Justin Clarke is one of the grime scene's most intriguing characters. With an unparalleled, natural talent and a Jekyll and Hyde-style split personality in the rhymes he spits, it's been a long and winding road for the emcee known to most as Ghetts. But as he explains himself, "the turtle always wins the race," and his is a race worth taking his time with. From the prison cells to his recent energy-filled performance at the MOBOs—for which he was nominated for three awards—Clarke's evolution from Ghetto to Ghetts is both catalogued and evident in his recently released album Rebel With A Cause. "With this new album, I just wanted everyone to know me for me," says Ghetts, who recently gave back to his grime core with the release of Momentum 2. "I wanted everyone to know that this is who I am and these are the things I like."
Over the course of his decade-long career—full of reload bars and catchy one-liners—Ghetts has consistently shown genuine songwriting skill, a skill that he continues to work on daily. For the latest edition of Soundtrack To My Life, we find out the tracks that have resonated with revered rhymer Mr. Clarke from childhood to now, and from the jailhouse to the headlining stage. Expect the unexpected.
Interview by Alya Mooro