Posts Tagged ‘Skepta’

Opium – Opium (CD RELEASE 27th September 2010)

September 7, 2010

Front Cover

Back Cover

Hailed by Wiley as a ‘don’ and held in equally high regard by many of the UK’s best urban acts (including Skepta and Tinchy) Opium is ready to step up as the UK’s next Grime star. His self-titled debut mixtape ‘Opium’ is an impassioned exploration of Grime – both lyrically and musically – and features production from Wiley, DJ Target (1xtra & Roll Deep), Chucka and Z Dot.

Released digitally on the 27th September through iTunes, Spotify and Amazon, Opium has delivered more depth and clarity with his debut than most artists can manage in a fistful of albums. Having learned his craft under the tutelage of Grime veterans Wiley and Godsgift he has steadily established his own sound and approach.

His ‘stream-of-consciousness’ lyricism breaks from the typical ego-driven MC fodder currently abundant in the scene, and is complimented on the album by consistently futuristic production.

‘My Dream’ sets the lunar tone, with mellow synths washing over Opium’s thoughtful verse. Emphatic title track ‘Opium’ is a version of the Wiley space-stomper and ‘Empire’ is the glossy lead single in which he muses over his legacy and future.

Being of Turkish descent and having lived in Munich for a number of years, Opium subtly expresses his own cultural experiences through music. The mixtape cover cleverly conceals his nations’ flag within world of his own making. As ‘My Dream’ says, it’s time to “scrap everything old and start feeling new.”

Opium ‘Opium’ is released digitally on 27th September via iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Big up Threefold’s Dre for the artwork, and myself for the words. 😛

Kristian

D Double E Interview

July 17, 2010

I caught up with D Double and the Dirtee Stank crew at the BBC as he was about to perform on the 5.19 show. After filming was done we went to the pub and, over a Bacardi and coke (double measures of course!) had a chat about Street Fighter, Newham Generals and the many upcoming projects he’s involved in. Bluku Bluku!

So, ‘Street Fighter Riddim’ is doing the rounds at the moment, Swerve produced it, are you two going to work together in future?

Yeah really want to do another tune with Swerve. Right now he’s got a lot of fire for me.

The collaboration seemed to come a little about out of the blue…

Yeah I’d never heard Swerve’s production – I never knew he produced until Laurence said ‘Ere listen mate, got a beat ‘ere’ and I was like ‘alright then let’s have a butchers.’ And yeah, I’m here! Big up Laurence, big up Swerve!

Have Capcom said anything? Do they want you on the next game?!
Yeah man, hopefully all that stuff will come after the tune. It’s in the pipeline, I mean we had to holla at them for the legalisation, so they know about us, but we re-did the sounds and FX anyway and I don’t think anyone can tell the difference! HADOUKEN! Hahaha!

After releasing your ‘Woooo Riddim’ version and ‘Street Fighter Riddim’, anticipation for the forthcoming DEE solo project is high. What can fans expect?

Boy, you can expect pure heat. If you liked the ‘Woooo Riddim’, ‘Street Fighter’ or ‘Hard’, then know what sort of avenue I’m taking.

Guest spots?

Producer-wise there is a couple of guest spots there. Footsie’s there, I’ve got a couple of tunes from Cage, Swerve, Swindle, Noah D and Skream. It’s an A-list roster…It’s gonna be live!

You produce as well as MC, can we expect any of your production efforts on there?

Definitely in the future, but at the moment I’m trying to pump out my vocals on the best beats and get my levels up in the background. Production is more of a hobby for me.

Part of the Newham Generals ‘Bag of Greeze E.P.’ is being produced by Skitz. What was it like working together?

Skitz has been about for time and he lives around the corner from my house so I’ve known him for a long time. Skitz is bless and used to work with Slew Dem a lot back in the day who are like my family.

The ‘I’m a General’ tune featuring the late Esco must have been a lot to record. Was it an emotional experience?

Erm…It was kind of, but at the same time it was a good feeling to promote and showcase his talent again. We wanted to show love. He never got his chance to shine so we helped out a bit.

I read an interview you gave with the Guardian back in 2004 where you said you were tired of listening to 14 year olds chat about guns, and that you wanted to go lyrically deeper with your music. What does Grime say to you today and do you feel able to express yourself fully on it?

Grime has got a lot lighter, it’s still dark, but it has definitely lightened up. Stations like KISS, 1Xtra and Radio 1 are starting to play us now so we all have to straighten out a bit. It’s getting more professional and the production is levelling as well.

