The grimy streets of London
“Let It Out” by Roll Deep
Now, I don’t know as much about the grime scene as some folks do, but I do know a good rap tune when I hear it, and this is one of them for sure. This is a crew track, courtesey of the east London-based Roll Deep Crew – their roster reads like a who’s who of the grime scene with Wiley (who’s Thin Ice LP was lauded by basically everyone), Breeze, Flow Dan, Jamakabi, Jet li, Bubbles, Scratchy, Pitbull, Titchy Stryder (his star is currently rising big time too), Riko, trim, and vocalist Roachy, DJs Karnage and Maximum and beats by Danny Weed, who produced this joint. (Dizzee Rascal, who’s two full-length efforts have blown up in the US and have been HUGE in the UK, is a former member of Roll Deep too.)
Right now they’re seriously big time, these guys, but like many in the grime scene, they got their start by rapping over self-produced, super-stripped-down instrumentals, rapping at underground parties and raves, and selling their records out of car-boots (much like the Jungle scene of the mid-90s) – basically they’ve kept the scene evolving since the 2-step and UK garage phases – the first two records by crew-members that saw major attention outside of the scene were “Eskimo” by Wiley and “I Luv U” by Dizzee. Since then, the scene, which has been noted in the UK press for its violence at club-nights, and infighting between different crews, has grown to a full-fledged musical movement. I love this song, not only because of the different guys’ voices, but because of the way it lurks slowly along with that druggy piano riff and the electro-drop-bass sound that creeps in – lyrically speaking the song is about trying to find that door, just on the verge of making it. Like the pre-Sega Genesis and Half-Caret Diamonds parts of “Juicy” maybe? Solid.
The 679 label has put out a compilation of some of the best tracks out there called Run The Road – luckily for us in the US, its also recently been released by Vice Recordings – besides this RD crew track and a few solo crew-member tracks, the CD also features some of the other big names in the game, such as Kano, Shystie, Demon, the Streets (another Robots favorite), and rising female star Lady Sovereign (look for her own LP coming out really soon). This cd is serious heat, so I’d definitely reccomend you buy it here or here if you’ve got any interest in where the scene is going. In further good news, Roll Deep signed a recording deal with Relentless Records in October 2004, and their much-anticipated album, In At The Deep End will drop at the end of May.
PS: Peep the Streets’ mates the Mitchel Brothers video for “Routine Check” – sounds like a Skinner beat-production, but anyone got more info on these guys?
PPS: For you NYC robots, there’s a Grime party on May 14th at Crash Mansion (199 Bowery) with guests Crazy Titch, J2k and DJ Cameo – its put on by these guys and should be pretty hot.