Posts Tagged ‘grime’

Ghetts reflecting on his responsibilities as a role model

Really great to hear UK rapper Ghetts reflecting critically on his career and on the narrative of senseless violence that we find in all corners of underground music these days. Watch especially from 3:30. Big up Urbanworld & SK Vibemaker for the in-depth interview.

There’s some great material on Ghetts’ recent mixtape ‘Momentum’ (especially ‘Story of a Pauper’ and ‘Red Pill’). No doubt the forthcoming album with Rapid (‘Paint the Town Red’) will be heavy.

Ghetts – Story of the Pauper (with lyrics)

Some serious emotional and lyrical depth from London-based rapper Ghetts in this track. As his skills continue to grow and his subject matter diversifies, Ghetts has a real chance to establish himself as one of the very best rappers in the history of UK rap.

People are being made redundant
Some of my friends and family are amongst them
And everybody’s family depends on a lump sum
But some ain’t gonna see a salary when the month’s done
How you gonna tell a kid he aint got to rob
When the only role model he has just lost his job
Unemployed without another choice
Heading down the same path he tried to make his son avoid
Jobseekers allowance aint for everyone
We grown, there’s no power in a pellet gun
You tryna tell a n***a that’s a breadwinner
Forget dinner and he’ll do things he’s never done
It’s the story of the pauper
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
But don’t get me wrong
Three out of ten will cross the border
And be out the ends, but still it weren’t a shortcut
I understand what it took to do that
How Naomi Campbell had to look to do that
What Levi Roots had to cook to do that
The kinda weight the top shottas had to push to do that
What kinda singer Diz had to get on a hook to do that
And when you’re tryna push out of the same place you come from
Everybody has a goal, and pulling you back
So it’s bullet proof this, and bullet proof that
And I don’t expect those from outside the slums to understand this
How you gonna relate? Your mum and dad’s rich
Welcome to my ends, it’s gully
And none of us are getting no inheritance money
What’s your life like round here? I bet everything’s honey
Yeah we all got problems, but I bet yours has never been the money
Wait, I don’t know you so I shouldn’t pass judgement
Vice versa, but sometimes assets confine a person
You ain’t gotta tell me that you’re rich cos I know you are
Your life is perfect – is that why you turn your nose up at the lower class?
Or is your life just as fucked as mine behind the curtains?
But you don’t wanna show it cos you’ve got an image to uphold
I know, but when you come home, you unload, stress
Staring in the mirror like “I’m so depressed”
And now you wanna jumbo to jet, yeh I get it
Cos I feel like that six out of seven days
And that’s why a n***a be addicted to lemon haze
Listen when I’m spittin’ a system is devil-made
The government have got the nation brainwashed
A close friend of mine just left the Caribbean
When he got here he said he shoulda stayed in Barbados
I could explain but I’d rather let you read between the lines
Yo don he switched the brain on
You can’t even read the signs, where’s your brain gone?
What can I say dawg?
The truth lays beneath the lies
But it’s like I’m tryna lead the blind
And they would rather remain lost.
Forever in the rat race
Life ain’t getting no better and it’s facts mate
So I’m lighting up the lemon on a bad day
And as I let the zoot settle in my ashtray
I’m thinking of all the terrible things man-made
Things that caused this inevitable rampage
I’m hoping I ain’t got vegetables for a fanbase

Download the new Ghetts mixtape
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Check out this classic collab from Ghetts and Akala

Akala’s Fire in the Booth Lyrics

More wisdom in these 2,000 words than most people receive in five years of secondary school! Massive respect to Raghav for transcribing the lyrics (I don’t even want to think about how long it must have taken!).

