Okay, so I just turned on my computer,, clicked onto Youtube, and Tizzy Gang pop’s up in my recommended videos – a radio set uploaded by the thisiswestside YouTube channel. With a heavy weight line up of MC’s – and more than enough time for all to show levels – I knew that 1) I was in for a treat and 2) I would get a better idea of what levels the MC’s were bringing to the table considering that this was the first time I was going to see how they all perform on a live radio set.

After dropping their debut album Opps Next Door in June of this year, I was intrigued to see what kinda presence each MC brought with them and how that would fit into the overall dynamic of the group. An opportunity to gage their individual lyrical ability for myself; all one packed experience – this set.

Long story short, I was pleased satisfied with the levels. After close assessment, Tizzy Gang are a crew in cohesion and seem to have no problem openly revelling in the lyrical prowess of their members. Vic Santoro can be seen throughout, juice in hand, waving gun fingers and singing along to each and every bar spat on set with pure passion and velocity. Tre Mission too, showing himself to be no shrinking violet, spent most of the set jumping, screaming and dancing in appreciation of what he was hearing.

Interesting when you take into account the fact that a fair few of the Tizzy Gang members are were in other grime crews – Nasty Jack belonged to the legendary and iconic N.A.S.T.Y Crew with former members Jammer, Kano, D Double E and dem man, Merky Ace was the driving force of Family Tree. Other members included TKO, MIK and Ego. But, based on this set and the only Westwood Crib Session Tizzy Gang – from only a couple weeks back – appear to be bonded tightly with no weak links lyrically or otherwise.

From beginning to end the Westside Radio set was a textbook example of what – in my opinion – a grime set can and should look like if its placed in the right hands. It was a quintessential set with all the necessary ingredients: a bag of hype, the rawest and most uncut bars the mind can think up and all the MC’s feeding off each other, egging each other on to create an atmosphere thick with electric energy. Throw in some the reload bars, quality riddims and there you have it! It sounds easy but few crews (like south east London collective The Square) have the confidence, good chemistry and lyrical expertise to pull it off each and every time but this set had it in bucket loads.

But even with all this said, I was still left with just one question. Oh, what could have been if Jay Ammo was still in on the action.

Jay Ammo is an MC hailing from west London and was part of the recent grime resurgence which saw a lot of talent spring up and come to the fore from that part of town. Out of all of those who were part of the wave; arguably the best and most recognisable were a small clutch of MC’s who banded together under the name MTM (More Than Music). MTM was made up of two smaller groups called MTP (My Team Paid) and YGG (You Get Grime). MTP members include AJ Tracey, Big Zuu and Ets. Jay Ammo was also a member.YGG, an MC trio is made up of Saint P, PK and Lyrical Strally. All these spitter came up largely due to the major work they were all putting in on radio sets during 2014/15 with Radar Radio an online radio station operating out of the Old St. area of east London. Over time they all built a strong working and personal relationship with each other and could be seen making regular appearances in each others music and freestyle videos. It was during these radio sets that Ammo developed a personal style and identity of his own on the mic.

He was never as lyrically dextrous or had the stylee like AJ Tracey – neither carrying the same presence, energy and hype as Big Zuu – but what he did have was raw and hardcore lyrical content that would often cut through and distinguish him as one to keep your eyes and ears on. Bars like IM THAT LOCAL OPP/DONT SHOT ROCK/BUT I STILL COME TO YOUR BLOCK WITH A GLOCK.

and MAN TRY ASK ME FOR 3.5 ARE YOU MAD? I GIVE HIM 0.35/TRY APPROACH MAN ABOUT IT BUT YOU KNOW DONNY THAT WILL BE THE END OF YOUR LIFE! Jay’s portrayal of the roads was his stand out quality, which made him out to be one of the greasier MCs around.

In Aug 2015 Jay released a 6 track mixtape entitled Ammi ep. Features included AJ Tracey, PK and Big Zuu but Jay Ammo’s status as certified west London representer was further solidified when right at the start of 2016 beef kicked off between Finchley native Row D and MTP ring leader AJ Tracey over twitter. When the war dubs began to fly Jay Ammo jumped right in without hesitation and sent shots of his own. Choosing the Zeph Ellis – Rhythm N Zxph production Jay spits a 2 minute and 45 second reply called Mental Case.

All the hype surrounding the MTP Row D conflict only pushed them further into the spotlight and a high profile radio set on BBC 1Xtras Gimme Grime show followed soon after. In Apr 2016 Jay released his second mixtape Goldmine EP with the stand out track Violation Remix featuring a stella line up of grime talent but it was a little after this when things started to go off track for Jay and he’s been otherwise vacant since videos began to surface online that appear to show him with his face covered in blood – being repeatedly punched and hit with a motorbike helmet…

The only appearance made a part from a set on the Sians Studio show with BBC radio 1Xtra was a Tizzy Gang set on Rinse FM during summer of last year. The Tizzy Gang lineup was Merky Ace, Tre Mission, Vic Santoro and Jay Ammo. Merky Ace during the same set also announced Jay Ammo as a fully fledged Tizzy Gang member along with several others. But, this had me scratching my head a little only because I never considered Jay Ammo a part of any crew other than MTP? At the same time I was excited. Merky Ace again during the same Rinse FM set announced that he had a label backing the new project. With this being the case I thought it was a great opportunity for Jay and the rest of Tizzy Gang to make some high quality music and push it out to the people. But, once again, ever since then not a word from Jay Ammo. In fact Merky Ace during an interview in Nov 2016 with the interview and rap freestyle YouTube channel DARDEST TV completely back tracked on his previous statement and said that there was no room for Jay Ammo on the team anymore. Was there any response from Jay? No, not a peep except for one or two tweets on twitter.

What was wrong? Had he given up music? Had he become disillusioned with how things had gone for him as a result of his serious assault to the point where he had decided that music was not a look.

To me it very much looked that way… until recently when he made an appearance on Reprezent 107.3 FM for a 1 hour set (listen back HERE) with Spitz, Big John and several members of W.A.V.E Gang and it was a real pleasure to hear him flowing again. True say after many months away from the mic it wasn’t hard to tell that he had lost some of his spark, the old vibrancy and sharp delivery was missing but let’s hope he can build it up and bring it back for the people.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s