Son Raw’s November Vocal Grime Round-Up

Featuring Lady Chann, Riko Dan, Big Zuu, Mic Ty, Knewham, and more...
By    November 11, 2015


Catch Son Raw on East Village Radio 10-12PM this Friday (and every second Friday) for #BirdsInTheSky, NYC’s premiere grime showcase.

This is possibly the last vocal wrap up for the year cause December’s always a madness in terms of year end writing, so let’s go out with a bang.

Lady Chann

I saw Lady Chann perform with Sir Spyro in Hackney last summer, and two brawls broke out during her set. I’m not saying her bars caused the disruption, but her high energy ragga chat certainly isn’t the kind of music I’d put on to defuse tensions – we’re talking Mash Out Posse level rowdiness. Her take on Top Dolla and Waifer’s Slew Dem and Dun was a personal favorite this summer, and she complemented the sunny, roots-sampling riddim with a whole lot of dancehall energy. “Not Me”, her latest, amps things up to even more energetic heights with a no holds bar grime riddim and a guest spot from Rage, another Slew Dem vet. Fuck being a “female MC”, whatever that means, Chann seems content to outspit EVERYBODY, and it’s a winning strategy.

Riko Dan

Riko Dan’s on a winning spree. When the Roll Deep veteran isn’t hosting Verbal Volley, his own Football talk show on NTS, he’s busy tackling a new generation’s flips on the classic grime sound, to outstanding results. I’ve already hyped up Ziro’s Lionheart EP enough in our last instrumental feature, but standout Riko collab Dun Talk just got a video and it’s a great opportunity to 1) bring that one back cause it’s a banger 2) contemplate how meeting Riko in a dark alley would be a very worrying scenario.

Speaking of bringing things back, “Play Your Corner” featuring Riko was THE tune from Signal, Wen’s 2014 Keysound debut, and the label is finally releasing a couple of remixes that have been bubbling around radio in the year and a half since the album dropped. Grime dons Kahn & Neek take the A-side, and their take on the track is surprisingly restrained, paring their usual string-n-squarewave dread with jazz-inspired vibes, creating a sweet and sour contrast. Walton on the other hand, goes full industrial with his remix, complete with a stomping 4×4 section and eery, pitch shifted vocals.

Verbal Volley w/ Riko Dan, Discarda & Blay – 2nd August 2015 by Nts Radio on Mixcloud

Big Zuu/Mic Ty/Knewham

I’m writing about Big Zuu and Mic Ty every other month in this column, but they’re leading a generation of emcees equally comfortable on radio and in songwriting mode, so why not? As long as the music keeps coming, I’ll keep writing. Zuu’s been particularly on fire recently, delivering one of the best Fact Freestyles yet, and dropping Trying, a dark creeper of a tune that’s less about hyping up mic than delivering dead eyed analysis of the world he lives in today. Mic Ty went the opposite way this month, voicing a Todd Edwards riddim on Flavas, but it’s Iglew’s canny devil mix of Knewham that really caught me ear recently, refixing some of the kid’s hardest bars into a track that somehow bangs, sans percussion. Next level stuff from two young talents who’ll hopefully step into the studio properly off the back of this one.


Finally, here’s a couple of radio shows I’ve been feeling. No description needed: it’s emcees pon’ mic.

Jack Dat b2b Sh?m w/ AJ Tracey, Big Zuu, YGG, Ghostly, Cally, RD, Mr X – 4th November 2015 by Radar Radio Ldn on Mixcloud

The Handsome Boys w/ Moleskin & Boardgame James (+ MCs) – 28th October 2015 by Radar Radio Ldn on Mixcloud

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