Shay D ft. P Money – Slice Of The Pie (Prod. by Filthy Gears)

Shay D‘s rap tunes feel like a platform to spit about deeper topics, but with her grime tunes, it feels like the only thing on her mind is to load the clip; target, aim and fire. Her latest track – titled ‘Slice Of The Pie’ – features P Money, and the two emcees get to work over a beat from Filthy Gears, which feels like grime music that sounds at home at a big festival or on a high-stakes sports broadcast and not feel out of place at either.

It’s simple, but Shay D’s ability as an emcee is what has attracted me to her music in the past. ‘Slice Of The Pie’ is no different. The mixture of technical delivery, funny takedowns, and balancing storytelling with assertion, and then crafting these moving parts into a song that’s worth listening to makes ‘Slice Of The Pie’ so good. In lesser hands, the execution might not work. You could peel away too many layers while telling the story of your life, not making enough time for hype talk; or make too much time for hype talk and not enough time for substance. Both would feel flat.

‘Slice Of The Pie’ succeeds because of this balance. Having P Money and Filthy Gears on the track helps, too. Everyone is going in here.

Meridian Dan ft. President T & JME – Teachers Pets (Prod by. Sir Spyro)

Meridian Dan isn’t the most prolific emcee, so I genuinely wasn’t sure what to expect before pressing play on ‘Teachers Pets’. The track features President T & JME, with production from Sir Spyro, and much like ‘Slice Of The Pie’, it feels like a grime tune primed for the biggest of stages; or fit for a prime-time broadcast placement.

‘Teachers Pets’ goes in. Dan’s earworm hook is planted firmly into my brain, while his rhyming of ‘Dan’ with ‘Dan’ and his hype talk in his bars benefits from the calm delivery. President T spits the knockout line: ‘I invented the curve, them lot are learning’, and JME rounds out the track by asserting his veteran status, making Dad life sound certified in the process. Spyro seems to have nailed down the formula for festival stage grime tracks down to the finer points, like when his production tag and Dan’s hook intersect with each other over the beat. Hard bars? Check. Hard beats? Check. ‘Teachers Pets’ ticks all the boxes.

Duppy – Barcode (Prod. by Jammz & Jack Dat)

Duppy is a young emcee and producer from South London, and he’s been building a name on sets and releasing both vocal and instrumental tracks on Bandcamp recently. ‘Barcode’ was released in February and is produced by Jammz and Jack Dat. The video dropped this May, and it features shots of him spitting around various places in London, most notably at the fairground. It’s the type of no-frills grime shell out, as Duppy wrecks the instrumental with a clip full of hype bars and energy.

Shogun ft. Manga Saint Hilare – Crow (Prod. by Toni Smoke)

Shogun has been around for a while, first coming to the attention of music heads through 2016’s ‘Vulcan‘ freestyle. He was also a contestant on 2020’s series of ‘The Rap Game UK’, where his direct lyrical style sometimes felt at odds with the show’s insistence on finding a ‘well-rounded’ artist over nurturing the strengths of its participants.

‘Crow’ is his latest tune. The beat features a set of crawling melodies and bassline’s from the depths, setting the platform for Shogun to rally against the environment that raised him, talk up his abilities on the mic and squeeze in a diss that compares a potential opp to Conservative commentator Sean Hannity. His motion blur delivery feels at home on the dark beat. There’s a guest verse from Manga Saint Hilare, which echoes the theme of ‘Crow’, but in Manga’s own way.

TIME94 – Mirrors

TIME94 is a producer from Greece who has released a mixture of material on labels like Plasma Abuse and self-released work on his own Bandcamp page. His music falls under the ‘neo-grime’ tag, a loose subgenre of grime defined by emotional squarewave melodies, taking influence from wave music and beyond.

‘Mirrors’ is his latest track. Released on SYNES, it kicks off with pitched-up vocal clips before launching into the stratosphere with a smooth bassline and one-shots that twitch subtly in the mix. The finer details of ‘Mirrors’ make it engaging enough to stand as a piece of solely instrumental music, but it’s also fairly minimal, and I could see an emcee riding this one on a late-night radio set.

Glitch – Pin Head (Hellraiser Dub)

Glitch is a young producer with music on Slimzos Recordings and Rotpot Records. His latest track – titled ‘Pin Head (Hellraiser Dub’) – is a delightfully dark grime and dubstep hybrid. The track kicks off with samples, then launches into some weighty basslines, later joined by an ominous melody that really ramps up the horror vibes of this tune.

Grindhouse x Random Dready – Boss Fight

‘Boss Fight’ – the latest track from Grindhouse & Random Dready – is the fourth instalment in their ‘Beats of Rage’ series. Video games and grime go way back, but like all long-standing tropes, the execution can feel flat when it borrows too heavily from what has come before. ‘Boss Fight’ steers clear of this potential outcome by crafting mind-bending melodies, club-focused foundations and a couple of switch-ups to keep the tune sounding fresh. It’s a full-tilt grime banger that should be played loud.

English G – Around Here

English G is a producer from London. This month, he dropped three tracks on his Bandcamp page, and my pick goes to ‘Around Here’. The track features big chord stabs and pitched-up vocal samples, but what caught my ear was the nimble synths and samples in the background. Those elements can add so much depth to a beat, and here, they really compliment the main work going on in the melodies. ‘Around Here’ sounds great as a standalone instrumental piece, but the rhythms lend themselves to an emcee, and I’d love to hear a set of top-level emcees barring over this one.

Posted by:Ryan Moss

I'm the sole founder, editor and writer for The Art Of Grime. I love grime and want to push all the sick artists doing things at the moment.

One thought on “Selections: The Best Grime & Club Music Singles in May 2021

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