JME- Derkhead/Tropical

January 27th, 2007

JME continually puts other artists in the UK scene to shame with his work ethic and just before 2006 was out, he released his 3rd and 4th mix CD of the year. Due to the instrumental nature of the bonus ‘Tropical’ CD, the ‘Derkhead’ disc has been overlooked but it has some of JME’s best lyrics.

If ever a track summed up JME it would be ‘96 bars’. In fact, if you ever wanted to prove to someone that grime artists can write about material other than guns and crime, then this is it. Over a stripped down beat that gives opportunity for the lyrics to shine, JME debates balancing his university degree with a career in music and how despite all the Myspace love, he isn’t exactly rolling in the pounds.

The deeper tracks continue with ‘Deceived’, the misinterpretation of him and his brother Skepta being caught tooled up, and ‘Eat Junk’ sees him get his Mr. Motivator on by breaking down people’s vices and urging them to live healthier. There is even something for the girls with the Julie and Wiley featured ‘What You Need’.

Don’t think this is all he can offer though, as ‘Boy Better Know’, ‘Guess What’ and ‘Understand’ show that when it’s needed, he can step up to mic and deliver lyrics that display his lyrical prowess, without resorting to standard gun chatter.

The reason the bonus CD Tropical has grabbed the attention is due to the material’s hybrid of garage and funky house, making a more danceable grime. The beat led CD is mixed by 1Xtra DJ Cameo and includes guest beats from Plastician and Skepta.

If a record label had taken the best of all 4 discs released last year, we would have one hell of an album. But with no sign of burnout or living off a few trademark verses, JME has it in him to make a long player accepted by those inside the scene and out.