Lord of the Mics 3 3/5 Chances are that you’re not one of the 1.3 million YouTube viewers of a youthful Wiley and Kano illuminating a dingy basement with a blinding rhyme battle. In which case, Google beckons. This CD series, which accompanies a series of DVDs of live MC battles, has always been revered as a state-of-grime milestone, and in the five years since the last instalment, grime and pop have intermingled their fortunes to the point where questions have been raised about the health of the underground side of the genre.
So what’s this going to tell us? Erm, not a lot, frankly. The cast list of emerging MCs somehow omits the scene’s major talents. No Maxsta. No Scru Fizzer. No Griminal. But given that the CD is also bulked out by a number of previously released tracks – JME’s ‘It’s Not a Long Ting’; Jammin’s ‘OMG’ – it’s nonetheless a decent grime compilation. Curiously, it’s not the MCs that are the real stars here, but the crème de la crème roster of stellar grime beatmakers, including atmospheric, slow-jam master SX, the Sonic 2-ish synth jams of Swindle and the symphonicto- 16-bit workouts of Preditah.