Those of you lucky enough to have met me will be aware of the fact that I’m not what you might traditionally call ‘street’. As such, since creating this blog, I have so far shied away from some of the musical and cultural elements that aren’t much parts of my life, but nevertheless are for so many other young Kilburn residents. Well, no longer!
I recently came across a local MC by the name of Crime. This alone will be enough to reinforce the beliefs of the many rap sceptics who say that the genre breeds and glorifies violence. Indeed, the lyrics of Crime and his fellow Kilburn Bandits crew members are littered with references to gun and gang crime. But the Bandits, who also operate under the name GTS Mob (Grind Till I Shine), also rap about the virtues of hard work, in order to leave behind the ‘ghetto life’. Their more critical peers, by the way, are the first to point out that Kilburn is not exactly a ghetto.
Crime himself decided not to follow his cousins into the burgeoning UK grime scene, popularised by artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Wiley but, in his own words, “I jumped straight into the UK Hip-Hop scene and went hard!” Picked up by Ruthless Recordz, he has started to make a name for himself, particularly in London and the Midlands.
Asked what his music is all about, Crime says, “Real Life Music! I’m reaching out to everyone: girls, ladies, mums, grandmas, baby mums, gangsters, hustlers, full time workers, tax payers, everyone trying to grind until they shine.”
I’ll let you be the judge of that. The video below is for the single ‘In Da Hood’, which in this case refers to Kilburn. If you like what you hear, or want to see more of Crime and GTS Mob, there are plenty more tunes and videos on their Myspace page and on Youtube, most of which show large groups of hooded youths loitering in stairwells. And rapping of course.