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Thread: Grime Top Tens

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Grime Top Tens

    In the hope of kicking off an Ego Trip type set list of grime lists...

    Here's my top ten Grime MCs of all time (well, erm since 2002 at least):

    1. Dizzee Rascal - at his best, his sense of rhythm and rhyme is just poetry (see 'Stop Dat' & 'Vexed')
    2. Wiley - I love that stream of consicousness thing he does (see 'Crash Bandicoot' & '16 Bar Rally') and he is the best war MC (see 'Pump Up, Tone Up'). One thing alot of people don't pick up on about him though is his sense of humour, he can be funny (see 'Goin' Mad' & 'Pies').
    3. Trim - I was beginning to doubt all the hype about Trim; there wasn't actually a lot of recorded evidence for the high esteem so many people seemed to hold him in. Then the two Soul Food volumes came out and a think they've sealed his place in the pantheon.
    4. Tinchy Stryder - Under appreciated in my opinion. It's the flow and the voice, and I love that finger pointing thing he does when he MCs.
    5. Skepta - I love MCs with the hypnotic type flows, it's all about the rhythm and sound of the MCing. To me that's what grime MCing is about and which I think some people don't get: it's not about flows in the traditional New York hip hop sense, a good grime MC can make you move to the flow and structure of the rhythm of his voice. Skepta's got that - 'with every compliment my head inflates...', you have to hear it to get it, the words themselves mean nothing. See Frisco's 'Fully Grown' for an example of his knack with hooks.
    6. JME - His voice might not be the strongest but he gets by on his personality, wit and variation of themes. His LPs in 2006 made you think you knew him. The opening bars on 'Don't Chat' can still send a shiver through me.
    7. D Double E - I think D Double can be lazy and sound a bit rubbish some times but when he does it right, when he does that weird speaking in tongues type thing, he is up there with the best and like Skepta he can create a great hook (see Dizzee's 'Give U More' and his own 'Anger Management').
    8. Remedy (of Essentials) - I miss Essentials and Remedy was the best MC in the group. His voice was distinctive, it had that strained quality, like he was really going for it.
    9. Footsie - Like D Double he is a bit inconsistent and his lyrics are limited but his flow can exemplfy the hypnotic quality that grime MCs have. 'Showerman', 'Bare Right Hooks' just wormed there way into my head for months and his clash with Scratchy in 'Lord of The Mics' is a classic.
    10. Durty Goodz - Technically, the best MC in grime, better than Kano even, his flow is amazing but I don't always find him that engaging as a personality. When he is on it though, he is fire. He has the potential to move up in my estimation.

    I know lists are a bit of an anal pre-occupation but I see it as a way of stimulating a bit of analytical appreciation of grime musicand it's legacy so far. I still think it's been the best, most exciting music of the decade so far. So much great music that I'm still digesting.

  2. #2


    There are so many MC's so it's really a chore picking the faves but there are some that are just in another league (as they never tire of reminding us).
    I agree on what you said about D Double E nice boy, he particularly shined in the Tubby dubstep session i heard a while ago. I miss Munk from the Generals line-up, he brought balance to the trio even if he wasn't the best lyricist...
    I can appreciate what Dizzee is trying to do, being 'bigger than grime' and all, but my opinion of him is irreparably damaged. Mind you that sidewinder Slimzee set is still unbeatable...
    Wiley i'm starting to tire of but there's no denying he's always been at the top with flow and lyrics; 'Newham Generals War Dub' still sends shivers down my spine!
    Always liked Tempa T, his style is quite unique but i don't know where the hell he's gone.
    Nothing needs to be said about Goodz cos he's just fantastic, from Durrty Whirl to Axiom.
    After getting hold of all of JME's Boy Better Know mixtapes nothing hits you quite like the first time you hear the debut but he occasionally surprises you and he consistently tries to be different - Skepta is bless. Meridian as a group are good, i have an impressive Sidewinder set by them.

    Memory blank means i can't think of many more but the youngerz that have got my attention..Chipmunk being the top of the pile, Icekid, Devlin is always good value, i've yet to hear Young Dot...Cookie and the 'motivation music' volumes i have enjoyed thus far also.
    i personally am dying to hear more from Lykez if only just because 'i don't give a fuck' was so shower...

