Wagwan peeps, Grimey Mondays is back again for another instalment. Here’s what made it into the third of my round-ups.
Sir Spyro – Topper Top feat. Teddy Bruckshot, Lady Chann & Killa P
‘Topper Top’ is the electrifying new release, part of the ‘Topper Top’ EP from legendary grime producer Sir Spyro. The song has been a dubplate for well over a year but now it has dropped on the Deep Medi Musik label and to mark the occasion, ‘Topper Top’ has a music video that arguably is the best one to come out of this year. The vinyl copies of the EP were so popular that not did the original batch of vinyls sold out so quickly, Deep Medi Musik had to release a repressed batch of vinyls which duly sold out as well. Featuring the enigmatic “Teddy Bruckshot”, Lady Chann and Killa P, this song instantly draws reloads wherever played, it’s a certified percy.
Darkness – Question That feat. Rocks FOE
London-based producer Darkness collaborates with fellow Londoner Rocks FOE to create an eerie yet almost enigmatic sounding track to mark Darkness’s new Quantum Sound label. ‘Question That’ has the sort of futuristic yet dark sounds that featured heavily on the ‘Eski Thug’ EP he released last year. Add in the fiery bars of Rocks FOE which make the hairs on the back on your neck stand up in anticipation that something poignant is going down and you have a track of epic proportions. The track came on the 20th October, ready to buy via iTunes. The combination of Darkness & Rocks on this track is one that definitely bangs.
Movement DVD Freestyle (2006)
For my archive pick, it’s a freestyle from the Movement DVD featuring Wiley, Skepta, Scorcher, Wretch 32 and Ghetto (Ghetts). It’s mad to see the progression the scene has undertaken over the years, back then, the guys that are considered OGs now were up & coming MCs, grinding to get their names out there in the hope of blowing up. Although those times are in the past, the memories still remain and with this particular video having over 1 million views, those memories are still affecting the present, memories etched into the fabric of grime’s origins, that same fabric is where the very few are able to find the roots of their legacies.
P Money – Panasonic
With his debut album ‘Live & Direct’ dropping on the 25th November this year, P Money teases us with a release off his album. With the productions powers of D33CO, ‘Panasonic’ sounds like a throwback to grime’s old era, back during the times where producers were experimenting with eskibeat, novel yet unknown, the producers back then pushing boundaries that hadn’t existed before. P Money has been consistent as ever this year so if the rest of his debut album can reach the same levels as ‘Panasonic’, it might just well be the cherry on the cake for P this year.
Tickets for his album launch party on the 1st December are on sale now so if you want to roll to the launch, be quick to book your tickets before they sell out.
Beat Boss 4 Podcast
If you saw my last edition, I spoke about the Beat Boss platform, the producer clash where some of the best producers in the scene at the moment go into war, ready to lick off heads armed with dubplates as hard as concrete. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the clash has happened now and below, whether you want to listen again or catch up on what the fuss is about, you can listen to podcast of the whole clash in its entirety. Ang tite to the 8 producers who took part, the judging panel, DJ Tiatsim for curating & putting the platform together and to everyone who supported the event which at one point was trending #1 across the whole of the UK on Twitter, yes that’s right, Beat Boss 4 trended higher than X Factor!
Ghstly XXVII – 3310
Everyone remembers the Nokia 3310 right? The indestructible mobile phone with a battery that never seemed to run out. Well it’s the title behind this Mistakay produced track by Ghstly. The song has been absolutely rinsed with multiple DJs across different radio stations regularly giving this song airtime. If you don’t like this, slap yourself, you’re mad for not respecting this vibe.
Jammz – Warrior EP
Radio don Jammz drops ‘Warrior’, his second EP on his I Am Grime label on the 3rd November and to mark it, not only has he released the video for the lead single which features DJ Scott Garcia on the EP called ‘It’s A London Thing’, a song that in the words of the man himself “is about the paradox of living in London”, picking up on the pros and cons of living in the city, he also managed to get a billboard promoting the EP, big moves indeed. The EP is available for pre-order via iTunes & Bandcamp with vinyls also available for pre-order. After his first Keep It Simple/The World EP release earlier this year, expect bigger and better things from the East Londoner in the future.