Does Grime still give you the same feeling as it did back in the day?

Definitely man, I can listen to Grime beats all day. It still hits me and I like the way it’s getting wider. Tunes like ‘Rescue Me’ by Skepta [for example] aren’t strictly ‘Grime’, but they have that element. It has that home base. I like anything that has that home base in there.

Talking of success, Chipmunk, Tinchy and Tinie are finding high chart positions, and Jammer, Skepta and yourself are starting to position yourselves for the same. However, whereas they made their music a bit sweeter, you guys have been able to stay true to your sound and still find new audiences. Did they ‘open the doors’ for you in that sense?

I think they have made it easier, but not because of what they’ve done. People are moving away from the scene, so the people like me left at the core are able to represent more fully. They aren’t repping what we come from. You hear a mixtape and there might be a couple of hard tracks on there, but their core fans don’t get Grime.

They are helping in the way that, if they have an interview they will talk about what they’ve done before and who we are.

You have been noted as being ahead of your time, and you’ve said that you still perform lyrics still you wrote at 15. What lyrics were they?

Err…yeah, you know “If you you, you you/ Wanna come against I-I, I-I” that was from then, “me nah ramp, me nah skin/” Ah there’s so many, I’ve got a big selection of lyrics.

Your lyric repertoire is big, but how do you keep going on sets?

It’s natural for me. I don’t really need to make that much of an effort to lift-off as I used to. It’s just there bruv. I could be here mucking about and say something and I could make it into the deepest thing.

Has that happened recently?

Yeah man, it happened with ‘Hard.’ We put that together quickly! ‘Street Fighter’ was so quick, all I need to do is feel free, have the beat playing and bubble.

How would you say you’ve developed since the Jungle days?

I’ve got more professional with the lyrics. On Jungle I couldn’t really go into depth ‘cos of the tempo, Hip Hop was a bit too slow and Grime was just right. I found I could go in more. Now I can spit at 140 (bpm), 160, whatever.

You and Footsie together with DJ Tubby have forged a niche spitting over Dubstep, and have become known for it. Is it more exciting to spit over than regular Grime?

I prefer to ride Grime because it gives me the time to do what I need to – maybe a bit too much time sometimes! You know, if a DJ’s playing for two hours it’s like ‘Rah I might run out of power’ on dubstep though, there are tunes there that you can’t ride, they’re too big. You’re still ready to leng, but you’re also a host.

With Grime it’s flat out. You can spit your heart out for half an hour with hype and then the tune you love best comes in and you’re like ‘shit!’ So yeah, I think Grime is better to practice and MC to.

What do you think about other MC’s jumping on it?

It’s alright, it’s a good move but I think Dubstep is slightly different. You can’t really do too many deep songs on it; the instrumentals have as much power as the vocals. With the beat already there, as an MC you need only add a couple of spicy lines and it’s gone, maxed out. With Grime you have to add your own energy and build on the beat.

Some people sound good on it, some don’t.

As a FWD>> veteran, what has performing there done for your repertoire?

FWD>> was my introduction to Dubstep. Tubby and Footsie brought me in on that, I was all Grime-d out, whereas they were into their Dub. But FWD>> was a time where I got to see another world and build on it. Now, Dubstep is massive and it’s cool man.

You’ve worked with Breakage and Skream, are there any other people you would like to work with?

Yeah, I’m working with Noah D, I want to do a tune with Chromestar, Caspa, Plastician…anyone that has the bangers. They know what I can do!

Let’s talk about ‘Generally Speaking.’ I heard you spit on DJ MK’s kiss show and you said ‘Generally Speaking means a lot to me.’ What does that CD mean to you?

It’s a benchmark. It was the first official release and there will be a lot more to come. That was number one…

What was the recording process like?

It was long – over quite a stretch of time. Some of the tunes that were on the finalised track listing were some of the last ones we recorded. We had so many to consider, it was like a puzzle trying to fit it all together.

Will any of the off cuts make it onto the new CD?

Nah man, that’ll all be fresh stuff. We got some tunes that we’ll pump out in the meantime but the next album from New Gens will be all brand new material.

How do you think ‘Generally Speaking’ was received?

I think that album is timeless. If you listen to it, you keep surprising yourself. It’s quite deep. It’s different, but looking back, at the time I thought it was really different from what we do. Now, I can see it fits in with what we do – it’s us and fits our sound.

After releasing ‘Generally Speaking’ you embarked on a huge tour supporting Dizzee, what was it like spitting for crowds that aren’t as ‘Grime-savvy’ as your usual audience?

