Cd Review: Durrty Goodz – 'overall'
In grime, there are often MCs who suit the purpose of their sub-genre perfectly. Some are best at delivering hyperactive tunes about all things offensive. Some bring the more conceptual side, concentrating on the narrative in their songs and some leave you stunned with their flow and lyrical content. Then there are those who can lend a hand in any department of the grime scene, pulling off each role as well as the next. For me, Durrty Goodz is one of those artists. Despite the evolution of grime and its massively altered state, this east London MC is still adapting and delivering, most recently proven with his upcoming LP, 'Overall'. This is Goodz’ first album release since 'Ultrasound' and it pays a solid tribute to its predecessor.
'Overall' opens with 'My Life', a dark tune that turns over the stones of many popular topics in grime. This introduction sets the scene of a life raised around poverty, violence and hate. He talks about the vulnerability of single mums, murder, prison, broken dreams and many other harsh realities that are indigenous to the deprived areas of England. Unlike most grime tunes that cover the ideology of the council estate, 'My Life' is a truthful and refreshing account of the fear and sadness that accompanies a life following the crooked path. There’s no glamour or grievance with this tune, Goodz simply tells the truth of what he’s seen, ending the story with a melodic hook.
He then takes us on a journey of what UK grime would be like if it was the same money making machine like what hip-hop is for America with a track called, 'Imagine'. Think of a scene where MCs collaborated, before all of the clashing, a scene where violence was no longer a driving force behind content, where MCs could be one with each other. 'Imagine' is a thought-provoking concept, perhaps hinting at the reason why grime went nowhere for years.
I felt that Goodz wanted to tell a story with meaning and depth, covering uncharted waters – as far as grime is concerned – by tackling concepts that others would sound pretentious doing. Then I was thrust into a few fast-paced dubplate tracks, the sort of grime that you’d want to hear in a club. Although the substance and flow is never sacrificed, the transition from deep and meaningful to hype and strategic felt slightly sporadic at times. I don’t feel that any of the tunes should’ve been left out, after all, we do want classic grime in our ears from a release like this, but I think the order of the tracks could’ve been revised slightly. It’s no real hindrance, though. If you even notice it, I’m sure shuffle will resolve the problem.
Durrty Goodz pays homage to his fans by mentioning topics concerning Crazy Titch and the Wiley saga over rap beats, ragga beats and all things experimental. The lyricist isn’t shy to mix things up a bit, causing controversy with both cleverly constructed indirects and blatant name-calling. One thing I’ve always liked about Goodz is how he gets personal in a clash. He gives us just enough information to prick your ears and intrigue you, but keeps enough hidden to separate the fine line between music and "the roads." This is a trait used often throughout the CD.
Despite my slight disagreement with the album structure, I do feel that 'Overall' is a much needed mix of face-screwing classic grime tunes and thought-provoking tracks. This release proves that Durrty Goodz is still an integral part of the grime scene; however, after all of the positives that this CD has to offer, I was still left wanting more. To me, 'Overall' felt like more of a sequel to 'Ultrasound' rather than a totally new creation. But don’t get me wrong, this release is definitely worth its salt. Melancholic tunes about the daily struggles of life – mixed with headshaking dubplates denouncing just about every major grime MC around – makes 'Overall' a must-have for any grime CD collection.
Durrty Goodz: 'Overall' – is out on May 16.
Stay up to date with Durrty Goodz on Twitter - www.twitter.com/RealDurrtyGoodz
Words: Jake Hanrahan (@OiJake)
Photography: Verena Stefanie Grotto (@KidsOfGrime)
Online editing: Joseph JP Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)