Interesting to see how Cameo’s now totally segregating his show into grime and what he calls "r’n’g’ aka "rhythm and grime" sections. Perhaps it was inevitable: if grime’s the UK’s hip hop, then this is our r’n’b.
Suddenly MCs – the artists, the focus, the creators of the grime movement – are sidelined to 16 bar guest spots, just like in US r&b. Gone is the remarkable dissonance and groundbreaking gnarly sounds developed in grime, gone is the MC's lyrical urban warning, in come warm sounds underpinned by a soft flutter of bass.
It makes me wonder: what's the point?
One point that could justifiably argued is that it’s an anti-beef tactic. Terror, one of the pioneers of the r’n’g flavour, talked to me about this exactly a year ago. When mandem in raves are focused on the gyals, they’re not up for shanking. By making gyalgrime they can fill the clubs without clashing or beef.
On that level it’s hard to argue against: I’ve felt for a while violence at the wrong (ie non-road) club could kill the scene dead. It would be Romeo’s Birthday Bash (at Astoria, circa 2001) all over again, with media idiots saying "garage causes violence" and racist tabloid headlines about "yardies."
But musically it reminds me of that 2000-2001 2step era, but without the swing or the energy and with extra Kanye-vox samples. With a few exceptions, (Kele Le Roc "Frontline" or Terror’s "Life") it kinda leaves me cold.
But I’ve never been one for gyal tunes. Lots of other people are though, so once there’s girly vocals there’ll be fake A&Rs rushing in, money being flashed, stale commercial releases being flogged as "endz anthems" – 90%s of which will flop – and the underground talent will get rinsed or ignored. Please let me be wrong.
So can there be a positive direction for the future of grime without losing the exciting danger-energy, descending into gun battles or dripping into wet US r&b parody? Maybe the hint in is the new JME dub that follows Cameo’s r&g set.
"I watch the news all the time ... I get cold shivers when I see the headlines ... because the lives being lost are similar to mine ... gun crime is on the rise…the only thing more on the rise is of gun lyrics from MC guys ... don’t. chat. crap. please! ... if you can’t make sense, don’t MC! ... there’s too much negativity in our scene."
If J. "BEAT YOU UP" M.E can chat sense, maybe others will follow.
The tracklisting from the first half of the show...
Cameo Pirate Sessions 24/04/05
Ghetto Cayote ft KT Pearl - Cameo Dub (White)
P Jam ft Guyver & Steelo - Freek In Me (Dub)
J Sweet ft L Man & Aaron Soul - Oh No! (Swingbeat)
Soundboy - Never Wanna Say (White)
Juvenile ft Gemma Fox - Boxes (White)
Bashy ft KT Pearl - Prying (Dub)
Dexplicit ft Nana, Babyblue & Fumin - One Night Stand ( White)
Magnum Force ft Minaz & Triple Threat - What Good Is Love (Dub)
DJ Target - Movin Remix (Dub)
Bashy Girls ft Doctor - Are U Ready (Sticky remix)(Dub)
Vandal - Just Me & You (White)
Delinquent ft Shad - Ghetto Queen (Juvenile Remix)(White)
Jammer - Semtex (Dub)
PJam ft Guyver, Nasty, Flirta D & Frisco - Compass (Dub)
N Double A - Monster Riddim (Dub)
Roll Deep - The Avenue Remix (Dub)
JME - Don't Chat (Dub)
Jigga Lo - Hands In The Air (Dub)
Kano - My Chick II (Dub)
DPM ft Doctor - Wicked & Bad (Dub)
LMan - L. Man (Dub)
D Producer ft Rugrat & Dizman - Endz Part II (Dub)
Nolay & NJ Fever - Off/On (Dub)
Skepta - Dancefloor (Masterbeats)