Jamakabi – Hot It Up (Kahn & Neek Remix)
Ahead of their Fabric 90 EP dropping on the 18th November, heavyweight producers Kahn & Neek give us their remix to ‘Hot It Up’ by grime scene stalwart Jamakabi (remember him off Pow Forward Riddim). Kahn & Neek know how to duppy raves so I expect Fabric 90 to be full of the sort of stuff that will make people want to kick each other in the chest in for no reason, look out for this when it drops.
Crafty – V_V EP
‘V_V’ is the debut EP from 3rd Degree member Crafty, an MC who shells down sets on a regular. Featuring vocal tracks and self-produced instrumentals, Crafty’s debut EP which is also a free download is hard, very hard in fact. Expect to hear more from Crafty as well as fellow members Blaydes, Ramzey and DJ Blitz, 893’s the vibe, don’t be slept on it.
Sir Hiss In The Mix For Italdred
The mix this month comes from Bristol-based producer Sir Hiss. In this mix for Italdred, Sir Hiss laces it with a load of dubplates, a refix and bootleg frenzy of riddims. When I asked him why he had so many dubs in there, he said that he likes surprising people with tunes they wouldn’t hear unless he played them. Considering how vinyl records are coming back into fashion, Sir Hiss thinks it’s a good thing, saying it’s “good to go back to the roots of cutting dubs”. With the likes of Kahn & Neek, Slimzee, Spooky and Riz La Teef all championing the dubplate game, it seems inevitably that DJs have picked up on this and given how producers and labels have stepped up their games massively this year, fans and DJs alike are enjoying this dubplate based way of making music. Listen to the mix on Italdred’s SoundCloud page to find out about the tracklist for this mix.
Indecent – Indecent 002
Featuring an array of mucky riddims, the Indecent label presents ‘Indecent 002’. According Indecent itself, ‘Indecent 002’ is a follow up to ‘The Indecent LP’, a project released last year celebrating a year of sharing music on their SoundCloud page. From there, after a good response to the LP, that’s how 002 came about. The label functions out of the love of the music and getting artists’ works out to the world, no hidden motives as all of the music they share is available for free download while showcasing the works of some the most talented up & coming producers across the country. With regular shows on Balamii Radio to boot, Indecent care about the artists they rep, wanting to see their talent receive the recognition they deserve.
According to Luke, the man behind the label, he’s already planning ahead as to the direction Indecent takes. “I want to do a limited run on vinyl in the future. There are a lot of sick ideas in the pipeline that may come to fruition soon. Merch, launch parties, collabs etc etc.”. He then tells me that Indecent has a huge show on Balamii coming up next month including a special guest performing under an alias he hasn’t used before, to him this person is “one of the best producers out there”. Interesting news indeed, as for the 002, the 10 track instrumental project features some of the best newcomers in the producer scene so get to know their names as I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from them in the future. Be sure to check out Indecent’s SoundCloud page as well to see the rest of the stuff that they’ve been championing.
Spotlight Feature – Interview With DJ Oblig
Ending this Grimey Mondays post is the spotlight feature which this time around is my chinwag with New York-based DJ Oblig. Grime is growing and right now, the scene across the pond is slowly starting to embrace the genre. For Oblig, a guy who has a regular radio slot on RWD.FM, an American independently run radio station, his aim is simple, to push grime as far as he can among New York’s underground scene. Wanting to know more, I spoke to Oblig about how he’s got to where he is as well as some other interesting things:
“I love the genre and the culture so much, and I know America is ready for it as long as they’re taught about it in the right way so my mission is to make it happen.”
Me: How did you get into grime?
O: “I got into grime from early, I’m 25 now so it was 2004 when I first went to high school and you couldn’t avoid it at that point. Having tunes on your phone and getting viruses on limewire was the in ting at the time, so I’d hear it all over the place, back of the bus, school playground etc. Then my mum starting working for Sky so I got all the music channels and got addicted to Channel U, it was a wrap from there really, I’d bang it on as soon as I got home from school until my mum came back from work and turned it off.”
Me: How long have you been DJing for?