We found them quite receptive man. The ravers we played out to were there for a good time so we played to that. We were surprised the youngsters got in ‘cos there’s a fair amount of swearing in the shows but they were easy to get involved, especially when me and Foots get them to go against each other like ‘This side make noise, that side make noise’ ‘where’s all the girls in here?’ ‘who’s got money?’ ‘who knows about Facebook, Twitter, C‘mon!’

Will the experiences you got performing live form the shape of the new album?

Definitely, that is the way we go about music at all times. Every piece of music we write is something we can go and perform. It’s lively, always about making straight bangers. A lot of Grime artists do what they think will work but going to Dizzee’s show, you can see it’s electric. It’s like a D’n’B rave. I wouldn’t want to go to a live show and hear some bloody R’n’B. I want everyone to go maaaaaad!

Both you and Footsie feature on ‘Bad Mind People’ one of the stand-out tracks from Jammer’s debut album, released this week. What was it like hooking up for that?

It’s always fun hooking up with Jammer, we have bare jokes – Jammer’s a mad man! It was vibes recording that tune, Likkle J had already laid down his chorus so it was just us man vybzin, big up Jammer! We’ve known each other since 2000, I was the one that introduced Jammer to Nasty Crew, he was coming up on the production tip and then one day I went over to his house with Sharky and then it formed in front of me.

Do you still keep in contact with the other Nasty members?

Erm, not really. I don’t see Sharky much anymore. I still see Mak 10, Kano and Ghetts every so often but that’s it. I haven’t seen Stormin or Armour for a while…One person I do see come to think of it is Hyper. When he heard my ‘Woooo Riddim’ he phoned me up and was like ‘Double man I heard your Woooo. I need that beat!’ and he met me and got the beat. I told him that he better go mad on it and I tuned into Logan’s show to hear that he did…I think it might be the second best version man.

There is a lot of promo for ‘Bluku Bluku’ at the moment, what can people expect after it drops?

Once the release is done, we’ll get promoting that and then get ready for the ‘Bag of Greeze E.P.’, the second Newham General album and then pick up on my solo project that’s already in the making. We’ve got quite a few things on the go that should take us nicely into the new year.

Shouts?

Watch out for the ‘Street Fighter’ single released July 26th, the ‘Bluku Bluku E.P.’, the ‘Bag of Greeze E.P.’ and also watch out for ‘Bluku Bluku T.V’ coming soon to Dirtee Stank TV. I’ll be hosting the show, doing a load of stuff. We’re talking pranks, the whole shebang. There will be a few Punks in there, and hopefully we’ll be on BBC4 by the year 2012!

‘Street Fighter Riddim’ drops July 26th

Follow D Double on Twitter here

Kristian

Logan Sama’s June 2010 Round Up

July 6, 2010

“The last month has been all about the releases, and keeping them consistent. I helped J Beatz put out the ‘1 Dutty E.P’ on his own label Crown Jules and Sharky Major’s much-anticipated mixtape ‘Major League’ is coming out later this month. B-Live’s ‘Modern Warfare’ EP is coming after those, then we have two producer E.P.’s from NuKlea and Z-Dot and then Scrufizzer should also have an E.P. ready by then too, something I am particularly looking forward to hearing.

“All these guys have been sending me stuff regularly so it’s only right that their work is put out there for the public to buy. Putting downloads and promos on Twitter or Grime Forum is all well and good but for the casual listener, these are inaccessible. They will go on iTunes or Juno and search for music and so it’s important for artists to put their promos on these sites – it’s free to list as well.

“I’ve got a bag of unconfirmed projects in the pipeline too, one of which is called ‘Year of the Producer’ – a four track E.P. compiled with efforts from some of the bigger producers in the scene. Keep an ear out for that!

“I’m currently sourcing MC’s for the next Chosen Ones, due to air at the end of July or the start of August. Everyone’s schedule is hectic though as it’s summer – which only means one thing – Napa! However, the feedback I get for the shows is great and I really enjoy doing them.

“Already we’ve had some big releases, Skepta’s ‘Rescue Me’ and Jammer’s debut album ‘Jahmanji.’ A song from the album called ‘Back to the 90’s’ will, I think, do really well – the response from the crowd at the launch party was really good. In fact I think he will be performing a lot of songs from this one; it’s a varied album with lots of different styles and approaches.

