He's free I tell ya!!
Tuesday, 21 December 2004
“You can expect a lot of fun with Risky Roadz, it’s a look at the scene but when I watched a lot of DVD’s they made it look very serious and I wanted to capture what people are really like, their silly moments. There’s a lot of people I knew from before – like NASTY, half of them I grew up with at school, so no one’s putting on acts. And it’s nearly four hours long (it was seven but we cut it), it took us ages to edit it but we had so much footage and we didn’t want to waste it. We’ve got so many people on there - every big MC, every big rave, Young Man Standing, Beats 2 Battle, we have tried to incorporate everything, even people over at the park hanging out. My highlight would be seeing the energy and people that are keen, it really shows. There’s a few people who weren’t really interested when we started it and couldn’t be bothered to meet up but watch what happens ha ha. This is the first of many, we’re even talking about a Risky Roadz deleted scenes ideas…we’ve already started working on part two so keep your eyes open this year.”
You heard it here first. Pick up Risky Roadz online at www.rhythmdivision.co.uk or from all good independent record shops. RRP: £16.99 and worth every penny.
Sunday, 19 December 2004
Martin Clark, Journalist, London, England. “2004 was the year when grime snuck up to the lazy, sterile mainstream, jacked its phone and left it stunned on the floor wondering what in Eski's name hit it."
1. Target & Riko "Chosen One" (Aim High)
2. Digital Mystikz "Give Jah Glory" (Tempa)
3. Kode 9 ft Daddi Gee "Sign of the Dub" (Hyperdub)
4. Roll Deep (Danny Weed production) "Let It Out" (679)
5. Terror Danjah ft. Trim, Wiley, Riko, D Double E and Footsie "Bogeyman" (Roll Deep recordings)
Jacob, fan, Singapore. “I’m probably the most remote grime fan you’re going to get contact from so I thought it might be worth sending my end of year top 5...”
1. Terror Danjah ft. Trim, Wiley, Riko, D Double E and Footsie "Bogeyman" (Roll Deep recordings)
2. Lethal B – Pow (Lethal Bizzle/Relentless)
3. Ruff Squad – Raw2TheCore (White)
4. Gemma Fox & 2Face – Gone (P)
5. Essentials – Jenny (DaVinChe Mix) (Paperchase Recordings)
Derek Walmsley, writer, location unknown.
“With record sales been low and there being very few compilations on the high street, underground DVD packs are essential viewing…”
1. Roll Deep – Shake A Leg (dubplate)
2. B Live – Merkers (dubplate)
3. Terror Danjah ft. Trim, Wiley, Riko, D Double E and Footsie "Bogeyman" (Roll Deep recordings)
4. Shystie – Woman’s World (P Jam Remix) (P)
5. Essentials – K Dot (Paperchase)
Jeff, fan, Seattle, USA.
“…haven’t been this excited about music since the early 90’s shoegaze movement! I’m stuck in Seattle and access to anything beside The Streets and Dizzee isn’t available much. My son always dances and claps to the smooth sound of DaVinChe and Kano ‘Leave Me Alone.’ My current fave would have to be Wiley and Kano ‘Special Girl’ (we’re a little behind here), anything involving Kano is brilliant, hope an album comes soon…”
Thank you to all the underground supporters and readers inna this – whichever part of the globe they’re from. It’s nice to know we’re reaching far and wide. It’s a beautiful movement to be involved in and 2005 looks set to be even brighter and star filled than the last.
Saturday, 18 December 2004
Many people thought that 2001 and the success of the award winning So Solid Crew was a passing phase. How wrong can you be? In musical chronicles 2002 will go down as the year of the crew and it’s days are far from numbered… MOBO takes charge and weighs up the crew appeal.
SO SOLID (Independiente)
How many members? Debatable, changes with the seasons/afro height and depends on how many newbies they recruit from the continent. More famed members include Mega ‘never without an afro comb’ Man, Romeo (um mine), Harvey (Mr Alesha Mis-teeq), Asher ‘banged up’ D, Oxide and ‘b-b-b bound for the reload’ Neutrino.
