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MOG Reviews Rival – Lord Rivz

‘Lord Rivz’ has been out for a short while now, so it’s a good time to give it a look and listen into the current life and sounds of the MC Rival. The release is ten songs in length and from start to finish it is nothing but grime, with no sound at all being compromised. So, how did it fare…?

Well, ‘Lord Rivz’ begins with an intro, which is a pretty standard format of releases, however unlike some, Rival decides to actually rap in his intro – instead of talking. As a fan of music, this is nice to hear as it’s always a bit odd hearing rappers talk for a few minutes, instead of doing what they do best. Instead, Rival jumps straight into it with no punches held as he bombards listeners with punch lines, flows and some interesting concepts. Essentially this sums up Rival, which is probably why it’s used for the intro and as ever, it’s a solid track.

Second up is ‘They said’ which is a reflecting song on the past. Rival looks back at the good old days of raving and the origins of grime, garage and the general MC culture. It’s a good idea and Rival kind of gives his two fingers to ex-haters from way back, who claimed he wouldn’t make it and claimed that he was too violent. Its interesting concepts like this which aren’t around too much on releases, so it’s good to hear and fans will be pleased as the high quality of grimy production continues.

The interesting themes continue with ‘Plan A’ – a song which features a spot for Lioness, and bizarrely…Logan Sama. Like ‘They said’, this is a concept tune and Logan’s role is of narrator – similar to that of JME’s ‘Power’ song with Tim Westwood providing commentary. Anyway, at its core, ‘Plan A’ is based around a honey trap plot to steal a victims money as Rival plays the mastermind and thief, whilst Lioness is the charmer. What makes it work is the link-up style of rapping, where each MC interrupts one and other after a few lines – making it almost conversation like. It’s a cool story and has a nice twist to the plot. As mentioned, ‘Lord Rivz’ is so far packed with fresh ideas and styles – so ‘Plan A’ doesn’t change anything in that respect!

Song four is ‘Heartache’ which is one of the less unique tracks. As the title suggests, this one is based around a broken heart, due to being fooled and cheated on by an ex. Rival carries off the generic subject quite well, but what lifts the song is the production. Here the sample of ‘When you were young’ by the Killers is used and more specifically the line “You sit there in your heartache” is used for the chorus, alongside a kind of auto-tune singing from Rival which actually sounds more than decent. Alongside the grimy drums and bass it’s a real contender for the best instrumental so far – which is saying quite a lot.

‘Just a dream’ is next which features Dot Rotten’s singing on the hook. Immediately this means the song will be catchy, but it is the socially conscious lyricism which will captivate fans, as Rival questions his very existence and reality, whilst also reminiscing on his tough street life. It’s certainly not a hype track and Dot carries over these tense themes into his verse – as he too analyses the life of a grime MC. Like most of ‘Lord Rivz’, the idea here is not to focus on hype – and instead a more intellectual route is taken.

Similar street-level thoughts are developed with ‘Talk that’ which upon reflection is probably the best song on the release, as Rival explains his situation and justifies his hype talk as he describes his grimy surroundings. Perhaps the most insightful lyric of the track and for the general release for that matter is “We need this money to live, eat and see more days. Education ain’t an option, not when we’re shotting that green or yay. Making that money off a fiend all day”. Its lines like this which will ultimately define Rival – and he proves he’s not just a hype MC. As touched upon, it’s a release about thoughts, themes and ideas, so ‘Talk that’ sits nicely within it all.

As the release continues, Rival uses to ‘Rivals rush’ to vent a little – and here we see the more aggressive side to the man. This time he goes in on twitter posters, industry enemies, and claims he’s better than MC’s who are ahead of him. What is probably his best feature here is the flow – which at times goes into beast mode and sounds crazy. As Rival would sum it up himself, the term “Head shot season” would be best to sum this song up – as Rival clearly doesn’t hold back.

The following three songs both have features, which begin with Sharky Major and Young Kye. Here, ‘Three steps’ explains the core rules to being a top MC: flow, delivery and content which ironically all appear on this release throughout. Here Sharky brings probably the most hype verse of the release as you can almost feel the anger through the speakers! Grime fans will love this as it sounds straight out of a clash too! Young Kye brings a rap style, which is much calmer – yet is eerily contradicted by his gangsta lyrics. As for Rival? The term “Head shot season” pops up again, as he explains the art of lyrically murdering a track. The next song, ‘Don’t follow fashion’ features Manga – who also provides a great, rapped chorus by the way. This song is based on being an individual in all walks of life.

