London - Crazy Titch
Grime MC Crazy Titch (pictured right) and his stepfather, Anthony Green (pictured left), were both sentenced to 30 years in prison last Friday for the murder of 21-year-old grime producer Richard Holmes. The reported reason for this murder, according to a number of sources, was owing to some lyrics (written by Holmes' friend Shak) dissing Titch's half-brother Durrty Goodz. Not so unsurprisingly, the press are now again implying that grime music leads to violence in economically-deprived parts of London, and grime beefs "erupt into real bloodshed"...
The offending lyrics (from a song which Holmes produced) that supposedly resulted in murder were: "Over the years things change in the 'hood, I used to have a lot of respect for Durrty Goodz... Not no more."
Now, I don't know about you, but those look like the most inoffensive diss lyrics I have ever seen. In grime terms, they're not even slightly offensive. Grime lyrics and beefs between MCs do not give rise to violence and murder. If this were the case, there would hardly be any grime artists left. A lot of beef is just for show, in order to gain more hype for an artist. Well known artists have been known to contact up-and-coming MCs to arrange for diss tracks for each other to be made. Money has even been known to change hands in order for an MC to write a diss for another MC.
So why would the half-brother and stepfather of MC Durrty Goodz, who the "diss" was aimed at, go and gun down the producer of the track - someone who had nothing to do with the mildly insulting lyrics? The truth (which the naysayers of grime have failed to highlight) is that grime producer Richard Holmes (along with Shak, and members of his Piff City crew) allegedly showed up at Goodz and Titch's mother's home looking for Goodz earlier on the day he died. Allegedly, Goodz had previously caught and confronted Shak, and asked him to apologise for disrespecting him. Shak was not happy about this, so turned up at Goodz's house with a number of other guys and allegedly threatened Goodz's mother, who called her husband and sons. It was this that led to Crazy Titch and his stepfather Anthony Green to go after Richard Holmes and his friends, and not the lyrics of a grime song.
We interviewed Crazy Titch for the Party Issue and received criticism at the time for portraying the grime scene in an unnecessarily negative manner, but everyone knows Titch has always had a bit of a temper. Although the murder of Richard Holmes was tragic and completely uncalled for, it is ridiculous and naive to blame his death on the grime scene.