Babylon feat. Riko Dan
Italy might be getting some bad press at the moment what with COVID-19, but there’s no question it’s produced some great music. Founded in 2005, Florence dubstep outfit Numa Crew have been creating sounds inspired by 140BPM, grime and dancehall, with the seven-strong collective producing music that sounds like it’s come from the West Country rather than the Mediterranean. On ‘Babylon’, Riko Dan shows he means business, laying down his gruff bars over trim snare rolls, spitting lines about government corruption, his dislike of the police, and destruction around the globe.
'Babylon Can't Roll'
Mez’s energetic stylings have found him enjoying a serious presence in the grime scene. Producer Grandmixxer lends some sparse, African drum patterns to the beat, the result being something dark and minimal that sits between grime and UK funky. With an EP imminent, Mez is showing no signs of calming that restless energy.
B:Thorough x JT The Goon
Rising grime producer B:Thorough has nailed the whole melodic grime thing. Here collaborating with Oil Gang and Boxed affiliate JT The Goon, ‘Calm Levz’ is five crystalline slices of pixelated grime at its most tear-jerking, packed with flute samples and Korg Triton sounds. It’s the inaugural release on B:Thorough’s new imprint, Textured, a destination for him to experiment and repurpose classic sounds.
Marger’s back, and he’s drawing for some old school grime sounds. Rude Kid takes the lead on production, drawing for some horror-fuelled, spidering synths and peppery snares, while Marger goes for the jugular on the mic, his bars so rapid-fire that it’s hard at times to make out what he’s saying. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome return from the widely hailed MC.
YGG are back with a bang, dropping a send for Yizzy that also happens to be the mellowest tune they’ve ever made. One-liners referencing the Lewisham MC’s infamous bar-catting like “Get him some IAMS” are matched by lines like “I was like, 'Okay boomer,’ Keep up the talk on computer,” given to a hyper-sparse instrumental that adds weight to their lyrics. Even Skee Mask’s a fan.
'In & Out (feat. Grim Sickers, Manga Saint Hilare, Logan, Ten Dixon, Razor, Popzzy English)'
Glaswegian producer Rapture 4D forges his trademark punctuated sound into a new beat for a bunch of grime’s hottest talents. It’s hard to pick a standout vocalist on ‘In & Out’, but among a wealth of heavy-hitters like Ten Dixon, Logan, Grim Sickers and more, upcoming MC Popzzy English’s bludgeoning, quick-fire flow might just do it.
'Prince Of Grime'
On this freestyle, Yizzy decides to take aim at some of grime’s biggest names. Skewering Jammer for not paying him, Wiley for not letting him release a joint tune of theirs and Dot Rotten for not washing, the young Lewisham MC clearly isn’t in this to make friends. Harking back to the old school days of grime by sending for basically everyone, Yizzy bestows grime with the sense of energy and urgency that it desperately needs right now.
It’s been a hot minute since we heard from the YGG team. Nearly two years on from their last track, ‘Turn Up’, the trio of PK, Lyrical Strally and Saint P reunite, making us realise how much grime has missed their fierce wordplay. Comparing themselves to the Biblical Magi, Saudis and even Harry and Meghan, ‘Royals’ finds the three vocalists recalling the energy of the early Channel U days.
'You Get Me '
P Money continues to be one of the most reliable artists in grime right now. At a time when people are questioning the longevity and future of the sound, and looking to other genres for diversification, P can be counted on to deliver a solid grime verse over an archetypal Silencer production. At times, his repeated vocals in the chorus can feel formulaic, but it’s hard to doubt his lyrical skill.