The ending song, ‘Save me’ ends on quite a haunting note, as Rivals insights return and this time he is joined by Ghetts. Here Rival claims he’s his own worst victim, which is a brutally honest way of looking at his problems in life. Ghetts provides similar stuff, and his new rap flow is used, as he too reflects on his tough street life. Whatever you say about Ghetts – his mic presence is always felt, as he confesses to thoughts of suicide and death. It’s the grimmest track of the release, and also it’s one of the best. On this note, ‘Lord Rivz’ ends, which can generally be described as an emotional, reflective view on life by Rival and others.

Final Thoughts: If you’re looking for the same Rival that’s on the ‘Rival vs Nytz’ then here he can rarely be found. It isn’t that ‘Rival vs Nytz’ is a poor release by any means, instead this time Rival chooses a different route, opting for a more pensive, reflective approach on past life experiences. Generally Rival sounds more mature, but at times the wild antics return – which is also nice every now and then. It’s good to see Rival has various layers as an MC which is clearly shown here, and combined with consistently good production – from the likes of G.Tank it all sits very well. Overall, ‘Lord Rivz’ is more than solid, and proves that grime can have a number of ideas flowing through it whilst still delivering an element of hype and energy.

Best song: Talk That

Best Line: “We need this money to live, eat and see more days. Education ain’t an option, not when we’re shotting that green or yay. Making that money off a fiend all day”.

Final Score: 9.5/10

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100% Publishing – Wiley (Review)

To give credit where it’s due, without Wiley’s pioneering in the early days we wouldn’t have the scene we all know and love today.  His innovation and experimentation with the sound maintains itself as the foundation of modern-day grime.  However, Eskiboy stills remains a somewhat complex character.  After establishing his trademark sound in the underground (along with a bizarre reputation for not turning up to scheduled appearances), he hit mainstream success with “Wearing My Rolex” and followed that up with the lackluster “See Clear Now” album, a project he openly slated himself.  After that, it became a question of how and when he would bounce back.

Last year’s dispute with his record label resulted in the free download of over 200 tracks in his “Zip Files”.  Amongst others, these contained the advanced stages of what was set to be his full album release on the label, “The Elusive”.  This featured his more recent chart successes “Never Be Your Woman” and “Take That”, along with some of his strongest work in a while culminating in what was my standout track, “What They Want” – an apparent statement of intent where Wiley declares he knows what the fans want to hear – grime!  Backed up with other releases in the months that followed, such as “The Radio Kid”, the Flava D produced “I Got The Vibe” and the release of “Offload Vol.1” earlier this year, it seemed that Eskiboy had finally returned to his winning formula.

With all of this in mind, “100% Publishing” comes as somewhat of a shock to the system.  As the album name suggests, this was meant to be Wiley’s pet project; he recorded, produced and mastered every track and more importantly, had the overriding say as to what made it on to the final tracklist.  This is echoed in a line from the hook of the title track when he says, “…I know some don’t care about the grime scene but I’m gonna ’til I die”.  Coupled with some big bars and signature Eskiboy sounding beat, if this had kicked off the album, you would have been forgiven for thinking that this was going to be his return to the forefront of the scene.

However, instead we are introduced to the new project with the almost amateur lines, “If I want an answer to my question I just type it into google/ the information age could lead me to my chicken noodles”.  For someone of Wiley’s calibre, this is certainly risky business.  Sadly, this isn’t the only occasion that Wiley’s offering is sub-par.  “Boom Boom Da Na” sees him completely flip Julius Fucik’s  oddly titled “Entry Of The Gladiators” (the classic circus music) to great effect.  With his delivery on fine form over an infectious beat, he almost ruins the track with the lazy singing/humming of the melody for the makeshift chorus.

Despite this, there are several highlights that salvage the album.  “Your Intuition” and “Up There” find Wiley at his most honest and open.  “Your Intuition” addresses his battle with his conscience and choices he made in the past that dented his musical progression.  Similarly, “Up There” focuses on his personal motivations and his determination to take him “…right up there with the best”.  “One Hit Wonder” and to some extent “To Be Continued” are the rare opportunities to catch a glimpse of Wiley at his energetic best.  Whilst neither of the beats are exactly the grimiest, both tracks offer a release for his bravado and somewhat aggressive tones.

Over the last few years, more and more people have started to suggest that Wiley is gradually becoming over-rated and not carrying the same relevance he held in his heyday.  Personally, I’m a big fan and I think that when he’s in his element, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone on his level.  However, his latest offering has come as a disappointment to me.  “100% Publishing” is a very experimental and eclectic release.  Whilst music fans will no doubt appreciate the sonic variety of the piece, the die-hard grime contingent and Wiley fan base won’t be embracing it with open arms.  With a reputation as big as his, alongside the quality of recent work, you would have expected something completely different or at least to carry a more grime led atmosphere from given his appointed status as ‘Godfather’ of the scene.