“Touring with Mumdance and working with Toddla T has inspired Jammer to make a lot of uptempo dance-records – but not of the Euro-trance-pop variety! It’s an album you’d expect from a producer – with lots of Grime on it. ‘Bad Mind People’ featuring the New Gens and Lickle Jay is my personal pick!

Ghetts

“Ghetts’ appearance on my show this week was great and although we only got to play a handful of tracks from ‘Calm Before the Storm’, I’m excited to see how it is received by fans. Believe me when I say there are a LOT of good Grime tracks on there! Fans will be pleased.

“Talking of NASTY crew members, Hyper made a welcome return to Grime last week with his ‘Woooo Riddim’ version. Although I retired this beat a while back, it was good to hear him back. I know he’s got more in the pipeline too. People expressed their surprise at how sharp he sounded – what do you expect from a guy that’s done it as long as him!

“Aside from music, I recently purchased an iPhone. I’m learning it currently and will be able to Ustream etc in the near future. I have also bought a new HD camera, so expect to see more video features from myself soon! Oh and if you can’t wait, look out for me in the ‘Street Fighter Riddim’ video.

Respect. Keep it Grimy!

Logan.”

Logan’s Top 5 – July 2010

Jammer feat. Lickle Jay & Newham Generals – Bad Mind People

Maxsta feat. Various – East London Is Back RMX

Ghetts – Salute Me

D Double E – Street Fighter Riddim –

B-Live feat. Spyda, Newham Generals & Skepta – Modern Warfare 2

Logan Sama’s April 2010 Round Up

April 30, 2010

In terms of radio, Chosen Ones Part 2 was a great start to April. We worked with different MC’s and concepts this time, keeping the format fun and fresh. As I mentioned here last month, I wanted a Yardie set for Part 2 and I got one with Killa P, Badness, Shizzle and Jamakabi! It was definitely one of my favourite sets. Double S held down a set on his own (as the rest of Marvell couldn’t make it) for 25 minutes which was very impressive – I’m sure even his critics on the internet would have to agree.

We also had Trim and his Circle, as well as exciting new talent in the form of Dream Mclean, Teeza, Voltage, Onoe and Scruface – the latter an MC who I have high hopes for this year. We are going to keep the Chosen Ones series going and I know people are wondering why I haven’t opted for bigger names so far. However, I’m going to be doing a new Chosen Ones show every six weeks now and as such I don’t want to recycle sets. We are going to get sets from Ruff Sqwad, Cold Blooded, Boy Better Know, Movement and maybe Slew Dem in the summer…rest assured we’ll be doing what the people want to hear! I don’t want it to just be the same show with Newham Gens and Bloodline appearing every week – despite what some may demand!

Chosen Ones gives me the opportunity to feature people from across the UK too, MC’s outside of London – Midlands, up North etc. It’s otherwise hard for me to give exposure to these guys with a one hour show on a commercial station. Kiss management are still giving really positive feedback; they’re really happy with both the Radio listener figures and the web hits. Hopefully, if we can sustain the effort then we might have a two hour show again!

The Grime Forum awards were another April highlight for me. I didn’t even realise I had won the best DJ award – I naturally assumed Spyro had won. There are many things that make a DJ ‘good’ and in light of this award I‘d like to think I’m now alright at most of them! It was a pleasure to receive the award. The fact that the organisers had clubbed together and made a physical award that I can actually keep was special. I made a big deal of it and specifically invited P Money and Blacks down so we could give the awards credibility. Last year the awards came and went. This year, I felt that giving Grime Forum credence on the radio was needed.

People that are doing work should be rewarded for their efforts; Tempa T getting best song and best video, P Money winning best MC and best mixtape and Blacks winning best newcomer was all down to the Grime Scene – not the mainstream/playlist world. It was real fans saying what the hottest shit was this year. I heard Skepta say that for him, this was the first time he had seen a list of award winners and completely agreed with it. Unfortunately, the Grime Daily party didn’t go nearly as well. All I’ll say is it is a shame incidents like that still happen – they are a poignant reminder of what is really going on in the world at the moment. The name ‘Grime’ is very precious and we have to be careful what we attach it to…

Going back to Skepta, he’s currently remixing P Diddy’s ‘Hello Good Morning’ which is big news for Grime. I know Skepta wants to do a big Grime club smasher, so we’ll see what comes of it. As with anybody big dipping their toes in Grime, we’ll have to use it and get as much exposure as possible. It’s good that somebody like Diddy, coming from America, looks to the UK and picks a Grime artist to work with. It’s a step in the right direction when people look over here and see Grime as our equivalent of Hip Hop.