O: “I haven’t been DJing very long at all, had been practicing here and there for a while but the first time I ever did a show was July 2015. I threw my own grime party in New York called Low Life, and the first party we threw was actually the first time I had performed in front of people, mad nervous but it worked out and here I am.”
Me: Which artists from any genre influenced you?
O: “I grew up listening to lots of different shit; my dad is born and raised New York so I grew up being put on to bare US hip hop. I used to bang Biggie, Nas & 50 Cent mostly. But I also used to like a lot of heavy rock, I used to go to live gigs all the time, artists like: Queens of the Stone Age, Slipknot & Muse. Then grime-wise it was all about Dizzee Rascal for me, such an iconic voice and flow, almost the definition of gritty London, I loved it.”
“The DJ was just playing trap and then he dropped Giggs – Whippin Excursion out of nowhere. I asked him how he knew about the tune and he goes “come on dude, it’s Giggs!””
Me: What is your favourite event you’ve done/taken part in?
O: “My favorite set is a hard one, I had a lot of fun in Washington D.C. with AJ Tracey. I had a grime MC from New York – Bobby Moses & an MC from Baltimore – MC Twisty there with us and they passed the mic between each other, it was sick to see the three styles mix together. But I also did a show at a venue called Elvis’ Guesthouse in Manhattan, and nobody was there for grime, it was just a packed bar really, but I had them all going mad for grime when I was expected no reception at all, that was amazing to see. Not forgetting the 1 year anniversary party I threw for Low Life, we flew out Sir Spyro and AJ Tracey for it, it was a shutdown, biggest crowds we’ve had to date.”
Me: How did you end up DJing in America?
O: “I was born in New York but grew up my whole life in London, so I’m lucky enough to have dual nationality. One day I just got bored of what I was doing and decided to come here. I started thinking about what I was gonna do while I was here and I felt pushing grime was something I couldn’t ignore. I love the genre and the culture so much, and I know America is ready for it as long as they’re taught about it in the right way so my mission is to make it happen. I’ve had people all over the country listening to my radio show as well as having the chance to perform in multiples States, it’s a good look right now.”
Me: How are Americans embracing grime as a whole?
O: “Americans are really embracing it at the moment, not completely of course, but before I felt there used to be a resistance, almost like they didn’t wanna know. But people like Skepta and Stormzy have almost forced it on them to a point where they don’t wanna be out of the loop with what’s going on. The ravers love it unquestionably but I’m trying to infiltrate the trap crowds at the moment, I think it’ll work perfectly with the amount of energy at those parties. I was at a shubz in the Bronx not long ago, and the DJ was just playing trap and then he dropped Giggs – Whippin Excursion out of nowhere. I asked him how he knew about the tune and he goes “come on dude, it’s Giggs!”, that’s how far we’ve come.”
Me: When are you getting the sponsorship deal with Ribena? (If you didn’t know, Oblig is a massive Ribena aficionado, even RWD.FM acknowledge him as a “Ribena addict”).
O: “I don’t know g, I think about this on a daily basis. I’ve gone from drinking Ribena like everyday to never being able to drink it, it’s actually emosh. I miss Ribena more than I miss my friends, one day I’ll make it big time and they won’t be able to deny me.”
Me: Would you ever drink Vimto?
O: “Vimto is alright, it’s just a cheap man’s Ribena though lets be real and on the subject of juice, I’d like to give a special shout out to Rubicon Mango, I miss you habibi.”
Me: Seeing as you’re a Spurs fan, where do you think Tottenham will finish in the Premier League this season?
O: “This season I’m going for a prediction of 3rd place, we’re stronger than we were last year but we’re still young and still learning, this is the year we finish above Arsenal though, you heard it here first.”
Me: UK or US?
O: “I think the UK is better on the whole, but as an Englishman in the US I’m having a lot more fun here, but I’ll be returning for sure, I can’t stay away too long they don’t have Ribena here.”
I hope for his sake, Oblig keeps his focus as he goes through his Ribena and Rubicon drought. It’s good to know that from New York at least, grime is leaving its mark among the undeground music scene there. Big ups to Oblig to speaking to me and supporting and pushing the movement in the US.