The last seven days have been pretty crunchy for Skepta. He dropped his highly anticipated Konnichiwa (which you can read about here), celebrated with an era-defining sold out show at London's KOKO, backed up by almost the entire UK scene, and is battling it out for a UK Number One album. But despite being figuratively above it all, that didn't stop him from rekindling a decade old grime rivalry in Birmingham last night when he played the Rainbow Warehouse.
The beef between Skepta and Brummy MC Devilman dates all the way back to 2006 and Lord of the Mics 2. That clash has gone down in grime folklore as one of the most pioneering to ever occur, sparking a fierce competition between one of London's finest MCs and one of the finest from outside of London. Lord of the Mics head man Jammer named it number two in his best clashes of all time, when speaking to Dummy, remarking: "the most notable thing about this clash was the way the artists used each other's lyrics against their opponent by remixing styles. This changed clashing and helped it to evolve in to the art form that exists today."
But it was also a bitter and testy clash, that triggered a longstanding antagonism between the two MCs and saw them gun for eachother in numerous subsequent tracks. It flared up again last April when Devilman uploaded a diss towards Chipmunk that referenced Skepta in ways you can't say on telly before 10pm. Skepta fired shots back with the immediate banger "Nasty", opening with the line "Devilman's tryna get attention again", and Devilman snapped one more time with "Skepta Diss".
Which brings us to last night, and if you thought Bugzy Malone filming diss track videos in Chip's Tottenham ends during their war was a bold power move, then you need to see footage of Skepta's gig. On his latest tour date, Skep decided to drop "Nasty" live on Devilman's home turf of Birmingham, calling out the MC directly in the intro – shouting "Devilman, where are you!?" – and causing a ruckus in the capacity crowd.
You'd think with Drake on the BBK books and a UK number one on the cards, he'd have forgotten about old wars like this, but it looks like Cat Stevens and Rod Stewart were right, the first cut really is the deepest.
Watch the footage from last night below:May 11, 2016