Despite my reservations, any new Wiley material should to be added to the collection so hit up and decide for yourself.


Audio Wave – Scorcher

If crashing GrimeDaily’s server within minutes of being available to download doesn’t show how anticipated Scorcher’s latest project is, I don’t know what does! At 11 tracks deep, “Audio Wave” finds ‘Mr Skywalker’ in his element.  Kicking off with 96 massive bars of revenge over JME’s classic instrumental, Scorcher maintains momentum throughout and with tracks such as “We Ain’t The Same”, the head-bobbing “We Up” and the heavy “My Aura”, the movement stalwart shows his fans what they’ve been missing since Concrete Jungle/ Jungle Book.

This is grime and Scorcher in their finest form.  Whilst free downloads often tend to carry the odd ‘throw away’, every single one of the tracks on the mixtape carry the same quality and lyrical prowess you would expect from one of the most valuable assests of todays’s scene.


1. 96 Bars Of Revenge

2. We Ain’t The Same – ft Loick Essien

3. Hench – ft Mercston

4. That’s Right – ft Sincere

5. Right Now – ft Slic Vic

6. We Up

7. My Last

8. My Aura

9. League Of Our Own – ft Sadie Ama & Mercston

10. Way Too Far – ft Slic Vic

11. Terms Of Agreement – ft Wiley

Make sure you hit the link below, asap.  You won’t regret it!


Blacks & P – Review

Energy, attitude, aggression; all of these are synonymous with OGz members P. Money and Blacks.  The instant impact from the first track off of their much anticipated project, “Blacks & P”, only cements this image further.  Trading bars back and forth on the title track, the two MCs hit the beat running with their potent delivery and immediately set the standard for the rest of the mixtape.

Having enlisted the likes of Frisco, Kozzie, Big Narstie, Krept & Konan alongside beats from Teddy Music, S-X, Sukh Knight and Davinche to name but a few, Blacks & P don’t do things in half-measures.  With such a stellar cast on board, some people may have questioned whether they could deliver?  All I can say is that they’re far more reliable than Royal Mail.  Dedicated fans will definitely be content with the outcome and with such a variety of sounds on display, they’re bound to gain new admirers.

 The Royal-T produced “Boo You” is a throwback to the garage scene. Featuring Slickman, P and Blacks easily embrace the old school vibe of the track and genuinely prove the diversity of both the MCs and the project in its own right.

Whilst “Going To War” carries a dubstep-esque feel with a ridiculously catchy hook, “End Of Me” is an outright anthem; with P, Blacks and guest Frisco all dropping heavy bars.  No essential grime release would be complete without a track from Davinche and as the mixtape winds on, we’re rewarded with “O’s & G’s”.  Re-uniting with fellow OG Little Dee, the trio take turns to absolutely smash Davinche’s banger and to reiterate this collective’s lyrical ability and impact on today’s scene.

“Madness” featuring Lauren Mason & Jammer is an energy packed affair, with the dubstep/ dance elements taking the mixtape in yet another new direction.  Listening to it, you could imagine people going nuts to it in the clubs and a genuine candidate for commercial success.

The penultimate track, “POW (Sounds and Gimmicks)” is a clever reworking of Lethal B/ Teddy Music’s recent smash. Following on from P’s original version on “Money Is Power”, the duo mimic grime scene stalwarts to great effect.  Their take on Dizzee, Asher D and D Double E are spot on and the way in which the two imitate each other on the final bars only adds to strengthen the connection that P & Blacks develop as the project progresses.

“Blue”, the finale to the piece, is P. Money at his reflective best.  An ode to his late OGz cohort N.E., he discusses how much he  influenced his career and how he still struggles with the loss of a close friend. In comparison to the rest of the mixtape, to me this is the stand out track.  This is not down to the more relaxed atmosphere musically but it is where P’s lyrics seem the most honest and heartfelt.  A perfect conclusion to a real piece of art.

Whilst new P. Money material is always appreciated, admittedly I’ve never really been a big fan of Blacks. However after listening to this, I think I’m converted. Blacks’ gruff and brash delivery perfectly complements P. Money’s skippy flows. Couple that with a strong selection of beats from the scene’s production elite and “Blacks & P” becomes a cracking release and an important addition to your collection. Ultimately, at £4.49, what are you waiting for?!

Download right now from iTunes


Did NRG Have The Energy??? [Rave Review]

As of late, the current raving generation have been getting somewhat annoyed and irritated with the underage, 16-18 market flooding the rave scene, and this tends to impact on this new generation when they are finally old enough to enter “real” raves, and are often looked down upon. Seeing the gap in the market, the late UTR (Under the Radar) and NRG (New Raving Generation) set up a new line of clubs, designed to attract a slightly younger audience  of 16-18 years of age, to detract them from the hustle and bustle of the main raving scene, and somewhat build them up slowly to the level.


