The butterflies were kinda boring.
We couldn’t find the monkeys at first...
But then we did. Photos by the author.
irls and grime don’t mix so well. So to adequately prepare for this month’s column I decided it was necessary to do a little research in the form of a date. My previous dates with grime producer Mizz Beats and grime MC Shystie didn’t really turn out as I’d hoped so I thought it best to look a bit further afield for a suitable suitor. I phoned Jammer to ask for advice and he suggested trying my luck with the It girl of Channel U, Kaya, AKA Judy from “Pow”. She’s been in music videos by The Game, Dizzee Rascal and The Streets, starred in Dubplate Drama and Rollin’ With The Nines, and is currently studying for a degree in maths and statistics. I knew she’d be perfect for me.
After taking down her number, I gave her a call and she agreed to my offer to take her to London Zoo. We arranged all the details and I met her one week later outside the main gates, dressed to impress in a brand new black Prada woolly hat (the one all the MCs are wearing this winter) and boxfresh coke-white Air Force Ones. It was my first time at the zoo since I was a kid so I was very excited. Our first stop was to see the penguins (which just stood there in a row watching us), then to the butterfly tent (which was kinda boring), then to see the monkeys (which were all hiding). At this point I was worried that the date was turning into a bit of a disaster, but we were getting on great and chatting away so I still had faith. We talked about her new UK Stunners Calendar (which she promised to show me later), her best experience on a video shoot—So Solid Crew’s “21 Seconds”—which she said was loads of fun, and her worst experience, which was doing a pop video in a freezing cold warehouse with fake rain. It began to drizzle once we had been walking about for a little while so I knew I had to do something to keep her interested. To spice things up, I headed to the shop to buy her a furry giraffe and a camera so we could take some snaps and told her to hold tight outside. To my horror, when I came out she’d disappeared. At this point I was having flashbacks of the Shystie/plastic dinosaur/Natural History Museum incident. I felt physically sick. I ran over and grabbed one of the wardens to help me search for my date, worried that maybe she’d been captured by a stray lion, but just as the warden was putting out a message over the zoo tannoy, she returned. It turned out, thank God, that she had just popped to the little girls’ room to powder her nose. I gave her the giraffe along with a badge I had also bought and we headed off to see some tigers. This was the highlight of the date so far. The zoo allowed you to get within inches of the tigers which just had to sit there and watch us as we screwfaced them through the thickened glass. I was mouthing “wasteman” through the glass to one tiger and it just had to sit there and take it—there was nothing it could do.
At this point we were getting a bit cold—it probably wasn’t the best idea to spend hours outside on one of the coldest days of the year—so we headed to the indoor aquarium to check out the fish. We saw loads of weird-looking fish and some see-through ones where you could see their internal organs. Kaya was hoping to see some sharks, but they didn’t have any, which was a bit disappointing. By now the zoo was ready to close (time flies when you’re having fun) so we headed to the exit to go for the next part of the date. It would be very wrong of me to go into detail about what happened next, but…okay, she went back to her parents’ house and hasn’t returned my calls or tried to contact me since. We honestly had a great time though, so maybe she’s just shy.
Oh sorry, I nearly forgot that this is a music column. How about a little bit (but ONLY a little bit) about that? 2006 wasn’t a great year for grime albums as you will surely be aware, but 2007 is definitely a much bigger look. Skepta’s debut album, Greatest Hits, will finally be seeing the light of day. Dizzee’s long-anticipated third album will be coming out (if XL don’t turn it down again) and the prince of grime, Tinchy Stryder, has got an album coming out on the small independent label Takeover Entertainment. We also can’t forget Wiley’s album on Big Dada, which is sounding incredible—look out for the track featuring Riko and a new MC called Badness. We’re praying that between now and its release he doesn’t fall in love with a female singer and end up putting loads of her unfinished material all over it, like he did with Tunnel Vision Vol. 3.
That’s about it for another month. We’ve got no space to mention which DJ from a certain legal radio station was holding back a large number of copies of someone else’s mixtape from a certain central London shop where they work because the CD in question did not big them up in the sleevenotes. Sort your fucking life out, DJ Cameo! We’ve also got no room to tell you about which fashion-conscious north London MC has been spotted on a number of occasions buying clothes in TK Maxx. And to think you had us believing you only dressed in BAPE T-shirts, one-off hoodies and ski goggles, JME!