As suspected, 2007's turning into quite the Grime fest, with big albums still on the way from Kano and Dizzee Rascal plus lots of less media friendly records already in heavy circulation – for example, 'Playtime Is Over' by Wiley, out on Big Dada Records and expected to be his most commercially successful material to date. It works great on the bedroom speakers and even nicer through the sound system of Style Slut, 93 Feet East late last month. Nobody really expected Eski Boy to turn up, let alone on time, but he did and laid down a sick set which kept the colourful crowd pretty bloody happy.
While that was going on, Kano's imaginatively titled 'Kano Mixtape' CD began dropping onto doormats all over the country (not the one's ordered through the forever unreliable UKRecordStore it must be said). Kane delivers an 18 track adventure of varying quality, from the popular 'I Write Bars Till The Milk Man Comes' and 'Is This Grimey Enough?' to the very American Hiphop flavoured 'Imagine' and 'Get A Life'. There's perhaps too many references to what number of bars the current line makes as listening to rappers rap about rapping is the most boring thing in the world. However, the dancehall flavours of 'Buss It Up' seriously make up for all lesser parts of the CD. It's just a wonder why the track's cut short and why Kano doesn't use his incredible flow more often, as it shits over the skills of anyone else in the scene, and is the only key to his forthcoming album mixing it in the charts and broadsheet chip wrappers alongside Rascal's next offering.
As you will notice, we're not saying much about Dizzee's 'Maths And English' LP. That's because we can't. As many blog heroes and 'urban' rags have been noticing, XL Recordings seem just a bit hesitant to release promo's of the material out to anyone who doesn't write for culture vulture supplements. We can only speculate that the rumours are true about the entire LP being everything but Grime. Sure the kids on RWD's forum will cry their eyes over this, but it can only be a good thing no? It's not like Klashnekoff or Sway are in a position to release a big British Hiphop record that the world over will love. So in other words XL, just send us a fucking copy! We will say it's sick!
One turn up for the books this past month has been the Aftershock crew's 'Shock To The System' album. It's refreshing that they called it an LP rather than a typical Mixtape, and there are actually some real gems on this. Led by producer Terror Danjah, Bruza, Gemma Fox, Elrae, Tinie Tempah, Badness, Loudmouf and a few other badly named artists lay down a consistent collection of tracks ranging from slushy love jams to sub woofer badness. Sadie Ama drops vocals on a few tracks, although it's her big sister Shola that shines on a couple of tracks, sure to remind the Jamelia's and Beverly Knight's of these shores who's really got it going on, both in terms of vocals and looks.
Perhaps one of the more international news items to come out of the Grime scene this Spring has been the Just Blaze produced '101 Sessions' featuring JME, Skepta and Klashnekoff. The beat's obviously fresh and each MC drops tight verses. The tune's been splashed all over US based Hiphop sites and forums and most definitely waves the UK flag in great style. Fingers crossed that Just Blaze does a project like this again, or perhaps more importantly in the context of any 'Hiphop Is Dead' debate, hurries the fuck up and get's Saigon's 'Greatest Story Never Told' debut into shops!
Talking of JME and Skepta, last week's FWD at Plastic People experienced a Grime takeover of the most 'serious, serious' form. The dark underground hub of Dub was taken over by the BBK brothers, Jammer, Footsie, Fuda Guy, Joker and eventually some girl called Sarah who stepped in and made the MC's simmer down as the crowd were getting more than toe up. Rinse FM (again, RIP Barefiles) and Prancehall have the audio in case you missed the realness. With the 'Ave It' EP by Caspa, Cotti and Clueless's 'Sensi Dub' and Skream's long awaited 'Skreamizm 3' all now in stores, you can expect FWD to bring it's more traditional Dubstep fire on the next few Fridays, especially May 11th, where Mr N-Type will be launching 'Dubstep Allstars' volume FIVE!
That's almost it for another Grime Chimes round up. All that's left to say is New Era are opening a flagship London store just off Carnaby Street this month, sure to satisfy the senses of all those into head apparel. On the fashion tip, check out the limited edition tee's by that girl named Kesh. Until next time, in the famous words of our home boi Fiddy, 'Keep It Locked!'
Limited bonus ting: Jme and friends on Westwood this weekend!