Monday, 15 February 2016

Scotland's First Ever Grime Clash

Musings (by Scuba)

A few days ago, I was invited down to what might be Scotland's first ever Grime clash, between two MC's from Fife by the names of Jester and Wreckz.

The event took place at The Tryst in Methil, a fairly small cafe with a capacity of only 50. This being the first of its kind in Scotland, it was very cool (and quite humbling) to see that it was staged so close to where I live.

One of the most surprising aspects of the night was the crowd the MC's were able to attract; the Levenmouth area in Fife is hardly known for Hip Hop events, let alone a thriving Urban music fanbase. Considering the event was held on a Thursday, and had no bar, the crowd were laidback and respectful of the MC's.

As for the clash itself: it was hosted by Rb of Kre8 Ink and judged by myself, Biig Chris (also an avid supporter of hip hop culture) and Bare Jokez. As the MC's prepare to take the plunge, we were excited and unsure of what madness to expect.

Jester started, and as favourite he was understandably cocky. Brandishing an aggressive flow, all the while shouting and jumping around, he looked set to tear Wreckz apart (even if he was checking his phone every few bars to keep himself up to date). Wreckz seemed somewhat nervous and quiet performance by contrast but started to lighten up towards the end of the first round, and received a decent applause.

After a few moments for them to catch their breath, we were hit with Round 2. This round was characterised by more phone use from MC's, suggesting they were unsure of their bars despite all the necessary prep time.Like Round 1, a real issue was mic control: both MC's assumed the traditional stance of folding their hands around the mic shields, therefore adding a harsh bassy noise that made them hard to understand at points. Both performed well, though, showing stage presence and initiating crowd reaction.

The phones made a return in Round 3. In fact, virtually the entire round was composed of the MC's simply reading in a monotone voice, which felt awkward and took away from the performances. 

I ultimately voted for Jester; Chris voted for Wreckz. Jokez suggested there be another round without the phones and that we let the crowd decide, which I was happy to do given the crowd's interactivity. 

This is where the clash shifted. Joker checked his phone once more, recycling a few bars and losing monetum, and Wreckz pounced. He eventually took the win through sheer guts.

The battle was good but much can be said as far as performance and practice goes This was their first time, though, and I'm sure we'll see more from them in the future.After the event there was a performance from most of the Kre8 inc members, as well as a few others added to the cypher set.

All in all, this was a great night that demonstrated that Grime can be marketable in such a small area. We should definitely look forward to more of these kind of events in the future.

Massive shouts to everyone that turned up. We shall see you all soon.