Yes, I grew up on the dole in a single parent family
Been through a little bit of tragedy
Yes I was around drugs and violence
Before the day that I started secondary
And that’s part of it
Not half of it
Get the picture, the rest ain’t necessary
Growin’ up, got a little caught up
But that ain’t even half of my life
I was also given the knowledge of self
That is all we actually need to survive
If you saw me aged 9, reading Malcolm just fine
Teachers still treated me stupid
Students that couldn’t speak English, they put me in groups with
And the irony is
Some of the first man to give me schoolin’
You would call gangsters
But I already explained, we know what the truth is
They used to say ‘Don’t be like me’
Yeah I got a name and dough on the street
Night time comes, I can’t sleep
And that’s the part that rappers don’t speak
We don’t hit the road cos we are thugs
Don’t come out the womb, wanting to sell drugs
If we got the right guidance and love
Would we fight people just like us?
How could I knock the hustle to get by?
How do you think I ate as a child?
Judge no one, done many things wrong
I just don’t boast about it songs
But listen to my older bars
I was just as confused as you probably are
But you grow and you learn
Travel and f*** up,
One too many man you know get cut up
One too many man that could’ve been doctors
End up spending their whole life boxed up
You learn, if you study
Its all set out just to make them money
No cover, it’s all about getting poor people to fight with one another
So its logical that us killing our brothers,
Dissin’ our mothers
Is right in line with the dominant philosophy of our time
But time is a cycle, not a line
Comes back around you regain your mind
You be ready for the energy I channel in my rhymes
Remedy the pedigree, the jeopardy of mine
When the world’s this f***ed up, lethargy’s a crime
We can all fight with our brothers over crumbs,
Far harder to fight the one who makes guns
We can all talk sh** and get two dollars
Far harder to be the one who seeks knowledge
If we understood economics
We’d know money’s nothin’
Think nothing of it
Money is a means to get wealth, not the wealth itself
Don’t get confused, I’m far from broke
All that you see me do I own
But I wont hang what I make around my neck
I know from where that the diamonds came
But I do quite literally own a library,
That definitely costs more than your chain
And businesses, and properties
Far from starvin’, I eat quite properly
And I don’t care, just said it for the kids
Who need to know that you’re not broke to listen
Don’t know an asset from a liability
They’ve never been shown or told the difference
So they don’t change situations
Richest man in Britain is Asian
That’s significant, not coincidence,
Asian people build businesses,
Not by flossin/going out shoppin’
Giving out their culture for everyone’s profit
Who run’s Bollywood? Indian people
Who owns our shit?
So we shake our arse and dance
As if racism just upped and vanished
But has it? No its right on course
You’re beaten so bad, you’re trained to ignore
Let me not just make sweeping statements
Gimme a second, I’ll explain it
For small amounts of drug possession there’s more black people in jail in America than there is for rape and armed robbery and murder all put together
You can say they’re just locking up thugs,
Imagine if they locked up every middle class kid that had ever held drugs,
Oh that’s right, that’d be your kids!
Bigger than that what is going on with this,
Prison in America’s a private business
They get paid 50k per year per inmate by the State, just wait…
Also legally are allowed to use their prison inmates as slaves
Cheap slave labour, big corporations
They come out of jail, can’t get a job
So when we celebrate going to jail,
Add to that, that the hood that you’re livin’
Engineered social condition that breeds crime by design
Where do you think you get your nine?
You can say that they’re just black,
But I like to deal with facts
In the 1920s you would’ve found in America
Black towns,
Prospering centres of economics and education to make you proud
But some people couldn’t bear that the former slaves would not just lie down
So the KKK and other hate groups burnt those towns to the ground
Killin hundreds,
If it ain’t understood,
You think you were always livin’ in the hood?
Shit it’s only been sixty years
Since they hung blacks and burned em’
And that was so cool
Day reel passes, picnic baskets
Even gave kids the day off school
To go see a lynchin’
Have a picnic
It’s fun to watch the little monkeys die(!)
Then people act a little dysfunctional
You wanna pretend that you don’t know why
If your colour means you can be killed
And you’re powerless to get justice about it
Is it difficult to figure out how you would then end up feelin’ about it?
And that ain’t excuses,
Just dealing with the roots of abuses that make a reality
Where a generation of young men speak of ourselves as dirt casually
That’s America,
This Britain,
Some things are similar,
Some different,
In this country the first enslaved were the working class
What’s changed?
Worst jobs, worst conditions
Worst taxed, look where you’re livin’
You go to the pub, Friday night,
You will fight with a guy,
Don’t know what for,
But won’t fight with a guy, suit and a tie,
Who sends your kids to die in a war,
They don’t sell the kids of the richer politicians,
It’s your kids, the poor british
That they send to go die in a foreign land
