Grime is going through a bit of a make-or-break period right now. Most of the better MCs have long given up trying to be grimey and are now doing pop songs with 80s revivalists and covering the Ting Tings (Dizzee) or taking their shirts off in videos and wearing chains and diamonds so fake they look like the ones that kids wear for a joke at fancy dress parties (Tinchy). Let’s not even mention aspiring kids’ TV presenter Skepta and his new best mate Timmy Mallett.
So thank God for a new breed of young grime artists coming along like sportswear-adorned John Connors to save the post-apocalyptic grime scene from dodgy electro beats, embarrassing dance routines and Jo Whiley’s Radio 1 show.
From: Greengate, east London
GCSEs: “Passed all of them” What made you want to become a grime MC?
People like Kano and D Double would come to my house to do sets with my older brother Mak 10 and that. I would just sit outside the room and listen. I felt that it was just in me to be an MC. When I wrote my first lyric it felt so good. I can’t explain it really. I was supposed to grow up and be a DJ ’cos my brothers Marcus and Mak 10 are DJs.
What was your favourite subject in school?
It would have to be maths, you know. I just understood it, really. I had a natural understanding. I didn’t like English, although I’m a MC. I liked school though.
From: Tottenham, north London
GCSEs: 5 As and 4 Bs When did you start MCing?
When I was 14, in year 9. Everyone on the estate had a lyric so I thought, you know what, I might as well have one as well. I went to the youth clubs and started practicing and that, and from there to here.
When you started MCing at 14, who did you want to be like?
I was listening to Meridian—like Skepta, JME, Big H, Bossman were all doing their thing, as well as Roll Deep. I was first in a team called Shoddy Crew and we had a set on Heat FM and we was after Roll Deep. So when Roll Deep was leaving they’d to say, “Keep it locked for Shoddy Crew,” so we had mad listeners, we had a mad fanbase. Some of us were garbage. Like, I was garbage at the start, I can’t even lie.
From: Bow, east London
GCSEs: 7 A-Cs How did you get your break?
Basically, around the age of 16, I first started taking producing more seriously and was just trying to break through and I done some tune called “Bow E3” with Wiley and that was it really. It was at the time Wiley and Gift were cool with each other. I would be at Gift’s yard and then Wiley would come through and hear the tunes because my tunes were always at Gift’s house. I made “Bow E3” and I didn’t even like it at first but then Wiley heard it at the studio and was like, “Nah, I need to do something with this.” That was it really.
From: Shepherd’s Bush, west London
GCSEs: None Are you still in school?
Nah, they kicked me out before I did my GCSEs. They tried to add everything up I’d done in the last year ’cos of attendance levels and just basically the school’s reputation. They kicked out about four people just because of the reputation. If OFSTED inspectors come and see the reputation’s down, they’re not gonna give the school a good grade. Kick them out before the GCSEs come.
What were your favourite subjects at school?
Music. There was a big music room at my school. They had Macintosh computers, Logic Pro, but no plug-ins or nothing. It was the same sounds I was using every day and basic sounds so I got sick of it. I love history too. I don’t know why, but I do. I like all kinds of history, like World War II, black history—I love that, just to know about that stuff.
Denna historia är över 5 år gamla.