Summer is officially over and I’m fighting the blues with a new batch of grime goodies. It seems they're coming out thick and fast right now too - it must be the season.
Grime is still very much in its younger years as a genre, it’s a teenager - rebellious, emotional and full of angst. And although those key figures who’ve been on the scene since day one are still omnipresent, there’s a lot of younger artists coming to the forefront.
There’s a huge slice of talent in this chart, heavyweight and underground, so wrap your ears round these new musical gifts.
Skepta – 'Top Boy'
Not many people can proclaim themselves top boy and not be challenged, but Skepta’s definitely an exception. An ambassador of grime, it’s arguable that his thrust into prominence this year has allowed a new cohort of grime artists to get their names heard. Never compromising on style and sound, this track is loaded with lessons of self-belief and putting those bad vibes on pause. It’s probably already flown the Atlantic but if you haven’t heard it, get locked in. He’s shutting down venues all over the UK on a solo ting, but it’s bound to go off when he and JME hit the stage together on a few upcoming dates. Cross them fingers and toes for an American tour yo, it’s gonna come round one day.
Jammz – 'Warrior'
By his own admission Jammz ‘does the damn thing properly’. Rapid bars fly out by the dozen over a low reverberating bassline on this self-produced track. Although he began spitting in the early noughties, he started pursuing grime as a career in 2009 and soon released mixtape “What’s The Latest?” He’s going from strength to strength this year with releases on Local Action Records, I Am Grime and now this track will be dropping on CTA Records, Logan and Wileys label. He’s that new generation and he’s on the rise.
Eklipse – IDRRT (I Don’t Really Rate That)
I can’t say I don’t really rate that about this track. It’s got a catchy-as chorus and definitely has the power to be a big anthem. This is one of the tracks from Eklipse’s first ever mixtape Dark Matters, produced by Swiftstar. The tape takes elements of Grime, R&B and Hip Hop and mixes them all up in a melting pot, the result – one memorable debut. He’s still a fairly unknown name, but he’ll be schooling fools soon enough.
Hardy Caprio – 'Wifey Riddim'
Nostalgia, nostalgia; this instrumental did the rounds when I was younger. Instrumental magician Flukes on productions, and it's refreshing to hear it now with Hardy Caprio's skillfully crafted bars, compared with Tinie’s attempt at a heartfelt sonnet back in 2007. The lyrics in this have way more gravitas and steer away from those traditional bars like 'be my wifey', 'you my chick' and 'she my baby girl'. The Croydon youngster has a genuine sound, his words are honest yet impulsive and there is a distinct maturity in the way he commandeers the mic.
DJ Cable Feat. Mez - One Line Flows
The talent coming out of Nottingham should not be underestimated. There’s plenty of names doing it well, but it’s BBC 1Xtra’s #NextInGrime winner and fiery teen Mez who’s really leading the way. He’s a hyped up guy and chock full of energy – check out the video on SBTV, he burns about 1000 calories in three minutes. BBC 1Xtra resident DJ Cable shows he’s a cut above the rest, providing the sweet-sounding beats on this one and certifying ‘One Line Flows’ as an all out banger. Keep Mez on your radar, big things are bound to happen for him.
Little Simz - Dead Body Part 2+3 (ft. Stormzy + Kano) [Prod. Prezident Jeff + Deezy]
Repping it for the women, Little Simz is at the top of her game. Grime may seem like a male dominant scene but there’s some insanely talented women doing their thang too. Bass heavy production rolls eerily underneath this one, while Stormzy and Kano join Simz on this remix of her track. Despite her 21 years, her tone is deep and her flow is refined and mastered, which is no doubt why she’s gaining global recognition. Voicing her feelings on subjects that affect her, like the barriers she faces being a female in the grime industry and what it’s like being 21, really exhibits her realness. Keep tabs on this girl, she’s going places.
Wiley - Sweep the floor
Wiley here on an instrumental ting, and full throttle killing it. This track is one of 24 instrumentals produced exclusively for FABRICLIVE 83: Logan Sama, one of Fabric’s compilation series, which dropped recently. It has that low-fi dubstep bassline slowed down to perfection, proving Wiley is fully owning that Godfather of Grime title thrust upon him. Back in 2008, it was Wiley’s dancefloor classic “Wearing My Rolex” that plunged him into the spotlight and the charts, but when he’s dropping tracks like this badboy, you know the guy still hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Diesle D Power ft Frisco & Lay Z - Like Dem
This one goes in hard. The warbling garage bassline rumbling underneath is the perfect foundation for the flux of intelligent and potent lyrics. Grime veteran Diesle D Power is somewhat mysterious but as a DJ and producer has been a central player in the careers of many MCs on the scene. Earlier this year, the D’s were out in force with Diesle bringing D Double E in on track “See No Evil”, be sure to check that fire. There’s something very cultivated and mastered about this track, BBK fellow Frisco brings his explosive flow and Lay-Z just lays down his bars effortlessly - all three MCs are killing it and it’s grimey to the fullest.
Stormzy - Wicked Skeng Man Part 4 Studio Version
This is a straight up banger. Aside from Skepta and JME, Stormzy is another MC who’s really been making waves on the grime scene. Hailing from South London, the 22 year old honed his skills when he was at school, spitting over Sony Ericsson and Nokia phones in the playground. Describing himself as “a child of grime”, Stormz won the best grime act at last year’s Mobos. And you’ve got to hand it to the guy, his attitude to the music he churns out is both audacious and unshakeable. In this track he blasts those newbies that, since the distinction and resurgence of grime this year, have been trying to string a few clever bars together and jump on the grime bandwagon. Nah mate, not on Stormzy’s watch.
Chip – Hat-Trick
It’s only bloody Chipmunk. Before breaking into the mainstream scene with his take-it-or-leave-it chart tracks, Chip was spitting bars, and he was pretty darn good at it. But that wasn’t the industry he was built for, so now he’s back doing what he does best. I don’t mean proclaiming he’s the ‘Michael Jackson of Grime’ - I mean going in, and going in hard. With this track its Manchester’s MC Bugzy Malone in the firing line, this being the third of three heated disses directed at the Mancunian artist. Looks like this beef is real, but if it means an influx of tracks like this, “Run Our Riddim” and “Lightwork” are in the pipeline, then as you were Chip.
And I have a little something extra for you… A new documentary by Rinse has been on my radar and the first instalment hit Youtube last month. If you want a window into the history of grime, get a load of Practice Hours - first episode with the man Jammer.