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Wow. Where do we start? A lot has happened since the last Grimewatch update. So much in fact that we don’t have time to talk about Mercston getting put on a lengthy lockdown following an incident with a 15-year-old girl at the Prince’s Trust music...

Faction G meets Jay-Z at The Lanesborough Hotel. Photo by Anita Crapper

MC Narstie

Tunnel Vision Vol.1

Wow. Where do we start? A lot has happened since the last Grimewatch update. So much in fact that we don’t have time to talk about Mercston getting put on a lengthy lockdown following an incident with a 15-year-old girl at the Prince’s Trust music festival. Also involved was a DJ from one of our favourite East London crews, but we won’t mention names since nothing is confirmed, and as is well known, we only report facts. We’re also too pressed for time to mention which grime MCs spent most of their summer holidays sitting in jail in Ayia Napa after taking on some local thugs. We didn’t think people still bothered to holiday there, but I guess they do. While everyone was in Ayia Napa, we headed to Reading to see Statik and Lethal B perform with The Rakes to a crowd of 40,000. Say what you want about Lethal (his album was terrible and he isn’t the best MC in the scene), but he works hard and can move any crowd, standard. Statik has also produced the new Babyshambles single, which is a cover of the Clash song “Janie Jones”, with a grindie mix featuring JME and Lethal B on the b-side. Make sure you listen out for the handclaps during the first verse provided by Vice’s own Jamie-James Medina (is there anything that guy can’t do?). Another tiny, miniscule example of grime’s ongoing influence on popular culture was DJ Green Lantern dropping “Forward Riddim” during Jay-Z’s Wembley show. Earlier that day, we took our pal Faction G along to meet his hero Jay-Z and pop some Krug (nobody drinks Cristal anymore ’cos their boss is racist) at The Lanesborough Hotel. Faction G was unfortunately too shy to give his demo to the Def Jam head honcho, which is a shame because if he signed Lady Sov, he’ll sign anyone. In other news, Carnival was a little messy this year. As you’d expect, every time a grime tune came on the crowd got so hyped that a massive fight would break out and the DJ would have to stop the record instantly. The best robbery story we heard about was some kids jacking Baby Cham for his chain at the MTV Base carnival party. When are these guys gonna learn that you can’t walk around showing off a chain worth more than someone’s tower block and not get it snatched? The same thing happened to Beenie Man a little while back when he got his watch jacked by the youngers of a certain grime crew. Go to to buy the DVD with the footage. Okay, Where’s Wiley? time. Following a few months of warring with Cold Blooded and The Movement, news has now come of him signing a deal with Big Dada, who will release his new LP, Playtime Is Over, in February next year. They’ve been trying to sign him for a while and we heard rumours that they were after Skepta, so hopefully if Wiley doesn’t fuck this up, he may pave the way for more success within the grime scene. Richard is generously giving away the first two editions of his brand new Tunnel Vision mixtape series. Go to to download them free. Despite not ever turning up anywhere with Roll Deep, he still claims to be part of the crew and features on their massive forthcoming mixtape, Rules & Regulations which should be out about now. Btw, we heard a rumour that Trim has left Roll Deep, but don’t tell anyone we told you. Since this is the Gangs Issue, it’s only right that we give you a little update on L-Stone’s notorious Slew Dem Crew. Their Non Stop Working DVD, which we’ve been talking about forever is now out and as well as being filled with the usual stuff like fights and radio appearances, there’s also some nice footage of them and David Banner playing at The Old Blue Last. They’ve also jumped on the grime T-shirt bandwagon with their rather simply designed tees which have their DVD cover printed on the front. Whatever, we’ll wear them if we get them for free. One of the biggest tracks right now is Chronik’s “Bumbaclart Badman” taken from his Blaze More Dan U mixtape. Featuring Wiley, Skepta and Esco, and with a Buju Banton sample, this would get licked back quicker than the fur around a cat’s bumhole following a bowel movement, if anyone actually played grime anymore. Talking of shit, MC Narstie, the fattest man in grime, must have got a pie jammed in his throat causing him to become severely brain damaged because he’s inexplicably gone and sampled Oasis, The Verve and James Blunt (no lie) for tracks on his swag new mixtape, What’s The Story Brixton Glory. Avoid that, but make sure you look out for chip-music poster boy David E. Sugar’s single with Ears on Brikabrak Records called “First OK” which is a complete throwback to the early days of computer game beats. Before we go we should quickly mention our stage at the TDK festival which has since been voted best grime event ever by God. We had performances from Jammer, Ruff Sqwad, Skepta, Frisco, JME, Logan Sama and Prancehall. Even the black dude with the glasses from Spank Rock came to watch. The only other people regularly putting on grime shows in London are the guys behind the Dirty Canvas club night. They’ve now moved to the ICA and the next one on October 14 sees The Movement performing alongside L Man, Logan Sama and Kode 9. We went to the previous night with North London gangstas North Star, who immediately went to the DJ booth to tell the MCs who they were allowing to MC, before getting bored and leaving. It was a lot, really a lot. CLARENCE STATELY-HOLMES