Most likely to say: We got so many haterz blud, messy blud, say how we gonna split this doe’ between all 967 of us blud?
Famous lyrics: Two multiplied by ten plus one, Romeo dunn!, I got 21 seconds t-t-t!
Interesting facts: Their debut album They Don’t Know went double platinum in two-and-a-half weeks, two members of So Solid are Cypriot recruits, Harvey was nearly a big league footballer, they’ve collaborated with Beenie Man on his new album, producer Mr Shabz, is the brother of one of The Reelists.
Chart successes to date: 21 Seconds, Ride Wit Us, Haterz, They Don’t Know.
Biggest selling single: 400,000 (21 Seconds)
Highest chart position: No. 1 (21 Seconds)
Most likely to pull: Most would argue Romeo (Harvey’s attached), but then who would turn down double trouble with the Twinz?
2002 Achievements: Friday night show on Kiss 100 FM, only one member got sent down, no one was cautioned for smoking cannabis, So Solid on the acclaimed Jools Holland show, they weren’t dropped after a year like most UK artists, their no-trouble appearance at Oxide and Neutrino’s MTV 5 Night Stand gig raising the question why are So Solid tours still banned?
Best quotes of 2002: “I got a lot of groupies but I just deal with it. I hear I got a lot of mums are into me too” (Romeo keeps it real), “my dreams are déjà vu blud, all of ‘em, everything we’ve done here has been predicted y’ get me” (Mega getting spiritual), “I’d love to get Moe on a track, he’s so underrated”, (Harvey quashes the rumours of any beef with Heartless Crew).
MORE FIRE CREW (Go Beat)
How many members? Only three, Ozzie B, Lethal B, Neeko, (sticking a tongue out to any one who thinks to be in a crew you need a Saddam style army).
Most likely to say: Oi! Who’s that More Fire Crew? Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!
Best lyrics: Um… Oi! Who’s that More Fire Crew?
Interesting facts: They’re all under 21, So Solid have made a tune cussing More Fire (why? Who knows), Ozzie is the supposed cousin of Dizzee Rascal from The Roll Deep Crew, they’re all from Walthamstow, they met and learnt their trade at a community workshop,
Chart successes to date: Oi! Who’s that More Fire Crew?
Biggest selling single: 80,000 (Oi!)
Highest chart position: 8
Most likely to pull: Ozzie B because he knows the Sugababes who are bound to have lots of crew member-hungry friends. Also looks like he’s cute enough to introduce to your mother (rewind - my mother has just choked).
2002 Achievements: Did an advert for the government reworking vocals of Oi! to encourage people to vote, all got Avirex jackets, took the streets to Top Of The Pops, showed all those East London promoters that they were indeed worth more than £50.
Best quotes of 2002: “When this guy said nah you aren’t worth £50, we were in the studio and boy we were thinking about rhydims and decided to make a tune about it” (Lethal on the mindblowing inspiration for Oi!), “I don’t really like garage. You see our music is bashment not really garage. Just new flava’s” (Lethal sets the record straight cough cough), “would I do a duet with Britney? Yeh. I will do one with anyone,” (Neeko having a daydream), “We’re from the ghetto man but it doesn’t mean we are trouble.
Find something constructive to do - there need to be more facilities in the community” (Ozzie B gives the authorities a wake up call) “We aren’t down with free advertising. If you want me to wear Prada it’s cool but I’m keeping it” (Neeko – you tell them boy!).
THE HEARTLESS CREW (EastWest)
How many members? Three. Mighty Moe, Bushkin and Fonti. (A trend in small numbers is developing it seems fellow crew watchers!)
Most likely to say: Our hearts in a de music, it’s a crisp biscuit, yagga yagga yo.
Famous Lyrics: Hearttttt-lessssss we got it going on, original hype, we got the vibe ya’ll!
Interesting facts: Warmed up for D-12 and Eminem in Miami, Heartless are best described as a sound system as they play music from all genres (including Kylie classics), they all DJ, MC, produce, Moe is Arabic and a talented artist, Fonti, the main DJ, is grade 6 at guitar and was a barber during his school lunch breaks but wanted to be a Maths teacher, Bushkin used to be a Legal Clerk, Heartless Crew have a joint bank account and have shared ownership of a Space Cruiser.
