Saturday, July 17, 2021

grime 2005

Blackdown (aka Martin Clark) asks me and a bunch of grime-covering journalists about our favorite tunes of the year. 

Here's what I supplied (not sure why some US rap tunes have slipped into my selection):


Kano Featuring D Double E & Demon, "Reload It"


Lethal Bizzle "Against All Oddz"


Kano "Sometimes"


Bruza "Not Convinced"


Three 6-Mafia "Stay Fly"


Vex'd “Degenerate” (Planet Mu)


Skream "Midnight Request Line"


Doctor, Bearman, L Man and Purple "Let It Go" From Eye Of The Tiger Vol 1


Virus Syndicate "Major List MCs" From The Work Related Illness


Roll Deep "Shake A Leg" and "When I'm Ere"


Lowdeep "Str8 Flush"


Crazy Titch "Sing Along"


SLK "Hype! Hype!" (DJ Wonder refix)


Lady Sovereign "Tango" from Bitchin EP


Ying Yang Twins "Pull My Hair" and "Wait (The Whisper Song)"


Kano "Remember Me"


Wiley "Morgue"


Kanye West  - "Addicted," "Crack Music", "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" (From Late Registration)


I also slung Martin this little appreciation of "Reload It" (strangely not admired by others in the grime punditocracy, don't know why) which I had penned for Grime Primer I did for the Wire earlier that year (aka the 7th essay in the Hardcore Continuum series)


Kano Featuring D Double E & Demon, "Reload It"

“Circling back to "Bound 4 The Reload" (arguably the first grime track, no seriously, think about it: electro-bass plus MCing) this track celebrates the pirate and rave tradition of the DJ rewind, when the crowd hollers (or home-listening audience text-messages) its demand for the selector to wheel and come again.”

“Up until grime, the trigger for rewinds would be a killer sampled vocal lick, thrilling bass-drop, or even just a mad breakbeat. Nowadays, the MC being king, the crowd clamors to hear their favourite rhymes. ‘This is what it means when DJs reload it/That sixteen was mean and he knows it,’ explains Kano, before listing the other top dog MCs who get nuff rewinds (two of them, Double and Demon, guest on the track). ‘I get a reload purely for the flow,’ Kano preens, and you can see why as he glides with lethal panache between quick-time rapping and a leisurely, drawn-out gait that seems to drag on the beat to slow it down.”

“The track itself, co-produced by Kano and Diplo, is all shimmery excitement, pivoting around a spangly filtered riff that ascends and descends the same four notes, driven by a funky rampage of live-sounding drums, and punctuated by horn samples, Beni G's scratching, and orgasmic girl-moans. The old skool breakbeat-like energy suggests an attempt to sell the notion of Grime as British hip hop, yet if Trans-Atlantic crossover is the intent, that's subverted by the lyric, its theme being as localized and Grime-reflexive as imaginable. "Reload It" encapsulates the conflicted impulses that fuel this scene: undergroundist insularity versus an extrovert hunger to engage with, and conquer, the whole wide world.”



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