Manga Saint Hilare ft. Tia Talks, Renz, Squintz & Duppy – OWT (prod. By Lewi B)
I’ve written a lot about Manga’s candid lyricism and how it helps him form a connection with his fanbase. But, it’s important to remember that he can spit with a fury too. ‘OWT’ sees Manga link up with Lewi B, delivering bars laced with flair and finesse over crashing low-end riffs and heavy drums. There are feature appearances from Tia Talks, Renz, Squintz and Duppy, four of the brightest young talents in grime. They lace the beat with their own brand of lyrical verve, each emcee bringing an abundance of style, personality, and vigour. ‘OWT’ is a reminder that grime is a multi-generational scene, but most importantly, it’s a great tune from a group of talented artists.
140Aks – Cammy Riddim (prod. By Blay Vision)
Cammy Riddim has taken the scene by storm as of late, and many emcees have recorded their own version. There are too many to mention in one article, but the good people at Keepin It Grimy and Grime Originals have compiled a list of each version for your listening pleasure. I thought I’d pick out my favourite from the lot, 140Aks’s version. We don’t hear a lot from 140Aks, but he’s a talented emcee, and here he goes hell for leather with a ton of mind-bending wordplay, weaving in homages to classic grime bars in between hype bars.
Joe Fire – Bar Like Man (prod. By Adam R)
Songs about spitting bars tend to get people’s back up, with the main criticism being that it lacks imagination as subject matter. I understand that, and if the emcee gets it wrong, it can descend into tedium. On the other hand, it does make sense. In a genre where part of the battle is marking out your territory as the best to do it, why wouldn’t an emcee spit about how good they are? The key is to approach it with panache, and on ‘Bar Like Man’, Joe Fire does that and then some, twisting his cadences around Adam R’s distorted bass riffs. Like the fantasias of Italian football, the emcee delivers a skilful lyrical display, making ‘Bar Like Man’ equal parts warning shot at rival emcees and microphone virtuoso.
J Wing – Wah Yu Deh Pon (prod. By Efflex)
J Wing returns with ‘Wah Yuh Deh Pon’. Produced by Efflex, it’s a motion blur of patois lyrics propelled by a beat with skittering clap arrangements. Much like the last few tracks in the column, ‘Wah Yuh Deh Pon’ benefits from an agile approach, with J Wing sounding like the coolest hitman in the action film, calm and measured among the ensuing chaos. It’s primed to turn dances over, so turn this one up loud for maximum vibes.
Crafty893 – Boot It
Crafty893 is known mainly as an emcee, but he’s also a talented producer with credits on Big Zuu’s debut album one of the credits in his locker. He returns to the mic with ‘Boot It’, a self-produced joint where Crafty sprays hyperspeed grime flows over modern-sounding drill rhythms, switching between jabs at snakes, extolling his own lyrical prowess and noting the importance of staying focused on the bag when road life can be a tempting route. At just over two minutes long, ‘Boot It’ is a sonic force, so turn this one up loud and let the gun fingers fly.
AJ Tracey – Seoul (prod. By MDS)
AJ Tracey returns with ‘Seoul’, a freestyle which aired on the Power 105 freestyle show ‘Off The Radar’ back in May. It isn’t a grime tune per se, the beat is a Jersey club instrumental, and I don’t think AJ was aiming to put out a grime tune, but the Jersey style and his flow fit right in. It’s a high-tempo banger made for the clubs, and AJ spits fire from beginning to end.