Sunday, 20 February 2005


Old article that accompanied the popular NASTY Crew CD. The initial idea had been to do another NASTY Show will full MC's but instead we got a cross section of beats, primarily from Jammer and Lewi White. Interesting now looking back because so many of those said tracks have gone on to become underground fixtures... But look at how much else has changed - Jammer, D Double and Terror no longer reppin'... Two years ago you couldn't get a bigger or better crew but as we all know, it's getting competitve out there...


It sure is hard to pin N.A.S.T.Y. down with the majority of the group holed up in the studio, fighting to finish some new tracks off, clips of which are amongst the many other underground works of art featured on this months Deuce CD.

Jammer and Hyper MC, spokesmen for the day arrive (only two hours late) to represent the East London clique commonly referred to as the Nasty Crew, but officially called N.A.S.T.Y. (quite a contradiction in this context as translated it means Natural Artistic Sounds Touching You).

Hyper MC, the elder of the group at 28, explained to Deuce “The name derives from Marcus Nasty, DJ and founding member of N.A.S.T.Y., but we’ve broken the word down and given it a meaning. It explains who we are - we’re natural MC’s, we’re very artistic – no two mc’s sound the same. Our sound is different listen to the sounds been made by Jammer, Terror Danjah, Bigga, Lewi White. And we touch everybody wherever we go…”

“The whole crew thing had been tarnished so we had to come through differently.” Jammer continues. “That’s why officially, we’ve dropped the crew from our name but people still call us Nasty Crew. Crew is just a stigma. So Solid took a personal way of living and expressed it in the wrong way ‘cause that’s not how every black man is.”

So to the N.A.S.T.Y. history lesson. Initially it was made up of just three people - Marcus Nasty, Sharky Major and Stormin.’ Else where was the 187 Crew consisting of Jammer, Hyper and D Double E. With regular shows on Flava FM it was surely just a matter of time ‘til they joined forces?

“Well” Jammer producer, DJ and MC laughs. “They asked us did we wanna join them, and I was unsure about it so said no, we’ll do what we’re doing. But then Double and Hyper decided to join Nasty. I was cool with that and carried on doing by own thing, but down the line when they were working with a record company they approached me to do the production for them and that’s when it all kicked off.”

Production wise, Jammer is the name on a lot of lips, and not just those of the underground music buyers. So impressed were record labels by this self taught kid that his first release, Organise featuring D Double E and Armour, was signed by Locked On. Soon after he found himself working with The Streets.

“We did two tracks with Skinner, It’s All Very Well Son is out at the moment, me and Mike produced it, with D and Monkee emceeing. I did Hold It Down for Skinner as well. Every one always wants to know what Skinners like to work with but he’s just normal, quite cool ya know, ” Jammer says with a shrug.

N.A.S.T.Y’s sound isn’t that dissimilar in formula to that of The Streets. Original, quirky and with a definite identity you feel where they’re coming from. Like many of his peers, garage in it’s traditional form did little for Jammer.

“When I started I’d heard theses 4/4 garage tempos and loops but I’d always think ‘this has been done’, every time a new tune came out. So I started changing up the beats. Our music is different. I try and make beats that haven’t been heard before. I like working with similar minded people like Wiley. Sharky and me have done a version of Brother for Ms Dynamite also. Never give up with your music you see. I’ve been laughed at. They’d say what the hell is this, and I’m like ‘thanks bye’. But those same people come back to you.”

But are they talking the talk without walking the walk? Doug Cooper A&R Manager of J-DID Records who’ve been sponsoring N.A.S.T.Y.’s studio time doesn’t think so.

“N.A.S.T.Y are to London what NWA were to Compton. The mainstream industry need to wake up and acknowledge the importance of acts such as N.A.S.T.Y. and their role in the future of British street music. I’ve been following them for three years and have seen how they’ve developed as artists. Hip Hop is the biggest selling street music in the world and the potential for N.A.S.T.Y. across Europe and beyond is immense and represents a new generation of British voices and views. Their time is coming.”

So now that Dizzee and Wiley have been signed, does Jammer think it’s going to help them?

“In a way Dizzee being signed is good because it opens doors, and the whole scene does well. But Wiley can better him, don’t get me wrong though, it’s because he’s been in this a long time. I wasn’t surprised about the Dizzee hype, cause we’ve known about Dizzee for time.”

But is he the future for this underground sound, Deuce probes Jammer?

“I reckon there was a lot of people doing this before Dizzee even started emceeing. Dizzee stood out because of his voice, and he’s a good artist and everything, but it’s all about messages, the music has to get to that level where it’s been used for a purpose, that’s what we’re about.”

And it’s not just Jammer as a musician that serves a purpose. His group seem to deem him a leader, a wise-man, and his twenty year old dreadlocks are by no means a fashion statement.

“I’m Rastafarian by religion. I try and teach the group to live cool with each other cause some of them are young and a bit small minded. It’s not about smoking weed being a Rasta, it means live good. If you come to my house everything is open so it’s a way of life. That’s why I’m centre of Nasty I think, cause the way of my life is different. Not everyone would have twenty people in their house at two in the morning making tunes. Some parents want to be in bed at 9am. But my house is all about vibes. Me, having locks, is showing I’m proud to be a Rastafarian you have to have your locks for seven years to say you really believe you’re a Rasta and I’ve done that twice already. Bur you don’t need ‘locks to be a Rasta - If you’re a nice person, with God in your heart and you’re not evil you could be too.”

So philosophy and religion aside, to toady’s final chapter – the CD. How would N.A.S.T.Y describe their attempt to woo the readers?

“It’s different types of music, and you need to hear it for yourself. You’ll either like it or you won’t. This is a full squad showcase and I’d prefer it if you liked it but the sound’s new, remember Jammer says - N.E.W.”

“Society’s crazy nowadays, there’s a lot of yoots on road too quick to blaze, I used to be one of those yoots back in the days, not anymore cause my standard has raised. Now kids are talking ounces and Ki’s instead of thinking about GCSE’s, A Levels and degrees, college and universities, so hear this please. Educate yourself and you will gain wealth, anything militant keep to yourself, a lot of thugs end up in HMP’s, smart one’s end up with PHD’s. Gun crime and teenage pregnancy are on the rise, like STD’s all the yoots are trying to be OG’s, thinking that’s the only way they can earn P’s…Stop it!” Hyper MC

D Double E is related to Armour, and the two of them are in a way related to Gods Gift.
Bigga and Jammer are cousins.
N.A.S.T.Y are aged between 17-28.
Producers: Jammer, Lewi White, Bigga Man, Terror Danjah.
DJ’s: Marcus Nasty, Mac 10 and Jammer DJ’s and MC’s as well.
MC’s: Sharky Major, Storming, D Double E, Kano, Monkee, Armour and Hyper MC.
N.A.S.T.Y.’s first single was called ‘Good You Know.’
Other big N.A.S.T.Y tunes include Vice Versa and Day By Day, Feedback, Bird In The Sky, This Ain’t A Game.
Sharky Major and Hyper can both sing. Hyper has just recorded his own version of Snoop & Pharell’s Beautiful.

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