters dead beef in the process, multi-tasking complements the Champion's powers of imitation.

3) Skepta widens the possibilities available to grime MCs by penning a tune about transvestites. Disguise is a recipe for disaster on paper but the joyous beat is the best on the CD. A very serious-sounding Skepta is 'warning people' on a comic track, merely adding to the 'what the fuck' factor. Trust me, it's brilliant.

4) While there's been talk of 'gratuitous guest appearances', Jammer's feature on Disguise is probably one of the best grime verses I've ever heard.

'some of them girls ain't girls,
if you look properly you'll see they're guuuuyys'

5) Rolex Sweep and Sunglasses At Night are merely bonus tracks here. So if even you don't really like the CD you can still appreciate Skepta's approach. Eh grime fans?

Well maybe. Anyway that's that - if you're still not appeased then check Grime Daily for a more in-depth review later.