“ Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap / Artist: JME / Release Date: 2008 / Music LAbel: Boy Better Know „
To Grime fans, there's never been a time when JME's been a 'newcomer'. He's literally always been milling about the game. As an artist who was always appearing on the street DVDs and kept his name out there by doing both production and MCing, there was no escaping him. However, he left it until 2008 to finally put out his first official album out. As a step up from his mixtape series, it was a chance to see whether he could really make his quirky style work over a proper body of work. Following in the steps of other big names in the game (from Dizzee Rascal to Wiley to his brother, Skepta) it was another opportunity to see whether Grime actually works in the traditional album format.
JME puts out an album which makes all the necessary advancements from his earlier work, without finding the need to water down his sound. It's got lots of bubbling 140bpm production from some of the scene's best producers (from Maniac, through to Mr. V, through to Grime Reaper), he proves that he's got relatable storytelling skills ("Power") and it's got his career highlights all included on it too ("Serious", "Shh Hut Yuh Muhh"). As far as your more light-hearted Grime fan is concern, it really completes all of its objectives. It's nothing too hard to digest, it'll get you through the day and it's a true reflection of the time when it came out. His humour keeps it entertaining from start to end.
Unfortunately, for those who might have listened to this after his second album ("Blam!") came out, they'll notice that this isn't nearly as solid a project. For example, "Boogiedown Bass", is simply a waste of space. JME might be in his best form, as far as his bars go, but he does end up making the odd questionable decision. Fortunately, this is often saved by the way he'll choose to jump on a killer beat (like "Go On My Own") or show off his word play skills. What's likely to put most people off (to those who would typically listen to Grime anyway) is that he's a bit out-there, so might do the odd thing which you're unlikely to take to. In his case, it's unlikely to grow on you either, so take it or leave it.
"Famous?" is a great testament to JME's musical know-how. The scene is packed with one-dimensional acts who can only spit bars, but wouldn't know how to translate into an interest product with the game needs to pay attention to. The Boy Better Know frontman does what he knows and slaps listeners with (often self-made) engaging instrumentals and sprays intriguing social commentary all over them. Don't assume that he's going to go down the same route as his brother, as the pair differ massively and JME actually happens to be the more consistent of the pair on su