So there was an MTV show that ranked ‘the best of the best’ UK MCs of 2010 in a top 10, which caused a lot of controversy, most notably on twitter from all the RTs and bullshit commentary that flew around for days on end. Everyone had something to say, a majority of people played upon the arguments to beg a RT, whilst a whole lot of artists threw sly jabs at each other through the RTs… Some of these artists over worked the RTs and no doubt the amount of time these artists spent sending RTs and bitching, and crying, and throwing jabs at others is probably the reason why their work rate didn’t see them in the top 10.
We all know that MTV criteria for such things is not so much about skill but popularity, and the impact of it, your cultural contribution is paramount, as stated on the MTV Wrap Up blog:
- Buzz – Which MCs created the most attention online, on radio, on TV and in the streets?
- Impact – Who were the most successful, which MCs influenced the scene commercially and on the underground?
- MCing – Whose lyrics, flow, delivery and content were the best?
- Acclaim – Which MCs got the most ratings from DJs, journalists, critics and the fans?
- Swag – Which MCs set trends, introduced new styles and sounds, as well as elevating themselves to new levels?
Now if we throw Ghetts into this, where does he stand, better yet is it fair to just plant someone in the midst of a list because they fall into one category, MCing ability? Fair enough it forms part of the foundation for the entry criteria but the artists on the list have made some serious moves in the past year, which have been a culmination of their momentum and moves in the year previous. I’m not sure whether Ghetts just wants to hear other people say he’s the best MC to feed his self esteem, confidence, or to convince himself that it’s the truth. There’s no denying his, hunger, flow, or dexterity, but there’s more to the list than being an MC, that in itself is not enough these days, what impact have you made on Popular culture, where’s your movement, what’s your brand, does your following dress like you, where’s your merchandise, what are you doing to make a difference?
I personally feel from the bottom of my heart that Ghetts’ reaction is based purely on ignorance to the criteria, the panel of people – a majority of whom have played an active part in his rise to prominence, and the featured artists, all of whom have worked very hard by making all the necessary moves to advance forward. Ignorance? Really? Sure?
Lets talk about this
- Tinie Tempah – Done more than most in 2010: Burst on the scene on the back of a few Labrinth productions which not only shut down the clubs, and the streets, but changed the face of popular music by ushering in a harder, much darker sound which resulted in the likes Tinchy Stryder, N-Dubs, Chipmunk, and DJ Ironik rethinking their sound. Not only was Tinie the revolution of the charts but he was the face of the public, the brit: fashionable, stylish, articulate. A whole lot different from those who went beforehand who could neither articulate themselves appropriately nor be well behaved on the centre stage.
- Dizzee Rascal – Number one albums and singles on his own imprint, tours the globe, opened the door for every one after they closed shortly after So Solid and the gun antics. Rascal has always been himself, never watered down for anyone.
- Skepta – BBK general, made a few Pop songs but always remains true to his essence, supported artists on tours as well as headlined his own whilst charting with his releasing. Self proclaimed king of Grime but no one contests this as he has shut down the careers of every one who has crossed his path.
- Pro Green – Ten 10 album and singles, household name.
- Wiley – Brains behind Roll deep, Godfather of Grime, and released a bag of cheese which saw the outfit clock up a bunch of top tens.
- Giggs – Does not compromise, notorious overhere and overseas, has everybody rapping like him, has a cult following from the street, and commands respect from almost all his contemporaries.
- Devlin – The representation game mixed with his lyrical dexterity is unquestionable.
- P Money – On the rise well before 2010, P Money has always been known for his skills with punchlines and flows, P Money has always had a very large following both in Grime, Dubstep and outside of those. 2010 was also the year he had a song for song battle with Ghetts and to popular opinion took the title. P Money continues to be one of the most actively touring artists in the scene, being booked for rave after rave both here and overseas.
- D Double E – Whether you judge D Double E on the fact that he can shut down any rave and get anyone gassed with one word or sound, he’s done so much. Every one in the scene knows that D Double E is the Don Gorgan around mic, hence the reason why D is never questioned by anyone. Street Fighter and Hard were playlisted on Radio 1, played in the daytime and championed by the likes of Joe Wiley et al… Ghetts c’mon mate don’t deny the power of D Double E’s wizardry!!!.
- Chipmunk & Lowkey – I really can’t remember what Chipmunk done but Lowkey speaks for the people with no voice, and shines the light upon global injustice. Not only are both skilled lyrically but you cannot question Lowkey’s substance, nor his integrity. I think if you’re to give any one props in that list it’s Lowkey because after all is said and done, he continues to use his music to highlight the injustice of society whilst you seem to spit indierect punchlines for the sake of saying you’re the greatest. Lowkey has no manager, agent or record label, Lowkey is proof that the message carries you further if you speak the truth and represent the downtrodden.
In my opinion Ghetts is being the mad rapper, an ignorant one at that. I’m not denying his skills, I’m not denying his impact on Grime nor the respect he gets from other rappers, but everyone in this list apart from Lowkey has had playlisted radio time in some form or another. They all have the foundations or at least the basic fundamentals of great skills when on the mic, but they also have the other important factors that put them on the top 10 list, and the most important factor which sets them apart from you, and everyone else who feels they’re the best but don’t get recognised, charisma.
All of the featured artists have a brand; a personality, a following, a slogan, a mantra. All of these artists speak to their audience and connect with them because they stand for something that resonates at a level far more superior than the music or the punchlines. It makes no sense to kick up a fuss about MTV which is a popular culture corporation, specialising in all things POP-ular, the list has to reflect its target audience.
