getting into grime's second golden age with super fast spitter p money
There’s little doubt that grime is going through fresh glory days, with an increasing depth of talent, high frequency of releases and great clashes keeping the whole game on their toes. One of the biggest stars in this wider ascendancy is South London...
The Lewisham lad has already made waves with Slang Like This, Anthemic and Round The Clock and is releasing the Originators EP at the end of this month. Today i-D premiere one of its tracks, 2 Decks and a Mixer, so we caught up with the rapid-fire MC, who talked about his love for Jimmy Carr, Japanese MCs with Jamaican accents and his desire to crack America…and Dubai.
Your MCing is so fast. Is that pure practice?
I've been good for a long time, but every year I get better. I learn new things, like recording at Rinse with Geeneus, he taught me new little recording tricks. I feel like I can still push the boundaries.
Do you have a process of memorising your lyrics?
It's just going over the same thing and sometimes a word might trigger whole sentences. What I noticed recently is that if I really like a lyric or a punch line that I've just though of, I'll always remember it.
What's the longest you've gone consistently rapped for without stopping?
Maybe about 15 minutes straight. The other day I was with my DJ and he put up this picture of his cooking and it looked really bad. I was cussing his cooking and then we realised how long I'd been going. When you're into something, everything just comes to mind and it just flows.
A lot of your lyrics are really funny - do you ever break into laughter?
Sometimes. If you see a grin, it's because I know what I'm going to say next.
There's a lot of humour in there, but obviously you can go much heavier too.
I know when to be serious, but I do like to have fun. I like to watch people like Jimmy Carr. When I'm in a funny mood, I'll write things that people can relate to. You can't be serious every minute of your life. It gets boring. Lighten up a bit, know what I mean?
Do you think people outside of the grime scene understand how much humour there is in it?
Grime used to have a name where everyone would only talk about violence and the gritty side of it, but I think people are seeing some people have lyrics full of humour.
Why do you think grime has had this crazy resurgence recently?
It dipped because certain things happened at one or two events and they just blamed it on the whole scene and put it to one side. I think it's back now because artists are working together more. We're more powerful when we're releasing music because there are more people supporting it. Because of the past, people were scared to stand up and say, ''This is our scene,'' but everyone is standing up together now.
You've spoken about your lyrics, but do you think you've developed a lot musically too?
I think I've developed a way of making everybody from of any age listen and feel the same. Before people used to say, "You have to be young to like grime" but nowadays people of all ages like it. When I went to Japan there were 30-year-olds there jumping around just as much as the 18-year-olds.
Is that one of the best places you've been on tour?
Definitely. I went there last June. You hear about all the gadgets, but the people and the hospitality were just amazing. I've been to so many countries and places, where they're into rap, and they don't really understand when we reload the track. But in Japan they were telling us to reload the track. They were just like us. I was stunned! There was one guy on tour with us who had a Japanese accent, but when he was in front of the mic, he had a Jamaican accent. It was crazy.
Where else would you like to take grime?
I'm going to Russia on Friday, but the place I really want to take it is America. They're really into Skepta at the moment. A lot of people have been messaging me on my Facebook from America telling me it's growing there. When people go on holiday they tell me when my track gets played in the clubs. In Dubai our tracks are starting to get played in all the clubs. Dubai and America are the two places I want to take the whole scene.
Originators EP is out on 30th November on Rinse.
Text Stuart Brumfitt