Bass Odyssey, Part 47

June 18, 2009

Yep, like a cat that's been locked out in the rain overnight for weeing on the new carpet, here I come, crawling back with my tail between my legs after another unnecessarily long hiatus.

I've come back just to tell you that Skepta and Wiley are currently "at war"/"beefing"/"desperately trying to muster up some hype around the time of their respective album releases". (Side note: Skepta and Wiley were supposed to both release albums on the same day in a 50 Cent-Kanye-style face-off, and had posters all around London of them squaring up with boxing gloves on. But Wiley, being inextricably suffused in calamity, put his album back a week at the last minute, rendering the whole carefully organised campaign an utter waste of everyone's time.)

In the video above, Skepta defends his new "ends", Barnet (where his family moved after the furore caused when an affiliate of Skepta's old crew, Meridian, tried to kill a neighbour in the estate where they all lived), following a throwaway dig from Wiley.

The massively ironic thing here (for me anyway) is when I started my blog I was a teen living in Barnet at my parents' house, and I used to get the odd comment from fat 30-year-olds who'd grown up in a cottage in Oxford before moving to a studio flat in Hackney about how I wasn't qualified to talk about grime because I was residing in the salubrious and safe confines of Hertfordshire. And right they were. The only trouble you're likely to see in Barnet is if a pensioner were to accidentally run over your toe with their Zimmer frame.

Listen to Wiley's subsequent reply to the above video in the song below.

Wiley, "Barnet"

Last week, journalist, and good pal of mine, Dan Hancox wrote a real nice piece about Bristol's Joker, Gemmy and Guido, their P-Funk-inspired computer-game grime/dubstep, and the synaesthesia-derived name they are using to label this sound, purple. Go to Dan's blog for links of where to download mixes from the aforementioned artists. For now, make do with a powerfully epic recent Joker & Ginz remix.

On the other, blokeish end of dubstep, sits MC Beezy, with his Adidas shell toes up on the local pub table, his beer belly hanging out, and a can of Stella in his hand. Above is the video for his single "Day in the Life", which I've been meaning to post for at least six months but always forget to. Yes, it's a total novelty but I know you Americans worship novelty UK rappers (Lady Sov, The Streets, er, MIA) so you're bound to love it. Also, although Beezy isn't supposed to be a comedy rapper, there is an invisible line that runs right through the works of MC Pitman, Carlton "Killawatt" Valley and North of Ping Pong's brilliant "What Goes Up Must Come Down", and joins up with this song.

Finally, I rediscovered an old live grime mix by DJs Eastwood and Krafty for John Peel's Radio 1 show the other day and was blown away by the quality of the beats. (Where have Alias and J Sweet gone? I know Oddz converted to Islam a while back.) When you're listening to Skepta rap about pensioner-saturated towns over crappy hip-hop beats it's easy to forget how jaw-droppingly amazing so much early grime was. If, as Peel states at the end, this set was like the first time people saw Elvis, current grime must be the point at which his maid some him waddling off to the toilet with a burger in his hand.

Download: DJ Eastwood and DJ Krafty with MCs G Double, Purple, IQ and IE live at Maida Vale for Radio 1

Bass Odyssey, Part 47