For these wars you don’t understand,
Yeah they say that you’re British
And that lovely patriotism they feed ya
But in reality you have more in common with immigrants
Than with your leaders
I know, both side of my family
Black and white are fed ghetto mentality
Reality in this system,
Poor people are dirt regardless of shade
But with that said,
Let’s not pretend that everything is the same
When our grandparents came here to Britain
If you had a criminal record you couldn’t get in
Yet that ain’t protect them from all the stupid, stupid abuses they would be livin’
Kicked in the teeth,
Stabbed in the street,
Many times fired bombed our houses,
Put faeces through our letter box
And of course the cops did so much about it(!)
Daily, up to the 80s
People spittin’ into my pram cos’ I was a coon baby
But of course that has had no effect on why today we are crazy
And none of this was for any good reason
They were just dark and breathing
To ease the guilt now for all of this treatment
Constant stereotypes and needed
So if I celebrate how big that my dick is,
Bricks that I’m flippin’
Clips that I’m stickin’
Chicks that I’m hittin’
I’m playing my position
But if I teach a kid to be a mathematician,
Messin’ with the schism,
How they gonna fill a prison when materialism is no longer our religion?
What do you think we got now in Britain?
Just like America, private prisons
Prisons for profit!
That mean when your kids go jail people make money off it,
So keep environments that breed crime
Build more jails at the same time
Market badness to the kids in the rhymes
As long as rich kids ain’t dying its fine!
Get em’ to the point where some are so lost
They actually believe that if they don’t celebrate killin’ themselves off
That it’s because they’re soft
Was Malcom soft?
Was Marley soft?
Tell me was Marcus Garvey soft?
Well? Was Mohammed Ali soft?
Nah, Nah I think not!
But they want us to think that the road is cool
Being on road is all we can do
We don’t control the wholesale productions
Who benefits from us movin’ the food?
Or thinking there’s no way out of road life
But Malcolm X used to hustle out on the roadside
When Marcus Garvey organised more than 6million people
With no Facebook or Twitter
Why is this something you cannot equal?
One of my homeboys did a ten straight in the box in yard
Now what’s he doing?
Passin’ his doctorate
Don’t tell me that it’s too hard!
Who trained you to believe that you’re inferior?
Sungbo Eredo in Nigeria are the remains of an ancient moat,
Dug 1000 years ago
20 metres wide, 70 down,
Round the remains of an ancient town
That’s 400 square miles around
400 square miles around
Please, please don’t believe me,
It was a documentary on BBC!
But we ain’t studyin’ history,
Too busy watching MTV
And MTV said wear platinum,
Now everybody wanna go and wear platinum,
And MTV said pop magnums,
Now everybody wanna go and pop magnums
If MTV said drink prune juice
You would start hearing that in tunes soon,
‘Hey! Today I wore my Cartier,
Is it now more important what I got to say?’
Oh and I drive a Mercedes by the way
So everybody listen to what I got to say
Huh, does that make you all happy?
Ahh but shit my head’s still nappy
Think for myself, still some mad at me
But on the mic ain’t not one bad as me
All of this here’s good for the rhymes
Put us in the same place at the same time
And it’s clear to everybody that I’m out of my mind
Some of these guys are runnin’ out of their rhymes
Clear to everybody that has got ears
I’m the guy that they just might fear
They wanna get near but they can’t have a peer
Ah dear I’m hard liquor you’re just like beer
Front on the kid for another five years
Come to my shows and some cry tears
It mean that much to em’, it’s a movement!
I don’t speak for myself but a unit,
Black, white, man, woman, anyone that respects truth we put in
Dudes are like dinner with no puddin’
Yeah you’re sweet but no substance puddin’
You could never ever be with a level on
Our songs get out played out there in Lebanon
We speak for the people properly
Not for the old fat guys in offices
And the girls love him, it ain’t fair
He can’t even be bothered to comb his hair
Anyway that’s enough kissin’ my own arse
Back to the more important task of being so shower
I got half the hood screaming “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER”
And I ain’t saying that will change rap
But I do know this for a fact
Right now there’s a yout’ on your block
With his hands on his balls, face screwed up
Swear he don’t care, don’t give a fuck
That he won’t let nobody caught his block
But the words go in
Open your shackles
Because once that’s happened there’s no going back
Once you start to see what is really happening
Who the enemy you should be attackin’ is
Stuck on the block, READ, READ!
Sittin’ in the box, READ, READ!
Don’t let them say what you can achieve
Cos when people are enslaved
One of the first things they do is stop them reading
Cos’ it is well understood that intelligent people will take their freedom
Cos’ if we knew our power we would understand that we can’t be held down
If we knew our power, we would not elevate not one of these clowns
If we knew our power, we wouldn’t get arrogant when we get two pennies
If we knew our power, we would see what everybody sees, that we’re rich already!
But never mind MCs go run for your mummy
I’m hungry, I run for my tummy
That’s enough back to worshipping money
I’m off, back to the study!

