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Grimewatch

Grime is officially dead (according to a thread on the Dissensus message board), so we’ve finally decided to take Matt Mason’s advice and have spent the last few months undercover as a hairdresser called Paul in south London’s funky house scene.

One of Da Rangaz at the Southern Comfort Fat Tuesday party

Wiley’s new album cover

Grime is officially dead (according to a thread on the Dissensus message board), so we’ve finally decided to take Matt Mason’s advice and have spent the last few months undercover as a hairdresser called Paul in south London’s funky house scene. As always, we’re late on this, but it seems that after acid rain and terrorism, funky house is now the biggest thing in England. Everyone’s on it, even Wiley and DJ Slimzee who can be seen on the weekends shocking out to Grant Nelson and Masters At Work. For us, it was just nice to see some girls in a club dancing for once. We found out that Roll Deep collaborator Alex Mills will be showing off her Smirnoff Ice-honed vocal chords with a funky house album released on Tricky’s label. We didn’t even know Tricky was still alive. Add to this Sadie Ama finally getting her deal sorted, with an album coming out later this year (with Terror “M.I.A.” Danjah hopefully back on the buttons), and we might actually hear some girls at a grime rave. With no place to go, we decided to check out something new so went along to a Southern Comfort Fat Tuesday party, where DJ Chicken brought the sound of New Orleans to central London. Accompanied by fellow New Orleaners, Da Rangaz, the guys performed a full-on bounce set and killed it—check out the performance for yourself at

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www.fattuesday.co.uk

. We’re used to a screwface and some passive weed smoking at grime nights, so the Southern Comfort party vibe was great. We even got the bounce guys to work on a few grime remixes for our upcoming mixtape Vice Magazine

Presents DJ Prancehall’s Anger is a Gift

, so keep an eye out for that.

Okay, back to reality. Air Force Ones and New Era hats will always be better than fluffy snow boots, devil horns and pitched-up pop a cappellas. Just when we start to drift away from grime, a tune like “16 Bar” gets released by an unknown producer (even Logan Sama doesn’t know who produced it) and everyone starts going barmy. The track features Wiley, Jammer, Scorcher, God’s Gift and Slew Dem’s Esco and Rage. L-Stone’s Slew Dem are famous for being the hardest crew on road, but are also the busiest crew in grime right now. Not only have they got their own DVD coming out, they’ve set up their own radio station too (www.slewdemcrew.co.uk). I’ve got a feeling that they won’t be having any trouble with people being slow to pay their subs; Chronik’s bigger than the fuckin’ Undertaker, and no-one walks away from his clothesline.

Another busy group currently working the roads are The Movement. This seems to be more of a collective than an actual crew, with individual mixtapes from members Ghetto, Scorcher, Mercston and Wretch 32 all released within the last few months. Make sure you pick up Wretch 32’s

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Learn From My Mixtape

, which has taken a lot of people (including us) by surprise. Also, if for some fucked up reason you haven’t already done so, make sure you go and buy Scorcher’s

Simply The Best

mixtape which features an amazing freestyle over Rick Ross’ “Hustlin’”. Scorcher continues to be our favourite MC in grime right now, despite being detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure at the time of this going to press (Scorcher, did you get the books we sent?). Along with a series of “Fuck Radio” freestyle sessions released for free online, The Movement recently jumped on a remix of The Streets’ “Prangin’ Out”, so look out for the video. Let’s hope that goes better than Ghetto and Mercston’s video for “Good Old Days” filmed at Purple in E3 which was hijacked by masked men who robbed the camera equipment and scared off all of the models (what, Judy from “Pow”?). “Good old days” indeed!

Wiley’s album

Da 2nd Phaze

has finally been released. We bumped into Roll Deep’s manager at Miquita Oliver’s birthday party last month (we were there with grime socialite Statik) and learned that Wiley turned down £50,000 to sign to Mike Skinner’s label, instead handing distribution duties over to upstart label the Boy Better Know. Despite having heard every tune on radio for the last three months and the bitchy inclusion of More Fire Crew’s “Oi” as a bonus track, you can’t deny that the album is a masterpiece and the cover looks like it was shot on a dodgy camera phone. Feeling uninspired by London, Wiley’s next move is to go and live in the States and re-invent grime. He’s the hardest working man in the scene, and deserves a holiday. We can also exclusively announce here that Wiley will be recording weekly video diaries for the

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Vice

blog called “Where’s Wiley?”, charting this journey of self-discovery, which fans will be able to download on their toasters and bluetooth to their oven.

Before we go, we have to tell you about our new favourite instrumental—Skepta’s “Tingles”—which sounds like an insane version of “Duppy”. We want to use it for our mixtape but Skep won’t answer our calls. (Yo, Skepatron, bell me, bell me). Skepta’s debut album

Greatest Hits

will be out in September and his T-shirt business is looking more than healthy. Designed by his brother JME, the T-shirts are more sought-after than a bottle of amyl in a Soho brothel. JME continues to keep busy, releasing his second mixtape this year,

Poomplex: Edition 2

. It’s worth buying alone for the bananas “Don’t Chat to Me”, but also features a massive remix of “Gangsters” and a collaboration with Wiley, Tempa T and Cookie called “R U Dumb?” over Skepta’s “Dead” beat. Fuck the naysayers: grime’s making such a big look right now, it should be called binoculars.

CLARENCE STATELY-HOLMES