Thursday, November 18, 2010

Relay Tune Resurrections...



Dont worry, I am not going to a do a post about the new 2011 version of "Pow" as I am sure every other music blog in the world will be doing so as I type this.
Instead I want to talk about "Relay" tunes. It seems like poetic timing that Pow 2011 has arrived, as the other day I found myself asking "what happened to dem relay tunes?!?!?!"

To many of the Yanky readers, your proberly wondering; what the fuck is a relay tune?!?!? Well, correct me if im wrong, but its bassically when like a whole bunch of MCs get on one riddim with short 8 or 16 bar verses... A sick and highly over looked example of this is the 2005 "Monsta Riddim"....



As you can see, relay tunes where sutin more common in the "golden era" of UKG and Grime which I see happening less and less these days. WHY?!?!? God only knows, but they were OVERLY sick!!
I always enjoyed seeing the way different MCs would eat up the same riddim and the hype that would create. Something that Grime has much in common with the JA Dancehall traditions it is so strongly influenced by.

The original Pow (or Forward Riddim) was such a big phenomenon, not only in the UK, but in America too, it even got American hipsters jacking the style and making their own versions. I think Busta and Jay Z at one point even jumped on it too. I can remember riding the bus in London and lil school kids making gun fingaz and shouting "pow!!! if u dont know about me!!!! POW!!!!" Infact, I think somewhere in a deep dark pile of old external hard drives I have a radio rip of the debut on Kiss FM... I gotta find it and post it!

Its funny how people also tend to forget how controversial the original Pow was. Getting banned from Clubs and Radio stations across Great Britain, and I remember hearing that DJs where in fact banned from playing it, on fears that it would cause violence or sutin stupid like that. Its seems completely ridiculous now and nothing but old school British racism.

On the Subject of controversy, it brings me nicely on the subject of The So Solid Crew. Fellow south Londoners, and a massive influence on me and so many others, They are also a very important milestone in British Black Music. They are a crew that have had so much controversy and success that I would'nt even know where to begin, so wiki dem ASAP if u dont know! Yesturday I was having a discussion with a few Yanky garage producers. They were educating me on the long tradition of house and american garage (big yawn). But what they dont know is back in early two thousands and late nineties, So Solid, Oxide and Neutrino where making a shit load of money bringing UKG to mainstream attention in the UK. One of the Landmark and chart topping records back in 2001 was "21 seconds"... IT DEFINES THE RELAY TUNE FORMULA....also check out "They dont Know"....CLASSICKS!!!


But forget the hype and all the controversy. What makes So Solid so important is MONEY! They were the first UK "Urban" artists from road to go sutin ridiculous like double or triple Platinum. Not something we will EVER see Garage do again. And for all the arguing yanks obsessing over 140 based music, its something to bear in mind! I dont recall any American garage making millionaires?!?! do u?????
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