we speak to jammer about that brits performance and 10 years of lord of the mics
After Boy Better Know's BRITs performance with Kanye, and ahead of the release of the latest instalment from Lord of The Mics, a 10 year anniversary special, i-D caught up with the original grime icon…
Performing with Kanye, probably the most powerful man in music right now, is no mean feat….
Definitely. That's never happened before.
My take was that it was important because it was real…
Exactly. That's why I don't even want to talk about it. I know what it was and I don't feel I have to explain or correct people. It's for people to go and do the education before talking. People who have been pushing grime from day, that's the people who it mattered to. And for the corporations and channels that have been trying to battle grime for years, they also realize that it's time that the music is coming to the forefront and not because of the corporations, but because of the key players.
I didn't even realize it was you guys till I saw Discarda on the screen and your unmistakable dreads whippin' back n forth… How did that situation come about?
I would just say this; Virgil, he's seen the vision… It was the right time to make everyone aware that the Gods are aware of what's going on. Without having to elaborate too much, we all know what it is.
I don't get why ITV muted it… They muted the word 'Zoot' on MOBO too…
They always edit out UK artists here and lets artists from the US use foul language on TV and radio, so it was shocking to see them mute Kanye.
If you could get people to take one thing away from that performance, what would it be?
If you knew something all along don't wait for somebody else to say it's good before you say it's good or openly show respect to it.
In terms of the performance, how far in advance was it planned? It was sick that you bought everyone else in for that opportunity too…
It was last-minute but not random. A message got sent out on the day, about an hour before. There was no time for anyone to get gassed. Some people realize the depths of it and why all those people were there; as you know, BBK has always been about embracing new artists so that was the right thing to do. We had the opportunity and wanted it to be shared. I've gotta say, even when the Diddy situation happened, Skepta could have gone by himself but he called me, Frisco, Chip and we got a plane and all went and did it together. Unity is a statement. And we need to unify.
Were there many rehearsals?
No, we just looked at it on a laptop to see how it would look and then hit the stage.
I have to ask you this; was it 30 guys in one dressing room?
Yeah, but the dressing room was the whole of Proud 2.
Did you watch any of the show?
No, it wasn't about the ceremony. It was just about an important moment we're working towards. These are things we're doing to show people where it's at.
It feels like everyone's going back to their roots in the grime scene, culturally and musically, it seems that a lot of grime artists have experimented outside the box and come full circle…
100%. People do stuff for a reason at a time. People bought into grime for a reason but it's taken a while for the things to gestate and arrive at the right place. That's natural with any style of music - grime's still young. When people started making money, it wasn't accessible anymore, the culture was gone. That's changing, evidently, across the board. We don't need labels sorting out collaborations or meetings. We can - and are - doing it all ourselves.
It's funny how at the after parties they all seemed to be raving to grime and hip hop…
It's mad. That's what I'm saying - Ed Sheeran was a grime fan, in love with the culture, that's why he did a mixtape before his album.
What's next for you, Jammer?
I'm working on my single with quite a few people, every big name in the game, 'Pow' vibes. Also there's the 10 year anniversary of Lord of the Mics, we've got some new clothing dropping for that. The DVD features some old classics, new battles and a documentary that I've made which has interviews with people we've featured over the years. We relive some of the big clashes and it's a timeline of events for those who want schooling. There's also a hip hop Lord of The Mics coming and the Murkle Man animated series. Next on my to-do list is a Return Of The Murkle Man video dropping with my new suit all up in it. That will be banging by the summer.
I also got sent a new Wiley release on Boy Better Know Recordings. What's the deal there?
I'm not going to say too much cause It's a situation that's on-going. We're an independent movement, obviously we're talking to labels but we're not eager to jump into bed with everyone. All they can do is give us money but it's got to be the right money. It's evident this is the next step and they'll be some exciting releases coming.
Text Chantelle Fiddy