So Solid Crew – Oh No [#tbt]

It must of been around the early 2000’s that my elder brother got me a saturday job working on a record stall at Deptford Market. The mornings were dark, cold and sometimes rainy, and I didn’t like the idea of waking up, setup a market stall at 7am -rolling out the tarpaulin and fitting together the cold rusty iron rods. I didn’t even like interacting with people, I actually felt self conscious back then because none of my mates were working, I was still at school and trying to be cool -never admitting that I actually had a saturday job on the market as it was frowned upon back then and mother didn’t like the idea of me working. Perhaps the only part of the day I enjoyed was going through the vinyl and seeing what selections my boss had picked up, being mindful not to get carried away because as much as I wanted to buy all of the tracks I had heard on Taste FM, each record was priced at 7GBP and I could blow my 30GBP in an instant. In all honesty I didn’t care, as long as I could treat myself to a 4.10GBP meal from the local Kebab Shop [London Kebab], which consisted of a Doner Kebab, Fries and a Canned Drink, I was ok. Back then I’d probably get a haircut once a month, unlike today where my beard and hair need to be kept in shape, so it didn’t really matter.

After each shift, I’d head home after my stop at London Kebab, turn on my brother’s turntables and listen to the new records I had just spend all my wage on and enjoy my food. I was the DJ in my crew at the time, I couldn’t mix to save my life but I spent a lot of time listening to the music as it kinda took me to other places. This was also around the time when So Solid were on Delight FM. Where I lived we had to work hard in order to pickup Delight FM, but the hard work was always rewarded when you heard MCs such as Harvey, Asher D, Mega Man and Romeo reciting lyrics over some of the coldest beats. These guys weren’t like Heartless Crew or the ‘Good Time’ MCs such as Creed, PSG and DT, they were doing what the rappers were doing, they were doing it on a next level. Bear in mind that this was way before I had begun discovering people on Rinse FM and De Ja, I believe it was the times where I can remember Wiley being a Jungle DJ and MCing to Drum and Bass. Romeo and MegaMan were like Batman and Superman coming together for the greater good, they had the joint lyric and I can honestly say that when I heard Oh No especially -as well as their joint lyric, I wanted to start MCing. Also you gotta understand that back then there was no internet or free information such as your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Youtube so we didn’t know what MCs we had heard on the radio looked like. I had no idea how big of an organisation So Solid was until I purchased the Touch magazine with a young Craig David in the cover and got to see what my heroes of radio looked like.

As the producer of Oh No, for some reason I thought it was always AC Burrell -could be because of the Touch magazine spread, Megaman [credited as M’n’M on the label] became the guy who, alongside Todd Edwards in the years previous, opened my ears up to something fresh and have me a new perspective on what was actually possible if you step outside the box. It’s almost as if So So Crew came with a new genre, a new sound of this thing called Garage -it was definitely Grime before the terminology came. M’n’M, to me, became the UK version of Timberland, although they did sample Missy Elliott’s Smooth Chick, [unbeknownst to me at the time] because he used all of these abstract sounds. The beat was hard, the drum pattern and bass, top line was mind bogglingly infectious, added with the Romeo & Lisa Maffia’s vocals… Chr**t Almighty! I listened to both sides all the way through trying to work out the formula and flipped it over to listen to the instrumental, over and over. It’s a timeless sentiment, because I still can’t seem to work out the magic behind it, it was Grime before the term that everyone knows today, and for that reason, it’s my ‘throwback thursday’, nostalgic trip down memory lane…

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