The ‘Renaissance of Grime’ is a well-worn term – but 2015, it’s widely agreed, is a special year. Whether it’s genre linchpins finally having their transatlantic breakthrough, or fresh talent continuing to flourish on home soil, the scene is having an exciting moment. Whilst the past couple of years have seen the rise of the Grime instrumentalists, this year brings a new generation of skilled MCs, and Jammz is undoubtedly one of the top talents at the forefront.
Hailing from Grime’s homeland in East London, the 23-year-old grew up surrounded by pirate radio and vinyl culture, inspiring him to begin writing bars from the tender age of 11. It was only around the end of the 00s that he started to take it seriously, releasing both his ‘What’s The Latest?’ and ‘I Am Grime’ EPs in 2010. Dedicated to perfecting his rhymes, but with no intention of hitting the bigtime, Jammz put in serious hours on highly influential radio stations including Flex, Mode, DejaVu, Radar, Rinse and NTS. Toting the catchphrase “I am radio”, he championed the airwaves as not only a source of inspiration, but as a place to learn how to host, perform and refine his craft – and to collaborate with some of Grime’s most sought-after producers, including Moleskin, Spyro and Spooky, in lengthy ‘Pirate Session’ sets available to stream via Jammz’s Soundcloud.
This year has been a busy one for Jammz, kicking off with the release of ‘Hit Then Run’, a versatile four-track EP progressing from ‘hype’ on the explosive title track to ‘heartfelt’ on the introspective ‘128 Bars’. Soon after, he was invited to perform with other upcoming artists at the MOBO Award’s Unsung Tour, and subsequently dropped the anthemic ‘Final Warning’ produced by Finn & Fallow. Taking time out of his busy schedule, Jammz gave us a rundown of his favourite freestyles and battles in this week’s YouTube Sessions.
1. Esco (Slew Dem Crew)
Perfect example of why Esco was always one of the best MCs in my opinion. Top Mic Controller. This whole set in general was a madness as well.
2. Slickman’s Freestyle on Skepta’s Microphone Champion Set
The first time Slickman touches the mic in this set – he goes ham, guy’s got style & flow in abundance. Really shows here too.
3. Fangol – Logan Sama Rip
This is a classic clip. Remember being in my room listening to it when it was being broadcast. Fangol just comes out of nowhere and collects like 4 reloads. Madness.
4. Clash: Lethal Bizzle vs Wiley
Probably one of the longest war sagas in Grime. And one of the best too. At the time when this was going on the Grime flag was definitely in east, no question about it.
5. Scorcher – Rinse Sessions Showering
When Scorcher was peaking. This was back when I first started to pay attention to north London MC’s. Skywalker was definitely one of the coldest at this point.
6. Wot Do U Call It – 1st Birthday
This is the set you should listen to if you wanna know about the current wave of MCs. Epic moments in this one and some sick spitters in here. Not often you get to see us lot alongside the legends in the game. Radio’s definitely alive.
7. Jammz x Mic Ty w/ Moleskin
Such a sick selection of tunes on this set. Big up Moleskin cos he’s definitely a selector. If you’re looking for the sickest talent in east London right now, this is what you need to listen to.
8. Pirate Sessions 004 – Spooky B2B Tiastsim W/ RowD, Mic Ty, Papers & Jammz
I’ve probably done well over 100 sets in the past year, but this definitely still stands out for me. The spontaneity of how I ended up there at 2 in the morning was a bit mental.
9. Slimzee B2B J-Cush w/PK, Saint & Lyrical Strally on NTS
Slimzee B2B J Cush is a mad combination. Add YGG to that combo and you’ve got a sick set. YGG have a sick energy when they’re on mic, and the selections just brought it out even more on this set.
10. Pirate Sessions 018 – House of Grime Christmas Special
Christmas aside. This is a normal night shift for many of today’s MCs. Tiatsim’s on a Friday evening’s always a shout and probably the best place to hear some new talent.
Get your hands on Jammz’s latest single ‘Final Warning’ here.