As you may have seen on here and on my own blog, I’m a bit of a Street Fighter fan! A nice surprise this week was D Double’s vocal of Swerve’s Street Fighter Riddim. I had no idea Dee was going to vocal it, in fact the first I knew was when I received a text from Laurence at Dirtee Stank saying ‘D Double’s Street Fighter Freestyle is Fucked!’ I rang him straight back! I got sent it and it was like two of my favourite things mixed together. A special made for me (almost)! In terms of the actual game, I’m really enjoying it. I actually want to get good at this version as me and Jamie are thinking about going to some tournaments and trying our luck.

I’ve been trying to work with Dudley, but like any new character it’s hard at first. As he only punches, using him effectively is quite technical, but once he gets in there he can do some damage!

As a final note, look out for B-Live’s Modern Warfare release this month, which comes with a massive, MASSIVE remix as well as the Sharky Major and Badness CD’s. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that supported the ‘Shark Attack’ single because it was a bit of a gamble, but it paid off. J Beatz, Nuklea and Z-Dot instrumental EP’s are coming soon. In terms of gigs, if you want to keep up to date with where I’m playing check my blog, http://www.keepinitgrimy.blogspot.com. I’m looking forward to playing Hip Hop Kemp in the Czech Republic this summer, as it’s all good fun and hopefully I shall be going to San Francisco in May…Fingers crossed!

Until next month…Keep it Grimy!

Logan.

Sharky Major – Shark Attack EP Release!

March 23, 2010

It’s always nice to see your work ‘go live’ – this is no exception. Having been commissioned to photograph and design Sharky major’s new projects sometime last year, we wondered if our work would ever see the light of day! But, here it is – with full digital release.

Sharky Major – Shark Attack EP available from:

Play
Amazon
7Digital
iTunes

Sharky Major, legendary Grime MC and one-time member of the notorious NASTY Crew is back with his banging new single ‘Shark Attack’, available digitally from March.

Produced by Skepta (Bad Boy) ‘Shark Attack’ signals an emphatic return to form for the East London MC, whose complex lyrical style first captured imaginations in the early Noughties and continues to influence Grime MC’s to this day.

A sophisticated string-led stomper, ‘Shark Attack’ showcases Sharky’s lyrical dexterity to the fullest, as he darts between rap and vocal harmonies with ease. Hard, yet dancable, this one is for the clubs and the cars!

With the original having received heavy rotation on Logan Sama’s Kiss radio show, the release also features an exclusive remix featuring Devlin, Ghetts, Dot Rotten and P-Money – arguably the Grime scenes’ fastest rising stars. This is a feat only MC’s of Sharky’s calibre can manage!

Hit up Sharky on Twitter @sharkymajor

Big up Sharky, Logan, James and anybody else involved. Let’s hope Sharky’s mixtape ‘Major League’ follows soon!

Kristian

GRIME 2010

February 14, 2010

Listen to these and see why the majors are once again paying Grime attention.


Maxsta & Swindle – Back to Grime


Skepta – 2 + 2


Wiley, Ghetts, Devlin & Shifty – 3,2,1 Go!


Ghetts – Artillery


Skepta – Bad Boy (D-Structo Remix]

LEVELS ARE UPPING! Grime is on the rise.

Kristian

Boy Better Know – We’re Goin’ In

November 3, 2009

Bit late I know, but I had to blog about it. Good look for BBK – a good example of genre-disregarding music. Unsure of the vocoder, but the blended verse at the end is a really good idea, and Jammer is hilarious! When Donatella asks Skepta ‘Where can you see this being played?’ during this Grime Daily interview, and he stumbles for an answer, I couldn’t help but laugh.

I feel Grime fans pay too much attention to these sort of things. Instead of listening to a piece of music and making a judgement based on the emotional response the piece does, or doesn’t provoke, many base it on marketplace, situation, BPM, image or genre. This has to stop.

Shank bars and productions with no commercial appeal does not equal integrity. Shank bars are so widespread they should be viewed as spuriously as 8-bar loverman chats. Just because they don’t make any money doesn’t make them any more authentic or expressive.

I welcome this new direction for BBK. Vibes. Vibes. Vibes. And I know for sure, that there are more tracks like this on their way.

Kristian.

BBK In Studio

October 20, 2009

Hold Tight MSM for the link up. Tim & Barry interview with Skepta coming soon (with me asking those questions – ALWAYS READY!)

Kristian