Follow Akala on Twitter
Follow Raghav on Twitter

Flawless Daily Duppy from Akala

The ‘Celtic warrior maroon from yard’ drops pure knowledge for the block over a hard grime beat. Four minutes of mindblowing skills and wisdom!

It would take hours to transcribe the whole thing, but here’s the last bit:

This whole thing’s chess
And they want us to celebrate the fact that we are just pawns
But man are not on it
See the last thing they want
Is for man with road energy to stop killing one another and think cleverly
And ask why you’re living where you’re living, how you’re living
Did you create the condition that you were raising your kid in?
If you didn’t, who did it?
Is it really for the hood if our oppressors like our lyrics?
Only by crushing your aspirations can we maintain this here situation
Only by crushing the dreams of your kids quick
Can we keep our unearned privilege
And that’s what it’s all about

Knowledge is power!

Follow Akala on Twitter
Check the Official Akala website
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Uplifting, positive, resistant track from Wretch 32 – Take This From Me

One of the best tracks from Wretch’s debut album Wretchrospective (which was released in 2009 – if you haven’t got it yet, cop it quickly before the next one comes out!). The intro says it all:

“Now I’m a man with strong beliefs / And that’s something that no-one can ever take from me / Or you / Nah / You may only be the employee / But that don’t mean your boss can take your integrity / Or your passion / And remember – they can never take your soul”

Great interview with Fusion

Legendary hip-hop, garage and grime producer/mentor Fusion makes some great points about the music industry in this interview

“Music is a good vehicle for social change… In the times we’re living in right now, i feel that we need to say more things than ever before about what’s going on.”

“We have some of the finest lyricists in the English language – Skinnyman, Ghetts, Wretch32, Lowkey, Mic Righteous, Devlin… Many artists are talking about major issues and are trying to be heard, but we also have to eat. A lot of lyrical artists are facing pressure to dumb down their content to get paid. That’s coming from the corporations. We need to encourage those artists, support them, and challenge the status quo.”

Talking about the time when people like Fallacy, Rodney P and Skinnyman dominated UK rap, he says: “There was less money in the industry, and the artists stood for more. Now that there’s more money in the industry, it doesn’t mean you should stand for less. You need to educate your followers and yourself. Artists come and go, but the messages they put out there stay forever if they’re potent and powerful messages.”

“While you get a chance to use certain platforms (social networking etc), be sure to say something that actually matters. All these platforms are in a way exploiting you. You don’t really own those platforms.”

At the end he also makes a very deep point about the history of black music as freedom music.

Check this classic track with Fallacy:

Alternative (and cheap!) workout by Tempa T

Pure positive vibes from Tempa T, providing a great service for the community! He does a great job presenting as well – tons of personality.

A selection of Durrty Goodz

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been posting Durrty Goodz tracks on my Twitter and Facebook pretty much every day – partly as a response to a few people that have been dissing grime and saying there’s nothing positive in it. I’m not down with being negative about grime – like any music it has different lyrical narratives in it, some amazing and some bullshit, but it is an important voice of the young and oppressed in this country (comparable to dub in the 80s and jungle in the 90s). Goodz is undoubtedly one of the most talented artists on the scene, and he combines his incredible flows and storytelling skills with a thought-provoking, conscious narrative. His latest album ‘Overall’ is due out very soon and will no doubt be a classic.

Give Me The Music (feat. Ny)

This ridiculously slept-on banger will speak to anyone that couldn’t do without music. Life is full of struggle and music is one of the main things that gets us through it.


This is a heeeeavy track opposing gun violence and showcasing Goodz’ lyrical versatility. Great video from Carl Allegard.

Letter 2 Titch

A message to Goodz’ brother in prison (the legendary MC Crazy Titch). Some serious emotional depth on this.

Switchin Songs

A history of garage and grime, and a showcase for Goodz’ unparalleled ability to switch flows.

Westwood freestyle

This is freestyle on another level.

Grime Killers

Very interesting lyrics on this one – about cultural scapegoating (“grime makes kids kill each other”) and the state’s hatred of black economic empowerment.


A very deep concept, beautiful lyrics and great production.

Boi Dem

“You’re thinking that I’m hiding some of the white ting but I ain’t shottin a Red Bull!” Fiiiring track about the feds.

Freedom Fighters

A tasty freestyle from 2004 or so. Title says it all!

Back 2 School

For those that think grime artists can’t chat positive!


Goodz and Terror Danjah show the link between jungle and grime.

More 2 Da Floor

Hilarious statement about grime MCs selling out and doing pop-dance tracks.


One of the most creative and lyrically brilliant tracks to come out of the UK scene. Full of history and metaphor.

Download the amazing album Born Blessed for free.
Buy Axiom on iTunes – one of the best grime releases of all time IMO.
Buy Ultrasound on iTunes
Buy the latest single Oi What U Lookin At on iTunes
Follow Durrty Goodz on Twitter

New Jammer track opposing gun violence

Brand new track and video from Jammer exploring the issue of gun violence. Always nice to hear grime tracks tackling these issues in a positive way.

EDIT: The video seems to have been made ‘private’, so I’ve replaced it with this radio rip from Logan Sama’s show.

Durrty Goodz and Terror Danjah take grime back where it came from

Can’t believe I missed this when it came out! Durrty and Terror Danjah do a great job showing the clear link between jungle and grime.

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