Chart successes to date: Heartless Theme, The Crisp Biscuit Mix compilation.
Biggest selling single: 47,000 (Heartless Theme)
Highest chart position: 21
Most likely to pull: Well they’re always together so a hit for one is a hit for all.
2002 achievements: Signed to 1Xtra’s digital radio station, a rather nice album deal (rumoured at near half a million squidders!),
Best quotes of 2002: “The rules with us are simple. Manners, being courteous and having respect come above everything else” (Moe explains why they’re perfect husband material), “Anytime you put on music you can be rocking, which is why we say our hearts are in the music” (Fonti on the Heartless philosophy), “Have you seen Planet Of The Apes? Mad Max? Demolition Man? That’s what we’re moving towards. We are always looking to be together, with our wives and kids, We want a castle…it could be a commune I suppose” (Bushkin on the Heartless empire).
Tuesday, 14 December 2004
*food - drugs (however interpret/challenge as you feel fit, cor the yoots say so).
Formerly famed for his cutting house activities Tubby is now making more of a mark as a producer and DJ. Previous releases have been noted but Slush mashes his past offerings into the vinyl crematorium. For those not turned on by past releases like Whatever, don’t push Slush to the side. Cue it up and head for the volume button instead because this is not what you might class a traditional Tubby sound. It’s Braindead productions like Slush that are surely providing the solid proof that Tubby and sometimes partner in crime, Footsie, are names that will be climbing the underground hierarchy in the 2004. Slush, which features on the recent Smoove compilation, Street Beats, has naturally been battered by big boss man Slimzee over the last six months and on release at Christmas, a set without this will be like your old dear serving you Turkey without the gravy. Sort it out love.
How long have you been producing for?
About two years now. I’ve had some bits out on the down low and Whatever, that was quite big. I did a Lil Kim booty a few years back In the Planet Phat days but I never put my name to that either. Slush is the biggest thing I’ve done myself so hopefully this tune will get the label out there.
What happened didn’t you own Planet Phat?
I did own it in the end but it wasn’t working out, It was costing too much. I had to quit so now I’m concentrating on the producing. I DJ out too but I’m one of those people who prefers to be in the background.
Was there an idea or plan behind Slush?
Not really, I was just in the studio with a Slush Puppy, Cherry flavour I think it was so I called it Slush. I am going to revive Slush Puppy’s, I’ve decided, I should be sponsored by them - a different flavour for different inspiration. I guess I am a bit cold like a Slush Puppy still haha.
Why do you think Slush is blowing up more than anything else you’ve done?
Because I let people cut it, I don’t normally give stuff out but Slimzee has battered it since I made it eight months ago and he put it on the Smoove Street Beats compilation. Karnage and that have all cut it now, for Karnage to cut it was a big thing cause I didn’t think it would be his kind of thing.
Who or what is Braindead?
That’s mine and Footsie’s label. Me and Footsie work together but we have our own studio’s so there’s a lot of solo stuff. We called it Braindead because that’s what we are…it’s got something to do with the amount we smoke. Sometimes people get a bit fresh, have a couple of pulls, five minutes later they’re in a corner. I’m 25 and I’ve been smoking since I was 10 or 11 so I just control it now.
What have you got coming up?
War Wid with Footsie and D Double E, Pass The Test and Scars, all on Braindead. Is it time to roll another one yet?
Words: Chantelle Fiddy
DJ Tubby Rinse 100.3FM Sunday nights 7-9pm. For more info on DJ Tubby contact Live Agents
A version of this article appeared in Deuce Magazine
Sunday, 5 December 2004
A tad old still, we'd just had a marathon Hollyoakes session one Sunday lunchtime at my place. While I may look like I'm promoting the Tanning Shop I'd just returned from Miami where I was doing V for Smash Hits (so gully). I'd also been in the Middle East for two weeks previously so I'm sure I've got loads of nasty skin disorders brewing as a result. Apologies to Lady Sovereign who in turn looks like Snow White.
