Words: Rory Jones
In the last year or two, Scotland’s burgeoning grime scene seems to have got its act together and gone from strength to strength; its stars gaining recognition from their high-profile London peers, while attracting coveted bookings for major shows like Eskimo Dance. Much of this success has been propelled by Scotland’s answer to Risky Roadz or SBTV: Wavvy Music.
Run entirely by Glasgow videographer Konz, the Wavvy Music YouTube channel is a showcase for largely Scottish grime and hip-hop talent, offering an immense volume of run-and-gun freestyles, music videos and set coverage. The likes of Shogun, SWVN and Ransom FA were given early exposure by Wavvy and all appear on it regularly. Having recently expanded the channel into a full-blown website, Konz hosted a party at the appropriately anarchic Flat 0/1 to celebrate. Because, while the content put out by Wavvy et al is a crucial component of new generation grime, there’s nothing like seeing it in the flesh.
Focusing on individual lyrcists as apposed to the likes of Ransom Crew, MFTM, LVLZ and the other crews active in Scottish grime, the lineup for tonight boasts a range of MCs and DJs from various corners of the scene. The acidic flows of Chrissy Grimez meet SWVN’s more hip-hop tinged lyricism, topped-off by a set of homespun anthems from Aberdeen’s Ransom FA, with selectors DJ Nojan, Rapture 4D, Faroh, Cleaverhype and Kyle Brown on the ones and twos.
A last minute cancellation from Wolverhampton spitter, Zeo Zeonardo, places the pressure firmly on the three Scottish MCs. As the venue starts to fill, SWVN warms things up with a slightly more gritty set than we’ve become accustomed to through his tracks; his bars accompanied by darker, more glacial beats. He’s soon followed by Chrissy Grimez, who brings up the tempo with his signature frenetic style, delivering a solid, dynamic set that rallies the crowd into action mode.
The highlight of the night occurs mid-way through Ransom FA’s set. After smashing out a selection of his best known tracks alongside fellow Aberdonian Gidd Gamz, there’s a pause before the sun-drenched melody of his Polonis-produced banger ‘Wake Up’ - a collaboration with Shogun and arguably the most successful Scottish grime tune to date - slowly chimes in. It’s an undeniable floor-filler, and the crowd is already animated when Shogun emerges from behind the decks for his verse, addressing the room with jagged, accelerated bars, bringing a vigour and powerful sense of urgency to proceedings that reminds us why this Paisley teen is being heralded as the nation’s “great rap hope.”
Immediately following ‘Wake Up’, Shogun instigates a cypher, inviting “anyone that spits” to step up, prompting a gaggle of bodies in the cramped booth passing the mic and belting out their best bars. It’s a scene reminiscent of early pre-revival grime sessions in youth clubs, and a fitting conclusion to the night that demonstrates the real spirit of the genre; fervent, communal and competitive, with a touch of chaos.
Check out the Wavvy Music website for new music exclusives, including Scottish grime, hip hop and rap, and head over to the Wavvy Music YouTube channel for freestyle performances from some of Scotland’s hottest new talent.