    Oh and the jury's out for me on the Movement in general, their solo efforts seem to lack the punch of the fuck radio stuff or whatever. That's a whopping great generalization mind, 'tales from the crypt' i enjoyed if only to hear some socially conscious lyrics by Devs that i didn't expect.
    You're right this does all feel very anal but what the hell! let's not forget the DJ's either...
    and i would like to see a worst grime MC's thread, i have a few bones to pick...what the fuck is Jammer playing at?
    you just know there are gonna be people gritting their teeth at this indulgent enthusiasts thread
    when the going gets weird the weird turn pro

  3. #3


    1. GOODZ overall best flows, content, concept's he does more in 10 tracks than most do in there career's
    2. DIZZEE used to write the best songs with amazing punch lines an reload bars
    3. WILEY wicked bounce ,but has no content wicked at clashing ,but got merked by Goodz badly!
    4. GHETTO Technical genius has that Titch energy with Kano's word play ,but NO HOOKS IMO.
    5. BASHY This guy's concepts are way too much he should write for Wiley
    6. DEVLIN Lyrically better then Ghetto ,but needs to work on the flow this guy's the Eminem of Grime IMO
    7. WRETCH 32 Very honest artist lyrically in a league of his own just needs to spit on grime more.
    9. TRIM original style wicked word play ,but getting boring now heard one Trim song heard them all.
    10. P-MONEY This kids flow is nutz he reminds me of a younger Goodz.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    brooklyn, ny


    Quote Originally Posted by retrofreak View Post
    7. WRETCH 32 Very honest artist lyrically in a league of his own just needs to spit on grime
    wretch is overrated... as is Skepta as an MC... neither has any charisma, like at all...

    Riko must be mentioned somewhere... Flo Dan, too... well, at least one ragga style mc!

    here's a thought?

    remember when Doctor was gonna be the future of grime? what happened to that guy?

  5. #5


    god yeah doctor!

    i only remember "gotta man" which was an alright tune

    im really glad hes not around anymore though, he just sounded so cheesy, i think i'd top myself if he were the future of grime

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    I hate Wretch 32. I remember seeing the Movement at Dirty Canvas, and every time the mic got passed to him he'd just kill the momentum that Scorcher and Ghetto (and Lightning!) had built up.

    My personal ten:

    01 Wiley: If you could only listen to one MC for the rest of your life, I reckon you'd be nuts not to pick him. The most compelling character in grime, and has been in the top two or three since the start. Whenever you think he's going to fall off he just retaliates with something different, and is never predictable.
    02 Skepta: Raised the bar for everyone (Wiley included) a few years ago, and never does anything wrong. Boy Better Know have proper set the benchmark for live grime too.
    03 Dizzee: 2002-2003 Dizzee is the best grime MC ever, but that's so long ago now.
    04 Kano: Another retrospective one. I don't care about him anymore, but he's too much on the old NASTY Crew sets. Skilful, suave, intimidating, everything.
    05 Tinchy: Proper sleeper pick. I never think of him as one of my favourites, but he's been brilliant for ages now.
    06 Goodz: Axiom is a new highpoint for the genre in terms of combining content and intensity. I probably like guys like Dirty/Fuda/JME/Trim more, and I never liked Goodz that much on radio, but none of them have made a statement anything like Axiom. He deserves the spot on that alone.
    07 Dirty Danger: He's just sick. And he has possibly the best voice out of any MC.
    08 Ghetto: I liked him most tag-teaming with Kano, but he's one of these guys now, like Goodz, where you just stand back and admire.
    09 Scratchy: Like Tinchy, I don't think about him much, but he's just been consistant for years.
    10: Riko, but it easily could've been JME, Kidman, Fuda, Trim or Flowdan.
    Last edited by tom pr; 19-08-2007 at 02:38 AM.
    in the eyes of the lord i drive a spaceship.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Kano is still top 3 for me.

    Wiley is bottom of the 10.

    Flow Dan top 5 too.

    Trim number 1.

    But I haven.t seen many live...
    Out now: Move Down Low VIP on SOUL JAZZ Records SJR225-12
    Out now: Blackdown & Dusk Meet Grievous Angel Uptown: Margins Music Redux (Keysound LDN014)
    Out now: Soundclash1 Remix / Harpy (Keysound LDN011)
    Out now: Ice Rink Refix (Devotional Dubz ERZULIE03)
    Out soon: WOOFAH 4! |

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    I think I should've found a place for Lethal B some where on my original list. He brought a lot of energy to grime even if his lyrics could be embarrassing some times.

