Thursday, December 9, 2010

Remember the Roads?!?!?

Many of our regular readers may of noticed my constant blogging on either grime or Bashment music. This aint gonna change anytime soon! lol
One of the main reasons I post on here about Grime music is; firstly, its what I started out producing (or trying to produce) and secondly... im sick to death of trying to explain every time i meet people out there what exactly Grime music is. So, its time sumbody put these yanks on. The usual response from my friends on this side of the pond is; "oh its like the UK version of Hip-hop??? right???"... to which I roll my eyes in despair and feel like knocking them out... ITS NOT OK!?!?!? yes there are people rapping but to be honest... its got more to do with Dancehall, UKG and Drum and Bass then anything else. To understand grime music fully, you have to understand Dancehall and drum and bass first. This is one of the main reasons (apart from the accent/slang differences) that Grime never really got big over here. Even when First City started using American MCs, the sonic difference was still too much for people and it just ended up sounding like dark angry crunk. Then Dubstep hit the states. The Hipsters moved in. The grime invasion was over like a failed D-day landing.
Meanwhile Back in the UK, people started to switch up and do rolex sweeps and the mainstream vs. underground changed the sound forever. There is still alot of hyper, angry, dark grime being made but its lost that special sutin, that special excitement of the "golden" era when everything felt new... uncharted territory.

What was that excitement about? To me, it was a moment of national pride. A time where a sound had finally arrived that could give the pop-soaked american hip-hop a good shanking for its money. It was aggressive and unashamed of it British urban origins, it represented the streets (or Roads) correctly, a form of rap that the UK could call its own. But most of all, it was the amalgamation of all my favorite forms of music, dancehall, drum and bass, garage and yes, hiphop too.

So, lets rewind to 2005/2006 time. I was still studying at I.A.R. in Manhattan and about to start and internship at a recording studio when "Run the Roads" volume 1 and 2 dropped. In that time it was still the "golden era" and when I played Kano's "Ps and Qs" to my class mates, their jaws dropped. I remember when I first heard it, I remember thinking its gonna be a hit, I mean, it has to be...its the hottest record I heard all year. How can it not sell off?!?!?
The months passed and nothing happened. Not one artist blew up from the whole Run the Road Compilation. It kinda made me sad even. I could understand that maybe Americans could not get what Kano was saying but how could a producer as talented as DaVinche (who produced Ps and Qs) not go on to do well producing for some american Artists?!?!?

So in a way, the the music game being as f-cked up as it is, I can kinda understand now when hardcore grime artists turn around and make some Justin Bieber music for the charts. Many see it as a betrayal of their musical roots, but really if even DaVinche cant go on to make hit records, whats the hope for everyone else?!?!? At the same time if everyone does it then we have a market filled with cheese, which is NEVER good. But, if lets say Skepta for example, can eat off pop tunes like "badboy" and it allows him to go on to make a shit load of really good grime records that year then maybe its worth it.

Another track, that in an ideal world should of sold quadruple platinum but didnt, was DaVinche's "Gotta Man" featuring Doctor. This is probably my favourite track of all time on the Run the Road CDs and from DaVinche. Its the perfect blend of Grimey Bashment. I still play it to this day and both me and the wifey sing along while skanking out like nutters. Its a timeless classic and will never get old. Doctors humorous story telling yard flow and Davinche's hyper party horns that became his trademark sound are the perfect combination.

Here is a special behind the scenes footage I came across by accident the other day of how it went down in the studio, along with a brief but interesting insight into the young prodigy, that is DaVinche.

Also, of course, the finished track complete with music video...dontsleep!
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