Such an event took place on the 31st of May at Stourbridge Academy (Located near Birmingham). Hosted by Stefanie Ashley, NRG had a recent shake up, requiring everyone attending to provide some sort of identification on the front door; this was met with great relief as younger ravers could no longer enter the club, allowing people to relax. And needless to say, people were shocked, as many were turned away at the door; personally I think it’s a good thing that youngsters such as 14 and 15 are not allowed into the club, as this causes confusion and hesitation among ravers to approach anyone in general.


After experiencing a few of this events first hand, I had something to compare it to, and in all honesty, the night was good and thoroughly enjoyed myself, at a fraction of the price of larger raves, with little compromise on venue size of star names, I think NRG certainly on that aspect have it cracked.


What first hit me on entering the rave was the good quality sound of the speaker systems, very little or no stammer or interruption was evident. I was not able to get a listen to every type of music genre, but from dubstep, to funky, to house, to grime; the speakers seemed to cope with it fairly well, actually allowing you to enjoy the music.


Now the DJ who went by the name of “DJ Craig”, yes, very creative I know, was actually pretty good, dropping out some good mainstream tracks such as Nero-Guilt and DJ Fresh- Gold Dust, now for a Grime fan like myself, obviously doesn’t fill the tank very much, but taking into account the sort of thing young people have experienced prior have been school discos, the difference is, for the most part, easy to recognise.


There weren’t masses of people sitting around the edges of the club or people standing around, they actually went for it and that’s what I personally like to see about a club. Now, if I’m being brutally honest, at times when songs such as “Rihanna – Only girl in the world” were being played, it brought a cringe to my face, as I’m not really sure how someone is supposed to rave to a song like that, people go to these things to be treated as an adult, and with child disco songs such as that, I feel somewhat defeats the object.


As for the lighting of the main room, I am pleased to say I was impressed, there were two large rectangular heat-lights above the DJ, which when activated, were shortly followed by smoke machines in abundance and other rotating mini-spot lights, strobes and bubble machines. Describing it makes it sound puny and inadequate but anymore would have resulted in people either being blinded, or distracted from the one thing that raving is all about, having a good time.


The upstairs room I’m afraid to say however, was where the real disappointment was, considering it was meant to be a DnB room, to walk in to stammery, baseless Dubstep/DnB/Grime really did little for me, the DJ, who failed to introduce himself, lowered the volume and changed track far too quickly for my liking and was a real let down. As mentioned, the speaker system was very poor; the lighting was poor with little going on, with these two combining factors, as the night went on the room bordered on being empty or close to empty and as soon as it gained some life, it was almost all of the time took out by the DJs.


The only real positive I am able to draw from the room is that when a request was made by ravers, 9/10 it was listened to, this was especially helpful to me, as I was able to get me fix of grime for the night and go a bit crazy. But for a place where underground music listeners are supposed to thrive and enjoy, this was far from the truth.


As Josh Roberts, the main headline act was unable to attend due to a fault with his car, another DJ replaced him at the start of the rave for a while, again failed to announce his name and in credit to him, he was alright, most of the music chosen was fairly good and was able to get the crowd going for the most.   Now to conclude, for a 16-18 event, it was a good, bordering on very good attempt to get it right, I feel that there is certainly a market to exploit there, but whether anyone has been able to do it consistently, week in, week out I am unsure.


With these some events, I walk away from some thinking that I’d had a really good night out, others thinking it was average and others thinking “was it really worth me going out?”, now in regards to this particular rave, It was one of the better ones in my opinion, the music choice was far better than some of the others, and in credit to “DJ Craig” the last 30 minutes of the rave were actually pretty impressive, to the point of getting the crowd energetic to the point of having to be dispersed and broken up for moshing, so on that front, it was a success.


On others however, such as sometimes the kid-disco feel sometimes, it is something that really has to be addressed, and needs to be sorted out if this loophole in the market is truly going to be manipulated, people have to get to the event, and pay to get home, and they are not going to pay for a disco. Sort It Out Nrg! Another thing i feel that could be addressed is the incorporation of rave MC’s, or other acts to make people want to come, I understand it costs to pay for the acts, but i strongly feel that the money coming in from people to see them will outweigh that of the artist. UTR did this very successfully with the incorporation of artist such as P Money, Lethal Bizzle, D Double E, Tinie Tempa and many more, I feel NRG are inclined to follow suit.


Reviewed By @Matt_MOG