Drop the Mike…

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Drum and bass/Grime/Drill/Road Rap/Trap… even if you don’t know the terminology, you’ll recognise the music if you heard it; imagine a complete drum kit being kicked down a long flight of stairs, occasionally bouncing off the head of some youth who shouts “Oi!” and you’ll get the gist. You will also have heard it emanating from the windows of second-hand, souped-up hot hatchbacks as they roll down the high street, shop windows vibrating from the booming subwoofer speakers. “DnB” (everything has to be acronym these days, doesn’t it?) can also be heard on various pirate radio stations, set up by the types who drive those modified Citroën Saxos, which started life as their mum’s shopping car. Located at the top of some flats or in a dingy lock-up garage, groups of mysterious youngsters dressed in JD Sports finest (note, joggers must be worn below the buttocks) broadcast illegally using computers, microphones and video camera for YouTube.  Think DriveBy FM in “Ali G In Da House”. And like the characters in that film, there is a definite style that must be adhered to, if you want to be an underground DJ or MC. Get rid of your real name too; Michael Banks is too lame for your new style, you must now be called MC BankRobba. You must “chat” non-stop, regardless of the music playing. “‘Ere come da vocal, ‘ere come da vocal…” machine-gun style, until you realise the track is an instrumental. “Big shout going out to the man like Peter..” So who exactly is being referred to here? Is it Peter, or is it someone who looks like Peter, or sounds like Peter, we need to know! Disrespect your enemies at every opportunity, such as Mr. Greaves your Geography teacher. “Big dance Saturday night at Mashmills, ten Dollar on the gate.” Again, is Mashmills nightspot doubling as a very competitive foreign exchange outlet, where on arrival Dollar bills will be pinned to the entrance? Or maybe the use of Dollars, instead of Pounds, betrays a past life led in the harsh ghettos of Jamaica, which might also explain why you speak patois in a style that surely cannot have been gleaned from an upbringing in the home counties, whether at that Thames Estuary comp or that expensive boarding school in Berkshire? Peace! I’m outta here, laters…

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