Last week saw a lot of movement in UK Rap and Grime, including intercontinental collaborations and high energy radio freestyles. Here's this weeks Rap Rundown...
Last week saw a lot of movement in UK Rap and Grime, including intercontinental collaborations and high energy radio freestyles. However, the quality and quantity of these performances was overshadowed by another dispute with the scene’s vigilante MC that has taken it upon himself to chastise anyone who, he believes, is talking sh*t.
Yes, I’m talking about Chip. The self proclaimed ‘Grime scene saviour’ who injected a bit of energy into the scene last year when he sent for Tinie Tempah, Bugzy Malone and Big Narstie but, I feel, is now polluting the internet with diss tracks that are just starting to get a bit dull. Don’t get me wrong, the lyrical content is still there and his bars do always give me jokes but I’m just a bit bored of his attempt to police the scene and hinder other UK MCs that are trying to progress.
His cover of Ghetts and Rude Kid’s ‘One Take’ freestyle – released last week – was hard and believe me when I say I agreed with a lot of the things he was saying about Yungen but I didn’t feel like I was hearing anything knew. Yes, you turn your pen into a weapon and yes, you did open doors for other MCs but, we know this. I want to hear Chip talking about something new and progressive. He has undoubtedly got the talent so I want to hear something a bit more creative. I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me and if you do, feel free to let me know.
Obviously, following Chip’s diss, Yungen had to respond and I wasn’t expecting it to be that impressive but I’m actually rating it. His ‘Punk (Sh*tmunk) diss)’ showcases a different tempo and attitude to what you’d usually hear from the South London rapper and his bars were strong. Chip definitely draws out the best in these MCs.
Following this, a barrage of diss tracks was released including Chip’s ‘Michelle Riddim (Lil Clive diss)’ and 'L (Lil' Clive Diss 2)' and Yungen’s ‘Oopsy Daisy Riddim’ and both of the MCs came with some venom but, at this point, my words have become obsolete. You need to make your own mind up on who you think is winning.
Now, forget the childish games and listen to the intercontinental collaboration I was talking about. New York based producer Baauer recruited American rapper Leikeli 47 and Novelist to feature on ‘Day Ones’. A militant collaboration that combines greezy Grime culture with enigma and some Hollywood style visuals.
When it comes to UK and US collaborations, there is usually someone who has to compromise their sound and it ends up with one of the artists sounding completely out of place but because of the influence of the producer on this one, ‘Day Ones’ sounds like it is tailored for both. It provides a tempo that Nov is comfortable on and also an aggression that is perfect for Leikeli 47.
Finally, although it was released on the Sunday the week before, I felt like I had to mention Konan’s ‘Last Night In LA’. Because of Krept and Konan’s commercial success and the type of music that they have released of late, people seem to have forgotten that they really do have bars. To this day, I’m still trying to get my head around the wordplay in some of their freestyles.
On this occasion, Konan provided us with a solo showcase that allowed us to hear what he had to say without any distractions. It was a more creative and inventive than a lot of the pair’s commercial releases and reminded me why I started listening to them in the first place.
Words: Patrick Fennelly