How many 5 year old kids in a playground on the Isle of Sheppy have heard of Ghetts?
Let’s be real.
How can you justify going at a panel of individuals who all work within the realm of popular culture, in some shape, or form within its subculture, who have somehow contributed to you having a voice? I really don’t think the problem lies with them, the problem lies with you not putting enough work in, not making the right songs that people from all walks of life can connect with, not representing enough, not doing enough. P Money took the title you held because P Money put the work in, and continues to do so, you never find other people in the list knocking any one else’s hustle because they’re too busy doing their own, not watching any one else.
I feel that when you say you’re the best it’s self proclaimed. What have you done apart from spray punchlines? You battled the likes of Skepta, P Money and Wiley, all of whom have progressed further since these bouts on Logan Sama’s monday night show. What have you done, where are you going, what is your plan? Devlin is someone you collaborate and spar with but why aren’t you doing as much when you have always been in the spotlight?
I think you’re mad because you’ve realised how complacent you’ve been. You don’t see Kano kicking up a fuss nor knocking anyones hustle because he’s still getting his, regardless of whatever he’s doing, he’s happy that he’s got a lil earner, a hustle. I think you just need to find yours, focus on your bowl of soup rather than question the chef as to why Skepta, D Double, P Money, and Lowkey have more dumplings in their pea soup than you. The chef would probably say
“It’s all down to work ethic, movement, planning, vision and having a great team around you.”
You said it yourself in the Grimedaily vid
“I do music for the love.”
Why do you care about recognition?
That ain’t love Ghetts, seems like you need, or you’re in search of acceptance. It must be hard seeing people you sparred with in the raves, battled with on Logan Sama Kiss100, Deja Vu, and RinseFM shows, encountered at numerous events, laughed and took sly and open shots at, doing big things and earning a whole lot of coins. That’s life, don’t knock no one else but yourself.
What can you do to get on next years list?
Why do you care about the list?
Tinchy Stryder doesn’t care about the list, why, because he’s minted and still making money from all the downloads, endorsements, tours, merchandise, branding and licensing deals. That’s swag. Lists mean nothing because at those dizzying heights, well in comparison to an underground rapper, lists mean nothing. When Jay-Z doesn’t get included in lists dude doesn’t complain, why, because he doesn’t know the amount of zeros and commas are after the number nine when he checks he bank account, it’s a bunch of .5 and abbreviated terminology which translates into never count your blessings.
Popularity never equates to success nor skill.
Popularity only equates to relevance.
C’mon bruva, don’t watch nuffin, go get yours innit! All the time spent RT people who are begging a RT to gain more followers is nonsense, it also makes you look very insecure which I’m sure you’d disagree with… If you want to be Mr. popular work on your operation, create a movement, build a cult around your personality. Work on a way to turn yourself into an entity that existing brands are going to want to fuck with.
You need to sell a lifestyle that people believe in.
I’m sure when all the hype dies down over twitter, your video has been viewed a million times over – well say a few thousand, which is nothing compared to all the gas generated, and your no longer a trending topic, people aren’t going to give a fuck about the list. You’ve basically done MTV a favour because they realised the power of social networking, they’ve also realised how they make can make an impact for future reference, and why they should make their programme available to watch over the internet almost instantly.
If you were really clever and calculating, you would of had a whole mixtape of tracks, film a video documentary for each one and booked yourself a showcase and you’re own panel style club night. Hell since we’re talking about capitalising you could of put it up somewhere and made a quick earner but hey like I asked before…
What’s the plan?
How are you going to keep everyone interested?
What’s your next move?
The thing that ultimately makes this humorous is that you let your emotions get the better of your judgement, you should of been rational from the get go, and orchestrated your moves in silence.
“The strong move quiet, the weak start riots.”
You should of taken a leaf out of the current uprisings across Africa and the Middle East and used it as inspiration because these people started peacefully and quietly, all culminating in change. If you had been clued up on Lowkey, perhaps you would of known what was taking place, humbled yourself and moved rationally rather than become gassed up on the back of your own arrogance.
This is in no way an attack on Ghetts, it’s simply an observational opinion. No one likes an arrogant ant in the midst of madness, people are captivated by humble visionaries who speak through their actions, whose stats also speak for themselves. This is also a business, you also are in the midst of people who open and close the gates to peoples careers at weekly meetings to discuss playlists etc, so don’t be the Cheddar Bob that becomes the source of why people roll their eyes because you continue to let your emotions run your mouth.
Breathe… Relax… Meditate… Think Rationally… Act.
I do however admire and commend the way you let this let become your wake up call to do more, please don’t lose momentum.
Good luck with getting on next years list, don’t get mad if you don’t make it because it’s really not a reflection of your skill as an MC, but a reflection of your exploitation of that skill to become a popular artist.
Oh yea and here’s the vid…
“Tell em why you mad son.”
*This whole thing reminds me of the Mad Rapper skits.
Peace and Prosperity to all…
- Tinie Tempah’s rise puts grime front and centre in British music (guardian.co.uk)
- Meet the rising stars of UK hip-hop (guardian.co.uk)
- “The world needs to hear”- new wave of Arab music gets message out (rt.com)
- The prince of grime comes of age (independent.co.uk)
- Palestinian Solidarity Campaign hits youth trail (thejc.com)
- Tinie Tempah Takes Patient Approach To U.S. Success (mtv.com)
- Ghetts, the census and Guantánamo Bay | Jody McIntyre (guardian.co.uk)
- Lowkey – Top 1 Selected [Responds To Ghetts] (mindofgrime.com)
- Ghetts – Whose On The Panel (mindofgrime.com)