JME's Grime MC Is An Authentic Listen For Music Lovers Only
Written by Konzuko
After a few weeks of non-stop beat slanging, head banging, tune-jamming – I felt more than a few words were necessary to, at bare minimum, malign those who have yet to purchase JME’s latest bounty.
You see, JME often streams his gaming escapades and beat-making, and for a short duration, I regularly tuned in to catch the heated moments with Ethan, Josh, and company. This part has little relevancy; I just had to put it out there. Socially and philosophically, the MC (Mic Controller) consistently generates conversation of considerable interest and tremoloing complexity, sometimes blasting alumni of astrological study or sharing thoughts on the social climate, but always deciphering them with gumption.
This window into the mind workings of Jamie really untethers his work from the austere, allowing him to spit bars over sweet melodies, unravelling the turmoil of his upbringing in the ghettos of north London, self-doubt of his own MCing abilities, and the industry pricks bastardising the art through the creation of boardroom bangers.
Perhaps that distance the MC has maintained from the mainstream allows him to perpetuate that raw and murky grime sound that can only be associated with a select few British Greats, and pioneers of the rap sound in the United Kingdom. If we compare the brothers and label mates, JME and Skepta, a comparison done to
death many times before, how do they differ? Is one maybe more grounded and relatable, while the other more brash and severe? I don’t want to label people but I do feel that they as individuals sit somewhere between those two descriptions. Skepta makes tunes with artists like KEY!, Nafe Smallz, and ASAP Rocky, regularly indulging in the promotion of flashy music videos, merchandising, and branding. JME, however, feels oddly more grassroots, even if they’re very similar in that regard. He features artists like President T and Merky ACE, while opting for more environmentally friendly practices which come at odds with the standards of commercialism. This is not to say one is less of an artist than the other because every 5 bars they spit is
a complaint about the opps - but to take a look at their vision and message. And maybe the obvious indicators here are JME’s strides towards contentment, even in the face of an even wider reach and wallet.
Something we struggle to see in the contemporary scene is people who we can relate to, who spit to beats about “normal people problems” like their career, wife and child, the addictive nature of social media, religion, grief, greed, yes men, and of course - GPUs. So many artists with similar messages have come before and after JME but come across as corny and comical through their delivery. But here we have an MC who generates grimey beats and bars, spits titillating shit, and makes it sound hard. But Grime MC has its shortcomings. Personally, ‘DEM MAN ARE DEAD’ is a track that should have been left off the album but that does say a lot about a release when of the 18 tracks available, I take issue with only 1.
While the grimey and murky nature of this album won’t be for everyone, mostly because not anyone’s mum is open-minded enough to bump to tunes of this variety, it is for lovers of music. Perhaps that is why it took me a couple listens to realise the sheer brilliance of this release, that and the utterance of the classic phrase “seer-ious” appearing on just 1 track. Released only on CD and Vinyl, it’s a project that suggests one thing. An artist’s need to enact love. An act of love for the community, the fans, and in so many innumerable ways - a love for the art of music.
I need to be real with you, though. JME eliminates any doubt that he wasn’t the best grime MC in the game with this release, the most lyrical he has ever been - proving that he does not compromise his sound nor succumb to FOMO on the fads. The album is a near perfect banger-bonanza, and you need to grab a copy before you wake up in cold sweats 20 years from now, shaking and shivering over that precarious time that you, the pathetic drivelling mess that you are, missed out on bumping to ‘Grime MC’ in your 2008 marian blue Vauxhall Corsa in the awesome year of 2019.