He was there for the birth of Rinse 100.3FM which today is more important in the rise of my favourite music than any legal station. Wiley was there for the birth of the Pay As U Go Cartel (PAUG) who lets face it, turned UK garage on it’s head. The reason the old UKG establishment couldn’t hold them down was because we wanted them. We wanted a new energy, fresh sounds, more bass, more bite, more lyrics. Wiley and the Cartel bought all of those things as did the new skool movement that followed. When Wiley produced Know We and the MC’s laid down their bars it was on. Wiley’s production and MCing became of equal importance. A few years on when Wiley unleashed Eskimo it was officially the start of something bigger than perhaps we’d imagined. With the lyrical game having been seriously upped, we’re talking real verbal dexterity, rap credentials, Eskimo became the anthem that signalled showtime and propelled MC’s into the limelight. The buzz was that electric it was like you could feel it in your blood. It’s what myself and clearly many others, had been waiting for. We wanted to be part of this.
The trends that he’s spurred in hindsight are countless. No one knows this better than Wiley. Everyone wants to ride his beats, clash him, MC with him, put him on their line up, on their radio station… Wiley has aided in bringing through countless new MC’s including Dizzee Rascal (there’s little doubt Dizzee would have blown, but Wiley did help him get there that bit quicker), Tinchy, and now Trim. Then there’s the DVD’s, the thousands of white labels sold from his car boot and his debut album for XL Recordings, Treddin’ On Thin Ice which won’t be coming off my stereo for a long while. And still, nothing fuels me more than watching the crowd react to his anthemic rhymes.
It’s for all of this and more that I give thanks to Wiley and why it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to convince me that he is overrated. (It’s also why I’d like to tell Tous Davy he’s a big piss stain for any derogatory comments he’s made). Yeah, he tends to be late all the time (I’ve waited three days), he isn’t reliable, hey, he might not even show up for your interview (I've lost count of how many jobs of mine he's flopped). But as I've learnt over the years, with Wiley you just can't take it personal.
Words: Chantelle Fiddy
This opinion piece was written in ten minutes for Tense Magazine, unsurprisingly Tous Davy decided not to publish it.
The birth of the mixtape goes way back when. For most of America’s hip hop history it has been one of the strongest forms of underground currency. In the 1970’s the mixtape documented a DJ’s Saturday night set, but now the stock has risen, a tool used by the streets and major record labels for testing new tracks and artists while also allowing signed artists a chance to retain their street appeal.
Yet it’s only now that we have a mixtape explosion in the UK, largely no doubt to new technology and it’s relatively low cost. But also we must thank Fifty Cent. Two years ago his mixtape blew him up overnight. Eminem heard it, a deal was done and the mixtape became lodged in the guerilla marketing psyche.
In the UK we’d been catching on, although a little slowly. For example rave packs have long served as a way of supplying the city sounds to the suburbs and beyond.
But in hip hop circles it was Estelle’s 2003 ‘Diamond In The Rough’ debut that woke people up. A then unsigned artist, her mixtape was mistaken by many as the work of a major label. Shortly TNT released the equally impressive ‘Heat In The Street’, a 30 plus track mixtape showcasing his new artist J2K. Other, now leading street brands, soon followed suit, all with unique formula’s.
Lord of the Decks boasted a CD and DVD of exclusive grime cuts, interviews and freestyles, My Boyz dealt with American and UK hip hop exclusives, Split Mics laid the finest UK MC’s on commercial hip hop instrumentals while Target used Aim High to promo his label’s plan for the future.
“The demands getting bigger (for mixtapes), especially with the DVD’s and outside of London too…” Target explained.
“I have no idea how many bootlegs there are out now. It’s helped my career, a lot of people didn’t know what I was doing before, I’ve definitely got remixes and work off the back of that…They even knew of us in Germany, Amsterdam and Miami. That was a shock.”
XL Recordings weren’t oblivious either. Dizzee Rascal, soon after scoping the Mercury Prize, was roping in the aid of Semtex to deliver the Piece Keepers series feauturing CD and DVD freestyles, performances and new tracks.