    Riko & Flow Dan? Well, I think Riko has his moments, but I find all those Yard-isms a bit grating (though I do love the Ragga Twins - that was all fine for that era of British culture). One of the things I love and think is fresh about grime was that both the flow and accent was English (as opposed to most UK hip hop where even if the accent was English, then the flow and phrasing was American). When Riko and Flow Dan do Yard accents it just sounds silly to me. Scratchy doing an Irish accent (Shae-zus...), is funny though.

  9. #9


    oh yeah forgot about the rest of the ruff sqwad entourage!
    would like to hear riko over some new stuff, i'm a sucker for ragga
    'gotta man' is pretty cringeworthy listening to it now..haha
    when the going gets weird the weird turn pro

  10. #10
    simon silverdollar Guest


    me too on the 'i can't stand wretch 32' tip. he's so suffocatingly dull. sure, he can ride a beat quite nicely but there's no character or charisma to his voice. i can't see how he could rank in a top 10 along side people like riko, trim and ghetto.

    shifty rydoz as most underrated grime MC? he's so self-effacing that i always find him completely charming.

    may be we should have a 'bottom 10 worst MCs' thread, where we can reminisce about the the days of listening to one and half hours of napper going 'ONE AND ONLY NAPPER, BIG BLACK TOWER, NAPPER, ONE AND ONLY NAPPER, I'LLLLLL BREAK YOUR JAW...' over and over again on Deja. Or Ozzie B's spectacularly incompetent Mcing in the latter stages of his career.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Wiley is top boy for me and always will, something about how his confidence plays off against the vulnerability and sense of been on a one-man mission...his flows are just off the chart, who has his bars? to name just one..."eskidance keeper/get the weed cheaper/quantum leaper/the tottenham high streeter"...sick!

    Also I don't think you can seperate his bars and productions, ying and yang init

    Obviously Skepta, Dizzee and Double are there...Double when he is flowing is pure voodoo magik/weird energy business. His operating at a different register to some of the other guys I think...a true artist.

    Ruff Sqwad need a mention of course, like a lot of people have said in the past they operate best as a team, but personally I think Slix has the edge as a character in his bars. Stryder is growing on me...I couldn't see what the fuss was about for a while, but now I can...I love his one-line flows...the "on a level/come like rebel" skit is one of my faves.

    One person who needs a mention is Kano from the early days...a good example on record is his bars on destruction VIP...he just sounds so coldly threatening, but in a totally controlled, focused manner. No one else had that.

    Doogz, Flowdan, perhaps Roachee...those are the top ones for me. The rest are way behind.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by simon silverdollar View Post
    may be we should have a 'bottom 10 worst MCs' thread, where we can reminisce about the the days of listening to one and half hours of napper going 'ONE AND ONLY NAPPER, BIG BLACK TOWER, NAPPER, ONE AND ONLY NAPPER, I'LLLLLL BREAK YOUR JAW...' over and over again on Deja. Or Ozzie B's spectacularly incompetent Mcing in the latter stages of his career.
    I remember the first time I heard Discarda on radio I thought he was the worst thing ever; I really couldn't believe how bad he was. I don't remember who else was on the set but they were just building these waves of intensity, that he'd then ruin by shouting LOOSE LOOSE CANNON! over the top. He's grown on me slightly since mistersloane posted that clip of him over Havana though.

    I always thought Beezy was rubbish, but according to Blackdown his mixtape was good. Dan from Meridian is bad, but there's also something brilliant about his name simply being Dan and half his bars ending in it. I couldn't envision Private Caller without him on it. Napper gets by on account of his ridiculous video performances; holding up the skull prop on Pow and cussing the wasteman on 'Ave Some of That. Most bad grime MCs have at least some facet to their personality that gives them appeal, except for the man who has nothing: Armour. He's a black hole unto himself.

    I really do reckon Wretch is down there, you know...
    Last edited by tom pr; 20-08-2007 at 02:25 AM.
    in the eyes of the lord i drive a spaceship.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    how has sharkie major not got one single mention yet? you know if you were listening to griume early on you loved shark major.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004



    4.terra danger

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by tom pr View Post
    there's also something brilliant about his name simply being Dan and half his bars ending in it.
    agreed. lol.

    it's funny, as much as i'm a sucker for (a) lists, and (b) grime (do you see what i did there?), i don't feel to come up with a top ten.

    liking tempz a lot right now though.

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