THE ULTRAVIOLET GLIDE // 001 [MIX]

Introducing the first installment in a series of mixes which features exclusive Jazz and Soul infused Grime & UK Drill mashups, along with the assorted stylings of UK R&B. So, scroll down and press play for a 30 minute musical journey through the soul soaked sounds of The ‘Ultraviolet Glide’.ūüíę

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POSTED BY: @TIMIWATSONROSE

JAZZ, GRIME & CROSS-POLLINATION IN THE CAPITAL

Throughout modern history the soundtrack to the lives of young London has always been in a state of flux, with new genre’s popping in, old ones popping out and the cycle repeating itself time and time again. Grime music has been at the forefront of the conversation around deaths and rebirths in recent times, however developments in the bubbling London Jazz scene and world dominating UK Drill scene have highlighted a growing attitude toward collaboration that could inform some interesting results.

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In the latter part of the last decade the London Jazz scene was in a state of regeneration with it’s recent injection of young, unapologetic Londoners who’s tastes and styles have been shaped by the sounds of the underground music that’s inhabited the cities many sub-cultures. Musicians such as Yussef Dayes, Moses Boyd and Kamaal wiliiams are some of the leading lights in this new world and have successfully introduced the music and culture of Jazz musicianship to a whole new generation – myself included.¬†

With the spirit of improvisation which is at the core of both worlds, you can see, like the Grime MC uses bars and flows as their instrument riding the riddims fed by the DJ, this relationship between rhythm, cadence and live improvisation is what makes each art-form unique in there own right. 

What’s become evident of late is that cross-collaboration between Jazz musicians and Grime MC’s does present a valuable opportunity for both worlds to benefit from the successes of their respective scenes, which was highlighted in a live session between Kamaal Williams and Mez a couple of years back. Where producers like Swindle and Silkie who brought the world of Jazz into the Grime sphere with their particularly Jazzy production styles, up until this point not many had successfully brought the world of Grime into the world of Jazz. But with both movements looking set for further growth and development in the coming years, more cross-collaboration could yield some interesting results as the months progress.

Outside of the respective worlds of Jazz and Grime, crossover work has also been a theme among forward thinking music makers in other pockets of the broader British underground scene. The UK Drill movement which’s gone from strength to strength has been experiencing it’s own wave of cross collaboration. From the Headie One X Fred Again project ‘GANG’ – which saw the likes of Jamie XX back in the mix on production duties for the first time in a long time, to the likes of DJ and formiddable “Future Garage” and House producer Joy O recently teaming up with UK Drill MC ‘KO’ on the song ‘Untitled’.

What’s become clear is that the melting pot of modern music in the UK has reached a point where musicians from all corners of the map are breaking down the barriers that separate their worlds and working together in a way that should inspire more collaborations of the vein, which can only bodes well for the future.

The mass crossover potential in the broader UK movement looks as though it could lay fertile ground to sow the seeds of innovation on our home turf if things continue. For Grime MC’s in particular it presents an opportunity to broaden their horizons and take advantage of experimentation that’s taking place. With Grime fraternity vowing to throw-out the rule book earlier this, whats happening in London right now is the perfect time to try new things by taking advantage of the eclectic music talent across the capital.

Cross pollination in music and the art of bringing together different styles and genres does invariably create something fresh in the process, and with a noticeable rise in musicians seeking collaboration outside of their respective scene’s it comes across strongly that we’re once again on the cusp of another special period for UK artists and the post lockdown landscape of live music.¬†

Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe

/@TIMI.WATSONROSE

BIRMINGHAM BADNESS: REINTRODUCING TRAPANESE SPY AKA KOKANE KRUDDY

All too often some of the most talented rappers of the hood variety disappear off the map. Either they lose motivation, get birded off or in the worst case scenarios – lost their lives to the streets. One person who fits this bill is the Birminingham Rapper who goes by the name of ‘Trapanese Spy’ formerly known as ‘Spy Kokane Kruddy’.

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I came across ‘Spy’ in the early part of last decade through some friends who were bumpin’ his freestyles. I was instantly caught by the rhyme work – plenty of imagery and plenty of multi’s. At the time my London friends were rinsin his music, it was not common for Brum rappers to get approval in the south, but irrespective of that he seemed to transcend the north south divide and command respect for his talent.

Since then he disappeared for many years, but resurfaced in the last couple of years ago. It’s good to see he’s back in effect, and I hope he sticks at it long enough to gain some much needed recognition and an oppurtunity to develop his craft as I believe he has a lot to offer. Although his recent offering don’t hit as hard as his music did when I was first introduced to him, his original work is a testiment to his ability, and if he sticks at and works with the right producers, I’m sure he can rekindle the magic he once had.

For now, if you’re not family with this underground hood talent, check out a couple of his classic bits along with a recent ‘Lockdown Challenge’ freestyle and release from last year by the name of ‘Bands’ to appreciate his style.

Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe

/@TIMI.WATSONROSE

WATSON ROSE TINTED REMIXES

Last year I did a mix series called ‘Soulscape’in The Streets’ – taking UK Drill instrumentals and mashin’ ’em up with soulsoaked beats from UK Garage to experimental post-dubstep instrumentals. I planned on following it up this year, however when I listening back to the original series there was something special about the end product and the time it was made that upon reflection, I didn’t want damage the artistic integrity of it’s original quality. Since I made that series a lot has changed in the realms of UK Drill and broader Black British music. You only have to look at Headie One’s latest project -GANG’ where he teamed up with the likes of Jamie XX, along with the melodic sounds of contemporary UK Drill to see that what was unique at the time, is less significant today. So, to return to this format – in my opinion – just wasn’t going to have the same effect.

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That being, I will be producing a new mix series in a effort to create something thats distinctly different to the sounds that are widespread  today, the details of which will be available soon. But for now, you can check out a couple of the edits I made when planning the 5th installment to enjoy in the meantime.

Keep it locked for more updates and stay safe.

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

THE REALS IN THE RHYMES: INTRODUCING ZEE STACK

I was sliding through the insta timeline as you and I stumbled across a rapper by the name of Zee Stack a couple week or so ago. After being drawn in by a preview of his latest release ‘Transition’ I was immediately struck by his rigorous rhymes and the realness the emanates from his vocals. Although he’s managed to accumulate a solid 6 figures views across all his releaes and even a milly on his track ‘No Days Off’, after a quick google search it became evident that his rap skills had yet to be fully recognised for it’s quality. That being said, Kenny Allstar – being the guy who always has his ear to streets did pick him up for what is undoubtedly a fire freestyle on his 1xtra show a month ago, so I guess he’s on his way way to bigger and better things.

In addition to this, I get the impression that, based on his latest single, he shows signs of a rapper that has more development to come and a lot more to offer if given the opportunity to team up with some of the UK’s leading producers. So, I felt compelled to share some tracks I was feeling and shed some light on this underground talent.



So, here’s a couple selections from his limited catalogue, and hopefully, in due course, more lovers of Britsh Rap music will find their way into his fanbase.

Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe

/@TIMI.WATSONROSE

LORD OF THE DUBS [PART 7]: CORONAVIRUS, CLASHES AND CHAOS

It was all looking up in the world of Grime and broader Black British music culture. That was until the global pandemic known as Covid-19 hit the UK shores and towns and cities across the nation were put on lockdown. For all intents and purposes, from sports to the arts, progression was put on pause. But, with that said, forward thinking members of the scene have taken the opportunity capitalise on the moment and continued to entertain the masses.

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Shoutout C4 for being the first to merchandise the mask ting – salute.

As everyone began to accept the inevitable and adapt to the climate some artists turned to their craft to take them through this period of uncertainty. One such MC was the young mic man known as SBK, who decided to send a shot at the North London newcomer by the name of Subten – who got in the mix of the warfare that kicked off the year with the Wiley dub which was entitled ‘Back To The Village’. With Yizzy closing the door on his feuds with certain MC’s, Subten seemed to be one of the few MC’s that could be a justified target for SBK, so, in the name of war, he waged his offensive in the form of the track ‘Back To The Village’.¬† It’s unclear if Subten will respond, but the stage has been set, and we’ll have to see how this one goes.

 

As the days and weeks of  a nationwide quarantine progressed in the UK and the US, a lot of us have been tuned in to the beat battles that were sweeping the states and garnering global attention. The culture of clashing is intrinsic to the nature of Grime culture, and the excitement generated by these wars were beginning to inspire some action on our homeshores leading to arguably the most talked about clash since Stormzy and Wiley went head to head in January.

Skepta and Jammer took to insta live for an impromptu beat battle which resulted in a spectacle of epic proportions. Both artists dug deep in the crates, but what made it special was the interactions between the two from Skepta talking up the war and Jammer’s comical reactions. If you missed it, it’s a kinda “You had to be there” situation, but some did manage to capture some of magical moments that will give you an idea of the experience, and incentive to not miss out on the potential clashes that are the cards.

 

 

Although Jammer came with some serious selections and created some magical moments, by popular opinion Skepta took the title with a landslide victory, as reflected in the rundown by some of the key figures in the scene.

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As DJ Logan Sama accurately mentioned, when Jammer dropped the Destruction vocal it was an emotional moment particurlary when the late great Esco verse dropped in. If you wanna sample a piece of the energy check out the extended vocal below – pure Grime gold.

 

 

Following this clash the thirst for more war was a feeling felt by everyone who shared the experience, and work began on coordinated a follow up affair…

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The Rapid Vs DaVinChe clash is one I’m sure all the hardcore Grime fans would love to see. Two Triple OG producers with two contrasting and distinctive styles digging in the crates and clashing for the culture is the stuff that dreams are made of. But with no confirmation from DaVinChe, we can only hope he’ll come out of the shadows to take uo the challenge and gives the people another standout spectacle to lift spirits in these disparaging times at some point in the future – although, for some reason, this seems unlikely.

