Tuesday, 10 January 2006

2005: A Year Inside Grime

I wrote this as part of Blackdowns end of year review, which boasted a great deal of interesting reading material from the likes of Simon Reynolds, Hattie Collisn, Sarah Bentley, Klute, Burial, Logan et al over the festive season... What you're about to read provoked some response on RWD forums which I've not had time to respond to until now so watch this space, i'm going to draw out some of those comments and give some additional Fiddy pence worth...

"In a nutshell, the beginning of the year was an especially exciting opener for the scene what with Kano, Roll Deep and Lethal B embarking on album projects which would garner both them and those in the sidelines greater exposure to a bigger audience. Then there was the success of tracks like 'Pow' and SLK's 'Hype, Hype'. But as the year closes, my lingering feeling on the 05 is that it's a year that's had it's many highlights marred by frustration..."

"Top of the list is not being able to blog or write about everything that goes on (be it jackings, GBH, guns, gossip, truth). At times it's due to the legals, at times through fear of retribution and because quite frankly, right here, right now it's not what I'm about. Let us not forget that blogging too has it's pitfalls (in the words of D Double 'you wanna jack my written?')."

"Exposing certain goings on in the scene would perhaps give those that follow with a close eye a greater insight into the reality of the social context we're often up against but it would also leave perhaps too much room for misinterpretation and/or speculation. Regardless, it's also time to stop making excuses for certain lazy artists and the waste entourages/managers/teams that surround them who will use any excuse to defend their business (or lack of it)."

"Take responsibility. Writing one new bar a month does not mean you're doing something with your life. If you've got to do a day job to fund your mixtape, do it. Be real to yourself and don't fall prey to the imagery and messages surrounding you. Likewise, worry about the press, free clothes and general blagging when you've got something that's actually worth talking about. Be ready to follow your word through. It's time to forget managers and what your boys tell you. Know your business, read the books, go to the free seminars and ultimately don't hate when someone less talented than you is getting props because their game plan is tighter. Respect where respect is due and this is a business we're in. Ultimately you've got to love the music, but you've got to love the game too. You get back what you put in. We don't want to be compared to the Americans but look at the work ethic and it's obvious that as it stands, we're simply not cutting it."

"While people continue to expect big deals and success to be delivered on a plate, the scene will remain where it is at the end of 05: stunted. Don't get me wrong, musically it's still as exciting as ever but MC's are going to have to up their game now. Shit's getting boring. Come different. Come original. Tell us what's really going on and please, isn't it time more people took responsibility for the messages getting putting out there? There's no time for excuses, there's a generation listening and waiting in the wings (hopefully not Pentonville or Brixton). Don't underestimate your power."

"Likewise, we have to look at the 'fans'. Yeah, those of you who go to raves and have them locked off because you haven't grown bigger than your shoe size or the length of your penis. You've left the school playground behind, this is life and some of you idiots also happen to be 'artists'. Now you wonder why it's only the Shoreditch massive laying on the parties? We're the only ones who can get venues! Then we have the 'supporters', begging, downloading and bootlegging. Know the reality of what you're doing - you're aiding and abetting in the impeding of a scene that's financially struggling. If people aren't eating, people aren't making. Kano's album may have sold 70,000 but I'm betting near on a few hundred thousand own that."

"Finally let us not be weighed down by the fruitlessness of segregating the likes of Sway from Wiley, Klashnekoff from Jammer... Play and listen to what you want, but don't let your opinion of a genre and all that comes with it hamper what the UK's building. We've got to work together if we want to build a successful industry. Let's stand up, build the foundations and with no excuses. 2006, let's own it!"

Fiddy's top moments and tunes of the '05

Longplayas

Kano “Home Sweet Home”
Various “Run The Road 2”
Bossman's “Street Anthems”
Logan Sama “Sidewinder Bonus CD”
”Aim High 2”
”Practice Hours”
”Risky Roadz”

Singles

Roll Deep “When I'm Ere”
Low Deep “Straight Flush/Cheeky Violin”
Lady Sovereign “Hoodie Remix”
Skepta “Duppy”
JME “Serious”
Jammer “Murkleman”
Sway “Up Your Speed Remix”
Skream “Midnight Request Line”
NASTY “Run 4 Cover”
Plan B “Sick 2 Def/Young Girl”
SLK “Hype, Hype (DJ Wonder remix)”
Wiley & Ruff Sqwad “Sidewinder”
Slew Dem “Grime”

Live-o

Grimey Awards @ Rex, Paris with Maximum, Wiley, Skepta & JME
i-D Live @ Cargo, London
Straight Outta Bethnal @ 333, London
Run The Road @ Fabric, London
FWD @ Plastic People, London (especially Ms Dynamites show and the various MC cameo's)

1 comment:

Kenzo * said...

chantelle,

Personnally, i do respect that little essay of the scene at the end of 2005. Even though i am not an artist or MC, i am still an undercover 'entity' with a great intrest in the scene.

But on a level, i think your last statement about 'Lets own our scene in 2006' it feels kinda hopeless that we will ever proper move the scene forward until another 2/3 years perhaps?

Think about it, look at our scene. the majority of the artists + and our fans are mainly black, immature and uneducated. i dont want to turn this into a racial thing, (even though i am black myself) but the immature + uneducated points are probably the main reasons why the scene is in such a bad state.

Moreover, the big artists or voices or the people in the scene who could possibly change things won't. Simply because:

A.
They only care about themsevles or

B.
They only want to bring in people who won't overshadow them. (mainly artists)

I reckon the highlight of 2005 was the Release of 'Run The Road 2' as that single-handly represented the Grime Scene to the outside circles. Kano's + Roll Deep's Album amonsgt other things in the scene didnt really take a major positive toll on the scene did it?



So im putting a question to you. You want the grime scene to move in 2006. I'm asking you, what are you gonna do? are you just going to write about the scene or are you going to 'contribute' in helping the scene to move?

All i'm saying is you probably know more of the scenes problems them me and we both more it stems from the artists to the people behind the scene so i just wanna know what we can do about it as i feel that your suggestions to MC's just aint enough