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January is traditionally an empty kind of month.
Κείμενο Pat Parsons

These are stills from Happy Slap videos, where kids from Hackney slap the shit out of random bystanders while filming it on their phones. VERY sexy

January is traditionally an empty kind of month. The whole grime scene has its poker face on and isn't letting any cats out of any bags. Terror is keeping all his new beats close to his chest, Ruff Squad's "Guns & Roses"; mixtape is taking longer to come out than Cam'ron's last album and no one has been going up the stations as everyone is too busy making Happy Slap TV clips (Happy Slap TV is when you film someone punching the shit out of someone on your phone, then send it to everyone you know. The best place to get happy slapped is the 106 bus in Hackney where there are currently more undercover police on the route trying to catch the culprits than real passengers. But it's too late: by the time you read this all the kids doing this will probably have multi-million pound deals with edgy youth TV channels and happy slapping will already be 2005's answer to Jackass. We've been talking for months about the relentless influx of budget DVDs flooding the record shops, and it seems to be getting worse. Or better. Crazy Titch's new DVD has footage of him chasing Wiley round the pool in Ayia Napa and looks like the grime re-make of the video to Wham's "Club Tropicana";. Target is pushing out Aim High 2 which is pretty cool and has some bad-ass freestyles. The only really wack bit is when Dizzee and co all go and hang out in Miami, hire a Hummer and basically act like tourists. Speaking of the States, Grimewatch was out there over Christmas and went to try and convince all the mainstream US hip hop mags to do a big story on the scene. Some of our favourite objections to the obviously ridiculous notion of writing about something other than the bloated corporate carcass of mainstream US hip hop were: " Why would our readers care about England? All it means to them is the Queen and cups of tea?"; " But we did a story on Ms Dynamite two years ago…?"; " Jammer does not look like Lil' Jon and that is not a good basis for a story on the similarities between grime and crunk."; What these dickheads all failed to realise is there is a huge similarity between grime and crunk. That's why Stat Quo, Pitbull and Kardinal Official just made three brand new versions of "Forward Riddim"; especially for the Dirty South (big up DJ Semtex). But how are you supposed to convince a senior editor at a magazine that has T.I. on the cover of the latest issue, after they've just told you, "I don't actually like crunk, actually I'm into more old school hip hop. And snowboarding."; Really? So why the fuck are you still working here when you're 37? Grimewatch realised we were getting nowhere, made our excuses, copped the new Byrd Gang tape, a pair of Denim Airmax 90s and left. Meanwhile, back in Blighty, the youngers continue to smash it. Stryder is back on form with "Chillin";, and Discarda's tune "Critical"; is huge. Discarda beat his recent case and Target is getting calls from some "big people"; about him and the Wile Out Onez (Big up Dispute, hold your head.) In fact Wile Out Onez are murking left right and centre (FREE BRAZEN!), no one more so than Scum Dave, who doesn't even spit, but allegedly switched on some kid on a bus and made him take off all his clothes, apart from his socks, and ride all the way to the bus garage. Riko is out! And apparently his album will be out soon too. Roll Deep are currently taking over Europe (while here the "Colder"; remix is ruling the airwaves) and are off in Switzerland opening bank accounts or something. Logan Sama is making powermoves like filling in for DJs at 2 AM on Kiss 100FM. Still, it's better than the pirate soundclash competition. Watch for his new mixtape soon come. Ears is still heating roads, the new single "Fine Fine"; is big, and he's just played the Vice Party in Berlin with Jammer and D Double E, so basically he's arrived. He ain't really a grime MC, but Sway is the only good thing that has come out of UK hip hop since the Demon Boyz. His single "Flo Fashion"; says more about mindless mass consumption in three minutes than you would get from an entire Julian Lennon album, even if you were listening to it on your limited edition U2 iPod. Lady Fury and Shystie are having a huge war which culminated in a website being put up claiming Lady Fury was a tranny. It's since been taken down, but there is still some serious beef stewing there. PAT PARSONS