 

 

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There’s been a lot of people calling it on, but confirmations of who will actually engage in the war are still pending, but we’ll surely be seeing more of these clashes as the weeks progress, especially with Rude Kid & Spyro now confirmed to throw down for the culture.

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With all the attention on the producers, this instalive format lends itself to clashing in all forms, and it was only a matter of time before someone encouraged the MC’s to take part.

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With Jammer now pushing for some vocal match up’s, it’ll be interesting to see how Grime in the digital landscape will shape out in the coming weeks. But, I’m the products of this circumstance driven format will yield some more entertaining moments, and inform the music to come.

Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe

/@TIMI.WATSONROSE

 

LORD OF THE DUBS [PART 6]: COMPETITION, COMPLAINTS & AYIA NAPA STORIES

At this point entering the 3rd month of 2020, the tension within the Grime that informed the clashes that took place has shifted from the sound-war into a different kind of conflict that’s raising a broader issue that in some regards is holding back the development of the scene.

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Grime culture has always been about competition and fighting for recognition, but the tone of affairs among a lot of artists has become quite resentful and has started to manifest into a culture of complaining and clout chasing. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the more forward thinking members of the scene who’ve challenged this issue, but the fact remains that this attitude is growing in prevalence and is doing nothing to push the scene forward.

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The remarks made by Saskilla and Grandmixxer reflect the attitude approach that’s required to make a success in the scene, and it’s encouraging to see some reputable figures with influence trying to redirect this trend. January was a month of excitement, February was a month of development and it would seem that March is looking like a month of reflection. Artist’s who feel they haven’t been recognised are taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations, but the fact remains that when all is said and done, the music is what counts, and as the weeks progress, I hope the efforts made to channel this frustration back into the music will prevail so more artist’s can capitalise on the growing interest in the broader Black British cultural movement.

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Wiley, who’s consistently been encouraging this on a major scale has continued his efforts to elevate scene with his work rate on max, flinging out the features while also presenting a plan for the Grime scene to level up using the blueprint that raised his profile in his early career.

As Wiley highlighted in a recent Instagram video he dropped a couple weeks back, the value of performing on the circuit in Ayia Napa cannot be ignored. We all have a special relationship with the music that was the soundtrack to the happiest moments in our lives, and for the new generation of Grime acts, taking over Ayia Napa would undoubtedly do a lot for elevating the scene. Though nothing is official just yet, key figures in the UK are tying to make this dream a reality.

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Though back in the day, Ayia Napa was shrouded in bad press due to the many incidents that took place on the island in the mid noughties, times have very much changed since then. The street level conflicted that informed the problems that persisted in Ayia Napa don’t really exist within the Grime scene anymore. So, where it may’ve been risky business trying to get the whole scene to cooperate in order to run the relevant shows and sets in Cyprus before, that is not the case today, presenting the perfect time for Grime to return to it’s international roots.

Outside of the Ayia Napa stories and twitter complaints there are a few underground artists that are keeping their nuts down and creeping on a come up. SBK who rose to notoriety when he¬† engaged in the Grime Scene War Season at the beginning of the year has parlayed the new found attention on him to stake a claim as the ‘Prince Of Grime’ despite Yizzy’s earlier attempts to crown himself with the same title. Though the two aren’t continuing the lyrical back forth’s, this conflict will surely shape the contributions going forward.

Since moving to London from Stevenage recently, SBK’s graft has started to get some recognition from some of the more established artists in the scene. After a video surfaced on Twitter of him in the studio with JME, it’s clear to see that his talent is being recognised and he will continue to grow over the course of the year.

Another MC who’s starting to breakthrough is West London’s GHSTLY XXVII AKA GHS who’s recent release ‘Flex’ is getting some radio spins and social media shares since it dropped less than a week ago.

Although GHS is in the early stages of his career, on a personal level, I’m very much a fan of his style and delivery. That slylee gravily tone is – to me at least – reminiscent of Ruff Sqwad’s ‘Mad Max’. Obviously they are two very different MC’s, but at the same time, with the reality that Mad Max is no longer around, it’s nice to hear someone who strikes the same chords that made Mad Max’s style appealing to me.

Outside of the Grime scene antics, the man that arguably kicked off the war season has continued to send shots and deliver the war dubs. Dot Rotten, who’s online dispute with Sneakbo resulted in a ‘G check’ in Angell Town and subsequent photo and video of the confrontation circulating on social media has doubled-down on the dispute and taken it to the studio.

Though this felt like a case where it may’ve been better to let sleeping dogs lie, for one reason or another, Dot has decided to express his disdain for the Sneakbo, the Brixton area and a whole host of artists he know longer respects for the way they responded to the action taken against him in his latest release ‘Snitchbos Get Stitches’. I hope this doesn’t result in anymore conflict outside of the music, but the fact that the song is really good makes it unlikely this will be completely ignored by those associated.

So with the Grime scene in a state of reflection and restructuring, and Dot Rotten embracing his rogue status, there is a lot more to come this year, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it all shapes out.

To be continued…

Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe

/@TIMI.WATSONROSE