Man Said He’s Gonna Kill Me On Da Msn: Merky Ace
This is part of a regular feature I want to get going, where we chat to all the grime artists we rate in the scene, about all things grime and what exactly a ‘roadman’ is, and why you want to ‘duppy’ him. Originally through that grime institution, MSN, to get a nice flowing interview going, and basically for me not to have to trek to Lewisham. But we had a bit of technological breakdown with this one, he was on the blackberry, I was on the laptop. (Different worlds, man…different worlds). As such it’s a bit tame, and I only had patience and time to ask a few inane fucking questions and some equally mindless chatter, but it’s an introduction to the feature. And most importantly this guy deserves your love, alongside the rest of ‘Family Collective’, so show it and download their mixtapes and releases like a true patriot.
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Reinventing themselves as so-so popstars and giving it the David Guetta ‘Ibiza Banger’ big one. Certain Grime pioneers have taken their trade to the roughneck territoryof T4 On The Beach, under the wiley guise of branching out, and are now literally pissing out the money. A progression that owes less to their grime roots and more to corporate meandering that maybe grime really does needs the input of Kate Nash. Actions understandably not exactly celebrated by the underground that was left behind ‘My attitude is if they wanted to mainstream they should of started like that.’ points out Merky Ace, a definitive grime fundamentalist who although not shying away from controversy, has always admirably, alongside his collective ’Family Tree’, keep it at it’s most primal, ‘straight, gritty and grime.’ Note that purism itself can be an ever slippery slope, often leading to needless elitism, inevitably concluding in dickheadism. However that’s not the case with Merky Ace and Family Tree, as it’s more blunt apathy then any genuine hostility, frankly they don’t seem to give a shit.
‘ If they wanna do music like that its cool but people need to stop relating them to grime coz they aint grime artists anymore.’ candidly adding ‘Other then grime, if it aint Dubstep, I don’t care.’ It’s a youthful single mindedness which seems crass. But it is both essential and unavoidable in any scene, albeit within it’s individual contexts. The golden era of hip hop for instance was littered with pseudo-intellectual backpacker wankstains creaming themselves over the fact they didn’t rap about gats and hoes like the mainstream, it happens everywhere, often to varying results. Merky and the rest of Family tree however apply their conviction to attune themselves, rather then getting burdened with what Wiley’s having for breakfast. Setting out that ‘As a scene, we jus need to do grime to the fullest to keep it going, which a lot of people are beginning to realise. The levels have got to be set, and me and Family tree are ready to do that.’
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Merky Ace himself has been in sync with the scene since he was 14 ‘ I touched a lot of radio stations including nearly all the pirate radio stations, logan sama’s show, tim westwood’s 1xtra show & tim westwood’s crib sessions.’ building a reputation for very much representing the volatility of a scene famed for it, a factor which he is cheerfully mindful of ‘I do raw grime and a lot of people aint supporting and backing that; it’s the reason for the lack of bookings… because there’s lack of raves.’. Nonetheless his mixtape ‘Blue Battlefield’ and a compilation ‘Best Of Merky Ace 2′ are set to come out this year to set the pace. On top of a recent release, which is a “collection of tunes that were originally for my mixtape or other promos that I felt wernt good enough for the mixtape and could be given out for free.” Which although not accompanied by the most riveting of sound bytes, does actually bring an apt taster to the table. Relentless barring over some familiar beats download it here.