So it’s actually been our relative lateness to mixtapes that is working in our favour. Many of our mixtapes are actually still mixed, keeping an element of emphasis on the next generation of DJ (good recent examples include Bossman’s ‘Street Anthems’ and Rossi B & Luca’s ‘More2DaFloor’ where we are treated to some superior scratching, tight beat matching and slick mixes). The majority of UK mixtapes are also focusing on new, unsigned talent, further aiding the burgeoning UK music scene, rather than what the majors record labels are paying them to include or what we’ve all heard before.
But just like CD’s have led to the near extinction of tapes, it’s likely the DVD Magazine and DVD mixtape will continue to rise in popularity. Soon we may see DJ’s going from the streets to major label deals, endorsing licensed compilations, UK Mixtape Awards (America’s Annual Mixtape Awards is now in it’s 8th year), or how about some major bootlegging?
“I think it’s going to go the same way as in America. Everyone will know to get mixtapes to get the freshest music. It might even help push up vinyl sales” Target concludes.
But for every mixtape artist, DJ and record that crosses over to the mainstream, it’s safe to lay bets that they’ll always be countless street scientists ready to continue with the preservation the streets number one medium of expression, the mixtape.
Words: Chantelle Fiddy
A version of this article appears on noiseup.com. You can also check DJ Target's mixtape rules or enter the competition to win Aim High 2 on the site.
Wednesday, 1 December 2004
Chantelle Fiddy & Hattie Collins
When were you first in i-D?
Fiddy: A late arrival I surfaced in the ’04.
Collins: In 2002.
The work we do is…
Individually we write lines, create verse, play with words and aim to bring street culture at home and abroad to the forefront of every publication that will have us (bar the Daily Mail).
The five words that best describe me are…
Fiddy: A thesaurus loving grime guru
Collins: Hip hop ya don’t stop
My greatest achievement so far is…
Fiddy: Living in E2. One day I’ll make it to Bow E3, one day…
Collins: Been on Crossroads…the first time round
25 years ago I was…
Fiddy: Waiting to happen
Collins: Only five and kicking arse on BBC2’s Play Chess. Actually it was a draw but hey.
The best advice I've been given is…
Fiddy: Keep your eyes open and legs shut (thanks for that Hattie)
Collins: Be reliable and keep it real.
The best thing in my life is…
Fiddy: Hattie Collins
Collins: Chantelle Fiddy
My greatest hope for the next 25 years is…
Fiddy: That grime is still as good, I’ll give up smoking, find my way with words oh and that Hattie Collins retires and I reign supreme! Ha ha ha!
Collins: For World peace, happiness for all man kind, the end to homelessness and that I finally win Miss World.
The last time we celebrated was…
Not that long ago
And it was for…
The MOBO awards
We celebrated with…
Crazy Titch and lots of Bacardi cocktails
And we wore…
What we wore is immaterial but as you are so nosey Collins stole the show in a saucy Basque and not a lot else while Fiddy donned a quiff, an exquisite PPQ dress and some shoes that cost £15 from Diva on Bethnal Green high street.
Nobody knows we…
We move our feet when we hear…
Lethal B ‘Pow’, Riko ‘Don’t Want U Back’, Terror Squad ‘Lean Back’, Mr Wong ‘Orchestra Boroughs’, anything by Lil Jon, Roll Deep, and the ladies from Fury to Foxy.
We love the smell of…
Clean pants, hi-grade, Body Shop’s Coconut Body Butter and fresh vinyl.
Our favourite drink is…
We had the time of our life's when we…
Were whisked to Puerto Rico for five days to interview the queen of hip hop, Missy Elliott, for 45 minutes…between us.
DVS Crew's Blooks has selected twenty seven freestyles and new tracks for this compilation. Flirting between a variety of new UK hip hop and grime acts, those that made the cut include Slew Dem, Esco, DM, Raw Ones, Ears and Blooks himself. Although this doesn't standout as much as some of the mixtape competition, it will be a first glance for many into another batch of street disciples.