Grime in 2010, how will it be remembered? For me it is most MCs starting the year wanting to be a pop star, and finishing the year saying 'Grime all day'. We literally went from Lethal B putting out electro house turkeys to saying 'Grime is back' in the space of 6 months, when he decided to embark on Pow 2011.
Wiley was part of 3 top 20s with dreadful pop music, but then has been constantly pumping out Grime tracks via his twitter. In the middle of this, we have a new generation of MCs that have come through in the time the established artists have been away who are going the total opposite direction. Intense flows, violent lyrics and choosing the rawest productions to a point it is nearly comical. They have been able to win over fans who want to put a middle finger to the indecision of the top boys whether they are Grime acts or not, and have quickly won over fans that want 'real grime' back.
I have been shocked this year at how very few real album projects have come out. Nothing from Skepta, Wiley, D Double E, Tempa T, P Money, Dot Rotten, Trim, Griminal, Mz Bratt, Durrty Goodz etc have had product, but nothing solid. In a way it is exciting because it leaves the door open for a flood of albums in 2011, but if you read my end of review of 2009, I expected that of 2010, so I would be naive to think that will happen. Hopefully when they land, they won't be plagued with the same tired concepts that have hurt Grime CDs for years. How great they are, Haters, Swagger, Money and Women.
Skepta has been the only artist this year that has made a genuine attempt to chart a Grime song. 'Cross My Heart' whether you like it or not, is a typical Skepta beat, and would get played on sets every week if it was just a instrumental track. The delivery is the same that he would use on Rinse FM or in a club, and I think he has come the closest to the happy medium, something that can fit into day time radio, without losing an edge on the production side.
I am still trying to work out why Grime acts find it so difficult to choose a song they want everyone to have, get it played by the top DJs, do a video and get it on iTunes within reasonable time. It is easier then ever, all you need is a Tunecore account, a video on youtube, a song and you are on your way. Gone are the days where people will tolerate waiting 4 months to get a track, those who do that with their best work will hurt as they will fail to capitalise on their hype time and time again until they learn how to effectively release.
JME had the formula right, you hear the tune, see the video and then you are able to buy four weeks later. Wiley experimented with an even tighter schedule. 'Radio Kid' was premiered on Logan Sama's radio show on Monday and released on Sunday. I think a lot more acts should think about that option first before they look at the 'easy way out' in a free download.
Onto my MC of 2010. P Money, who sums up for me, 'More with less'. He released no solo work this year, but featured on 'Ho Riddim' 'Slang Like This' and 'Sweet Shop' and saw his profile raise higher then ever. He can PA those tunes up and down the country alongside last years smashes 'Left The Room' and '1UP' and do full live sets with Grime & Dubstep DJs. He has shown he can do the big live shows, (him and Blacks at Rinse FMs 16th Birthday set with Plastician was massive), can do the lyrical war (does anyone disagree he ended Ghetts?) and he can do a track that isn't about how great his lyrics are or how cool he is (see Numb with Starkey).
Vinyl Releases have come back to the scene, I get asked all the time why I release records, and this is the last time I will say. I don't release vinyl to save vinyl, to bring back records in Grime nor do I think every DJ should be playing vinyl or anything of the sort. The industry standard way to release electronic music is vinyl and digital download. I want Butterz to get the Grime sound way outside our little bubble and I must adhere to the rules that everyone is playing by. On top of that I love physical product, CDs, merchandise and vinyl and I have collected tons of it over the years, and it would be a shame to just let that culture go. I started taking DJing seriously in 2008 so I never got to be part of that golden era of grime vinyl, but there is a generation that does want in, younger then me, and for as long as it is viable I will continue doing putting them out.
Having the physical product has helped our music spread to all over the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe and I don't think we could done that with just digital downloads. You would be shocked to know our vinyl revenue is a lot stronger then the digital, and we will work at balancing that out next year. Hopefully Hardrive, Oil Gang and No Hats No Hoods have the same view and will continue putting them out next year.
Here are a selection of records that came out in the second half of 2010 that are all available to buy via Chemical records. You can grab the Butterz stuff on Verybutterz.co.uk
Vectra, JJ & Wiley - Rinse FM 7/11/2010
Logan Sama with OGz - Kiss FM 19/11/2010
Logan Sama with JME, D Double E & Footsie 5/10/2010
JJ & Wiley Rinse FM 4/9/2010
JJ & P Money Rinse FM 25/8/2010
Some of my favourite videos
This is my last ever blog on this site, I feel it's inappropriate for what Butterz has developed into. We started out as a interview based blog back in 2007, interviewing people that didn't normally get the shine elsewhere: producers and Djs. That ethic continued into 2008, and I got seriously into DJing and debuted on Rinse FM in November. Up until early 2010 I balanced showcasing Skilliam & Is show with blogs about the grime scene, frustrations, new ideas and interviews.
2010 came and we started a label, so time wasn't on my side to write about the scene that I love anymore outside of publications, and it just became a more label focused site as the days went by, so I have decided to build a new one, fit for purpose to launch in the new year, and leave the Grime blogging behind. If you visit the Butterz.co.uk domain now, you have a micro version of what I want our final site to look like, mobile blogging, profiles on the artists, uStream section and space for our releases.
Hopefully I will still be given the opportunity from time to time to write in other places about my thoughts on the scene, but going forward I want to focus on DJing and building up the label and the artists I am helping come through.
So until our new site is built catch us on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates on our releases, Rinse FM shows and live sets..
Hope to see you in a club one day going mad to Grime