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The Debate Session One… Should Grime/UK MC’s break in America?

Posted in Blog on May 10, 2009 by Lee

Lee: Yoyoyo, wassup! Heres a new little thing we’re going to try out on House of Grime and TeamSupreme… The Debates. Every now and again, we will get together on MSN, and discuss the suggested topic. To start off with it will just be Frankz and Lee, maybe we’ll try get you some people more involved in the music for future debates as well. Firstly, we’re going to discuss whether or not it would be good or bad for UK MC’s to break and be successful in the USA.

Frankz: I’ll be representing the view that it’s a bad idea.

Lee: And i’ll be suggesting it will be good for the MC’s and our scene. I think firstly we need to discuss if any UK MC’s have actually broken in the USA already, as people do argue that Sway/Dizzee already have.

Frankz: Well to be fair I think yeah OK both of them have put a mark in the US. Not Dizzee as much. But Sway had for sure woth the whole Konvict thing. But that’s the proof there. Sway is a RAPPER. Dizzee is an MC that came from Grime. Dizzee wouldn’t take grime there.

Lee: I don’t even think Dizzee was happy to help grime break in the UK, hence his straying. Sway hasn’t done it yet for me, even with the Akon assisted Silver and Gold, which I thought would be massive.

Frankz: Well then there you go. USA doesn’t even want our artists whether we want them to or not. Our UK artists who do specifically rap might just get a look in. For etc. Giggs winning the BET and the whole Joell Ortiz thing.

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Nobody Don’t Dance No More [Blog]

Posted in Blog with tags , , , , , , , on March 9, 2009 by Lee

‘Grime is dance music’ was one of the quotables from Footsie, one half of the Newham Generals, in an interview with this month’s Observer Music Monthly

Such a statement is easy for an artist with an assured slot on renowned pirate station, in addition to touring with Dizzee Rascal for the last three years. But on a wider scale, grime raves are currently at a minimum. If grime is dance music, then it’s not given much chance to be.

No bookings have ushered in the rise of mixtapes, and more albums are available than ever before. While MCs still have an avenue to stroll down, the transfer to CDs has affected grime production: the big, bass-heavy bangers designed to destroy respectable venues have been superseeded by the need to accommodate MCs, leading to more basic beats with a simple, linear structure. The prominence of MCs has also affected the vinyl market, with a trickling of EPs raising eyebrows for their novelty as much as the tunes they hold.

Yet things are slowly changing, and for the better in terms of grime’s underground infrastructure. The recent rise of pirate radio after a prolonged, crackly silence gives the producer more incentive to make the big beats that makes a set memorable.

Rapid’s ‘License’, Silencer’s ‘Killer Instinct’  and Maniac’s ‘Thug’ prove the point.

The situation looks even brighter with the intentions of Logan Sama , host of the world’s only legal grime show on Kiss FM, and his label Earth 616. The cream of grime’s producing talent, from Footsie, Maniac and DaVinche, will release EPs of their beats under Sama’s label, boosting the maligned vinyl market while giving producers an incentive to make the lively club bangers that are conspicuous by their absence.

But producer Silencer is doing it on his own. His debut vinyl ‘Wow Base Volume 1’ was released on the label Underground Unit last year, and the good reception it received firmly cemented his rising reputation off the back of his breakthrough beat ‘World War 4′. ‘Wow Base Volume 2’ is out this month, and anticipation is just as high.

Does vinyl matter though? It’s a technology becoming more redundant by the day, safe in the dusty boxes of the record collector’s attic, powerless to the sweeping tide of cheaper and more convenient digital formats. But vinyl is symbolic; the status of the producer is invested within it. I don’t have vinyl decks, nor do I own a single vinyl release. Still, I hope the Earth 616 EPs and ‘Wow Base Volume 2’ do well.

– Written by Fullygrown Grime

Does Crazy Titch Still Hold Relevance In 2009? [Blog]

Posted in Blog with tags , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by Lee

crazytitch

It’s like the good old days. Grime’s steady march towards sanitised professionalism and a grinning, marketable face  (enter electro-grime) has taken a conk on the head through the recent war between Wiley and Durrty Goodz. It’s provided me with ample entertainment, and sly, shameless smirks at revelations of ‘paedos’, cross-dressers and ‘baby mums’.

But that’s just the trimmings. Goodz’s latest reply has brought to the forefront the war’s main focus; an MC conspicuous by his absence, regarded by die-hards as a ‘legend’, and a figure already shrouded in nostalgia, having currently served just over two years behind bars. Crazy Titch is still remembered, yet is he an impotent figure as grime moves forwards, or one that still holds relevance in 2009?

His energy and relatively precocious song-writing skills, married together on the underground hit I Can C U, the boisterous character that clashed with Dizzee Rascal on the Conflict DVD, and his uncompromising, lyrical delivery paradoxically marked him out as an individual, while simultaneously epitomising the grime sound in its prime. Yet his style has been left behind with grime’s natural evolution, hastened by the empty pockets of its Flag-bearers. Dizzee Rascal was still around during grime’s golden era; he took his chance with Boy In Da Corner. He hasn’t looked back. Wiley has rued lost opportunities, but a number two single and a current tour of Australia makes the pill easier to swallow. Titch’s hype on the streets could well have led to larger success; the rise of South London rapper Giggs proves the point.

However, the chance wasn’t seized and, while the success of contemporaries makes a stark contrast to his situation, Titch underscores it himself on the Goodz dub; his uneasy references to funky house, the newest form of UK underground music to make a stir, and ‘rolex sweeping’, are in a present he has been sequestered from. Boy Better Know’s Too Many Man highlights the conscious move of grime acts to more dance-orientated music, alienating Titch’s lyrics of almost comic violence.

As MCs have gradually established ways of operating, and past guinea pigs now regarded as precedent, the paths have been defined for future artists. Optimism doesn’t look over its shoulder, and Titch is in the rear-view.
His direct relevance may become more tenuous by the day, but his mere, former presence has guaranteed a legacy that won’t be forgotten. Ghetts has proclaimed that the scene ‘ain’t been the same since Titch has been away’, and another rising East London talent, Griminal, has stated a desire to take up his mantle. With a stark flow, blunt rhyme schemes, and a philosophy of attacking beats, he has the ingredients.

The need to move forward has been embraced, yet to do that successfully, the past needs acknowledgement. Titch forms an indelible part of grime’s history and, if the music is to credibly reach out to a wider audience in 2009, it could do worse than remember its original traits; those which Titch exemplified to perfection.

– Written by Fullygrown Grime.