‘Thuggish Ruggish’ is one of my favourite songs from two of my favourite Grime artists, JME & D Double E. So when I heard an MC spray bars over his one production which sampled the song, it immediately had my attention. The flow was skippy. The slang was nang. I was intrigued. I downloaded the ‘Hit The Run EP’ and I’ve been a fan of Jammz ever since.
Jammz linked up with DJ Jack Dat and created ‘Underdog Season: Volume 1’. If you’ve been listening to online Grime radio throughout 2014, you’ll know that this collaboration is a natural one. Jack Dat is quickly becoming one of my favorite DJs. His genuine love for the music results in nang selections during sets. I knew I had to listen out for this mixtape, especially after I heard a few snippets during the ‘I Am Grime’ show on Radar Radio, hosted by the MC himself.
As a fellow Hackney native, hearing Jammz say things like “Can’t chat to me me about life in the hood if you moved there sometime after ’07. Don’t be a bellend” in the song ‘Round ‘Ere’ rings true to the core. Being a product of Mothers Hospital, I can relate to everything he says in this song. Jammz has an ability to convey his message with clarity and grit. Not shying away from reality, instead, embracing it and expaining what he sees to the masses.
We watch the Americans thinking it’s heaven sent and asking the Lord is this hell
The Skepta and Plastician sample on ‘Who Is It’ shows the grime knowledge that Jammz and Jack Dat have. You may even recognise the bar from JME’s hit single ‘Man don’t Care’. Jammz shows off his production skills by flipping the beat and adjusts his flow to match the song. It took me a while to get past this as I had it on repeat and rewind, doing my best Jammz impression saying “Jack Dat!”. Jammz has already got some of my favourite grime tunes to his name with ‘The World’ and ‘Keep It Simple’. On this tape, Jammz shares the production credits and includes music from producers such as Spooky, Anz, Darness and Gesher.
On this tape, Jammz tells straight stories. Whether it be a night with a girl that flopped out by a lack of food ‘Just Eat’ or concerns about the length of time it’ll take to become successful in music ‘How Much Longer’. Jammz uses his music to say exactly how he feels and what he’s been through. Artists I rate use these traits in their art to show the world what they’re made of and Jammz uses his bars and production to do just that. I remember Kano doing it in ‘Home Sweet Home’, which may be no coincidence, since Jammz was one of the support acts on Kano’s recent national tour.
It’s not just about the production, Jammz also gets on the mic with P Money, PK, Saint & Mic Ty, bringing the radio set vibe to this mixtape. Grime sets on the radio and in clubs, always peak with the energy, and Jammz flexes his lyrical muscles during a speedy performance in ‘Lyric & Style’. As a kid, memories of being in the back of a Saab 95 with a bass tube the same size, and me rattling the windows, flood my brain. I love jungle music and I appreciate that Jammz and Jack Dat decided to pay homage and brought the genre back into it knowing that it played a big part in what Grime is.
‘Underdog Season: Volume 1’ is a great display of growth. There are MCs that perform well on radio sets but sometimes, those skills are not transferable when it comes to making songs. Jammz doesn’t have that problem. I can see that he’s learned from the successful artists that have come before him and he’s putting it into practice. From touring with legends to release his own musical productions on his own label, I Am Grime, Jammz is a shining graduate of the class of 2014.