Grime has come a long way since it burst through the London underground, spawning the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Lethal B and more recently Chipmunk and Tinchy Stryder. But what’s to come in 2010 – and which tracks set the scene alight in 2009?
With the brilliantly named Butterz blog dedicated to the genre and a hugely popular show on the famous Rinse FM with his partner-in-crime Skilliam, Elijah Powers knows a thing or two about grime. We brought in the man himself to discuss which five tunes were the pick of the bunch in 2009 as well as predicting who will be making strides this year.
The best songs of Two Thousand And Grime were the tracks that “defied daytime radio play and chart success”, says Elijah – take a gander at the tracks below to see just why they blew up:
Tempa T – ‘Next Hype’
Without a doubt track of the year. The words are so easy to remember, classic video and if you catch Tempz live you always get an epic performance. This was also most remixed track of the year, with every top selector playing their own version. I stuck with the original, until DJ Onemans Mash Up with Old Skool Grime track ‘Strung Up’ surfaced!
Newham Generals – ‘Hard’
The Newham Generals’ debut album was massively slept on. But as soon as this dropped, everyone got into it, grime and dubstep fans alike. They have been battering the instrumental on their Rinse FM show for nearly a year before the vocal was released, but it was worth the wait. Breakage on production, for the best dubstep and grime combination of the year.
P Money – ‘Fruits & Veg’
South London native P Money shows off his incredible wordplay on this, using as many fruits and vegetables in his lyrics to describe a violent attack as possible. He has been one of the most consistent MCs of the year, still doing sets on pirate radio and releasing 2 mixtapes. 2010 should see him dropping his debut album.
Boy Better Know – ‘Too Many Man’
This has been a smash in both the funky and the grime scenes all year, they have been doing the lyrics in the rave for over a year, so it was a hit in the clubs before the track was made. Skepta on production, joined by Wiley, JME, Frisco and Shorty.
Ghetto Feat Griminal – ‘Don’t Phone Me’
Grime veteran Ghetto is joined by 17 year old Griminal on this club smash. The track is still to be released but gets one of the best reactions whenever I play out. SWITCH!!
With the new decade now underway, there seems to be a very healthy flow of talent ready to push through, be it into the mainstream or simply giving Grime fans what they want. The following are Elijah’s tips for who are going to grab 2010 by the throat and make the most of it for themselves, so remember where you heard it first!
Tips for 2010:
Devlin has been an elusive character in the grime scene for the last four years. He used to appear on Rinse FM with his OT Crew and alongside the older MCs on the ‘F Radio’ series where he made his name. After two mixtape releases, hardly any PAs or radio appearances in the last two years he came back with a bang in 2009 with ‘London City‘. He has been compared to Mike Skinner for his social commentary, and I hope he makes more tracks like ‘Community Outcast‘. Watch out for his debut album – ‘Bud, Sweat & Beers’ coming in the not too distant.
Straight from the same bloodline that gave us the legendary DJ Mak 10 and UK funky kingpin DJ Marcus Nasty (both older brothers) Griminal is one of the scenes most promising talents. He had a very quiet 2009 until he stole the show on Wiley’s ‘She Likes To‘and lent Terror Danjah his vocals for ‘Can’t Be‘. Aggressive flows and incredible stage presence will make him one of the most booked without a doubt. Watch out for the debut CD ‘Griminalways’.
Swindles ‘Airmiles’ is already causing storms on Rinse FM and in the clubs. The Croydon producer has spent the last two years working on album tracks with Ashley Walters, Wiley, Mitchell Brothers and more. In 2010 though, he is choosing to focus on club material for the first time, seeing releases forthcoming on Planet Mu and Butterz. Look out for his remix of grime legend Terror Danjah ‘Sidechain’.
Terror is one of the unsung heroes of the grime scene, as it tends to be the MCs at the forefront, but he has been involved in the scene since the beginning, running After Shock records and previously hosting a show on BBC 1xtra. After a break from music Terror returned in late 2009 with a retrospective instrumental release ‘Gremlinz’ that was released on Planet Mu to great reception from both the dubstep and grime audiences. 2010s releases included ‘Bipolar’ on the Butterz label and ‘Acid’ on the award winning Hyperdub label, home to Burial and Cooly G. Expect the unexpected!
The grime scene isn’t an easy one to live in, with specialist radio shows almost nowhere to be found and less bookings being made by promoters, but the guys at Butterz are doing their utmost to move it forward. Their blog has been going for two years now and the strength of their output has seen more content popping up online as a direct result. Not only that, but 2010 will see Elijah and Skilliam drop the first release on Butterz Records with the ‘BiPolar EP’ featuring Terror Danjah.
Elijah and Skilliam also put together the ‘01012010’ mix which has had almost 5,000 downloads in just a matter of days at the time of writing and showcases some of the best new tunes to come in the early part of the year, including releases from their newly-founded label. You can grab the mix by clicking here. As long as the scene has people like these two working to get more heads interested in the music, it will be around for a long time to come and continue to be as progressive as the other beats-based music it is surrounded by.