Friday, November 9, 2007


JME casually let it slip during his Rinse show: He is doing an album. About time, too. The best thing, however, was how he said it, using that infectious Boy Betta Know blend of slang and humor. "Can anyone text in with a good name for my album? Otherwise I'm gonna have to call it 'Ya Dun Know the Album'," he joked, deliberately mutating his "ya dun know the MySpace" catchphrase that half of grime have subsequently adopted.

Live on stage at last week's A Night in the Life of Rinse FM showcase, it became clear that if lots of the lesser MCs are suffering from a lack of personality, it was probably Boy Betta Know who stole it. With a slick and room-enveloping stage presence, tightly honed after a summer performing in Ayia Napa, they had four times the entertainment value than all the other acts that preceded them.

Brothers Skepta and JME complement each other well to make a great on-stage double act. Skepta is a huge, physical presence. He MCs stood upright and comparatively stationary, his clear bars cutting right to the back of rooms. By contrast JME is small and wirey, he bobs and weaves when spitting, he has actions that fit his lyrics and his clever and witty lines jab at your funny bone. One set of bars centers around a possible attempt to bootleg his now legendary t shirt range: "You can get fake tees off eBay/ Let me explain/ Girl betta blow?/ Girl betta show?/ Girl betta know? They're all boog/ If you've got them t-shirts there/ You're on your own."

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, though JME doesn't seem to find the funny side of the frankly hilarious "Girl Betta Blow" range. He shouldn't be so serious. Don't say serious, say humorous!

Skepta, despite making his name as a fearsome clash MC with bars like "Go on then/ Go on then/ Draw for the mash!" also has some pretty funny lines, the most recent of which is "my last name is 'is the best.' First name Skepta." As long as BBK keep all these sides to their game, the only way is up.

Another genre on the up is funky house, the East London variety. While this at first was a bit of a shock, it's now clear the hardcore continuum tree has a new branch. History has consistently shown that once a given demographic is involved with a genre, from hardcore to jungle, UK garage through dubstep and grime, it evolves and mutates rapidly in interesting new directions. It's a tide that can't be swum against.

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