So 2015 is almost over but what a year it has been and for grime, this has been a year full of positives. 2015 has been a year where the MCs have raised the bar for work-rate and setting the levels at raves, sets or on mixtapes. With the sheer number of MCs that have come through this year, the impact that they have all collectively made to the genre has been nothing short of unbelievable.
So to celebrate grime’s coming of age this year, I’ve put together Shellerz, a playlist full of my favourite MCs from this year dropping shells all over the place in their tracks. Expect to hear from both the experienced OGs in the game and the hunger of the new school who all did their part to make 2015 such a great year for grime.
If it wasn’t for the new faces coming through this year, this year might have been very, very different. A lot of the tracks that I picked are by guys who have had breakthroughs this year and these are the same guys who I expect to really kick on in 2016.
The playlist wasn’t easy to put together considering all the great tracks made this year. In the end, I’ve decided that putting all the selected tracks in one post would be too much, there would be too many shells fired and with the amount of lyrical skeng that would flying about, I don’t wanna be responsible for someone passing out because the vibes were too strong from them to handle.
So for now, here’s the first instalment of my playlist.
Kano – Garage Skank
I had to start this playlist off with an OG, Kano’s being killing it for over a decade and I’m not gonna lie, when I heard this for the first time, true to the name of the song, I skanked a little bit vibzing to it. Like I said, there are fans of grime all over the world and as you can see from the video, Kano had a large amount of help with it from people from well, all over the world. With Zeph Ellis on production, Garage Skank is definitely go-to song to get you out of bed, ready for the day or at night, get you in the zone for a night out.
Frisco – Fire Hydrant
Another OG and for me, one of the most underrated artists in the scene. While Skepta & JME gather the most attention from Boy Better Know, Frisco’s been quietly going about his business this year and on this classic instrumental produced by Wiley (who’s also a BBK member by the way), Frisco delivers the lyrical fire that makes him dangerous to underestimate.
The Heavytrackerz – TRKRZ (featuring Newham Generals, P Money, Stormzy, Big Narstie, Flirta D, Youngs Teflon & Desperado)
A bag of guys on this track but when The Heavytrackerz are on production, I know the song’s gonna be good, very good in fact. The flow between one MC to another is effortless and when one guy is going in, the others follow suit. The video for this isn’t too shabby either.
AJ Tracey – Spirit Bomb
For West London’s AJ Tracey, with his new Alex Moran EP out and a string of sets on pirate radio this year, this guy is the real deal, a certified showerman on the mic. For me, it’s good to see the future of grime is in safe hands. Spirit Bomb is three and a half minutes of pepper!
Izzie Gibbs – Swear Down
Another guy who’s the real deal, Izzie Gibbs sprays lyrical skeng. Signing onto the Dice Recordings label this year, the same label as Big Narstie (the guy next to Izzie wearing the bucket hat in the video), Izzie has certainly repped Northampton this year. Izzie’s all about high energy and high tempo and I can Swear Down, this one will have vibzing whatever time it is in the day or night.
Merky Ace – El P
If I could rate this track by the gas marks you see on an oven, I’d rate this at gas mark 9……thousand! Merky Ace is seriously underrated and you’d be foolish to underestimate him. Part of the Family Tree collective from London, Merky sprays bars of fire on a full-time basis. Here he’s not holding anything back, an in-your-face tune that riles up the inner roadman in any person.
Mez – Old School
Hailing from Nottingham, Mez might only be 18 but he’s got a big future ahead of him. Winner of Radio 1Xtra’s Next In Grime competition hosted by DJ Cameo earlier this year, Mez already has the flow of someone years ahead of him. Another one of the guys to look to in terms of high energy, high tempo grime, at times I’ve wondered how many cans of Red Bull this guy has taken before doing sets, he’s that hyper!
Dirty Danger – Badman (feat. Frisco, Roachee & D Double E)
This is a BMT, a big man ting of a tune. The beat is on point, the video is on point, the bars are on point, the old school dons on here know how to make a banger or two and this definitely classes as a banger. Elements of Ruff Sqwad, Boy Better Know, Roll Deep and The Newham Generals coming together to make one sick track.
Blacks – Study The Game (feat. P Money, Kozzie & Jammz)
To Study The Game takes skill and doing that means being able to handle a mic properly and shutting it down on a regular basis. For Blacks, the studying paid off and the same can be said for P Money, Kozzie & Jammz. See kids, Study The Game a bit harder and you’ll make it to the top one day.
Big Narstie X Show N Prove – Hello Hi
A wavey combination of the Brixton base farda and the catchy vibes of the Edinburgh producer on the buttons, Big Narstie & Show N Prove came together to make this tune. For the Base Defence League President, 2015 has treated Narstie well, performing at Glastonbury for the first time in his career and even managed to make a second career for himself as a part-time zookeeper the events he’s been at. All I can say is be prepared to take a few blows if you’re in a moshpit when he’s on the mic.
Look out for part two dropping soon.