To be honest, I've been gradually losing interest in UK urban music over the last few months. For the past week I've been listening to nothing but four Black Ryno songs, the Pogues and some Ethiopian jazz on repeat. I think I am losing my mind. Then again, waking up in the morning to hear Sara Cox playing Tinchy Stryder's annoying new single with Taio Cruz and making jokes about "itsy Tinchy Stryder going up the water spout" in a squeaky voice on Radio 1 is enough to make anyone crack up.
But then last night I was sent a link to the video for Wretch 32's excellent new single, "Ina Di Ghetto" featuring Badness and Ghetto, and I remembered why I got into grime in the first place. Once you accept that grime is nothing more than a semi-successful attempt at making something which sits between Jamaican dancehall and US hip-hop, then everything makes sense.
Rapid, "Report to the Dancefloor"
Since the advent of the UK's funky movement, the DJs and producers in this scene have been trying to distance themselves from grime. I didn't really understand why until I heard this new tune funky track by Ruff Sqwad's Rapid. Could he sound any more monotonous? Funky is supposed to be sexy and alluring and fun – it's music for the laydeez. Rapid sounds like a dejected Woolworths shop assistant announcing to customers over the Tannoy that the store is about to close for the night, not knowing whether they will have a job to come back to in the morning.
Rapid feat. Tinchy Stryder, "Stuck on My Mind"
More bad news for Rapid fans: I've also been sent this rather dodgy new track from his forthcoming mixtape, Rapid Fire. This song single-handedly proves why no one in the UK should be allowed to touch the Auto-Tune. Rapid sounds like Lou from Little Britain imitating T-Pain. I don't know what's happened to Tinchy Stryder either. Currently, he sounds like Kermit the Frog doing a Young Jeezy impression. On helium.
Mario, "Black President"
It's inevitable that a barrage of dance music tracks featuring key Obama speeches will eventually come so you might as well embrace the above song by UK funky producer Mario before the whole thing becomes tedious. Btw, it's currently quite hard to get hold of new funky tracks, but Mario has just released an album, I Pull the Strings, on iTunes so go and check it out.
Finally, following the terrible Slix and Dirty Dangerous video I posted last time, I am starting a new regular feature called Grime MCs That Have Fallen Off Hard, Aight? On this week's installment of Grime MCs That Have Fallen Off Hard, Aight? we have Skepta. Below is his new single – a cover of "Sunglasses At Night".