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That was the headline to the (controversial) article I penned on the current state of grime back in April, which had a mixed response; most agreed with the points that were made, while some are straight ride or die—no. matter. what. Thankfully, we're already seeing an improvement when it comes to sturdy releases. On July 27th, OGz members P Money and Little Dee, two grime vets in their own right, will drop their debut collaborative project Back 2 Back. In Little Dee's own words, the EP "was made naturally; no forced songs, no music that doesn't suit our style, just good music with an early grime feel to it."
Today, we get to exclusively hear one of Back 2 Back's highlights: "Paranoia", a skippy number produced by AudioSlugs, featuring fellow mic legend Footsie. Listen to that below and, after the jump, see what P and Dee think of grime in 2018.
What made you two want to collab on a joint EP? What inspired Back 2 Back?
P Money: It was just well overdue. We've been friends for, like, 16/17 years and we always made banging tracks together, just never a full project. I think the hype and feedback from the freestyle was the main inspiration.
Little Dee: Yeah, with things like this, I think timing is very important.
What's good with the OGz? Is it still a functioning crew?
PM: Yeah, man, it always will be as it's more than just a crew: it's mandem, it's family. We do stuff individually but we always come together whether it's to feature or do sets, or appear at each other's show. We have an EP with DaVinChe fully completed and ready to go as well.
LD: OGz will always be a functioning crew. It's a natural group of friends that love music. Sometimes, some of us in the crew won't be working, but it's only temporary.
Lewisham and South East London as a whole has been killing the music game these past few years. Are you proud of that, and who are some of your favourite artists from there at the moment?
PM: Always proud! And it's always good whenever you meet someone in the game, from the ends. Even if they don't do music, it's nice when you meet someone from your ends 'cause you feel a relation straight away. At the moment, I'd say D-Block Europe and Rapman are up there for me. I've been listening to them a lot, and I actually know them.
LD: I love that a lot of the talent coming out of South East are coming to the front, and there's still so much more talent to come through. Like P, I'm feeling D-Block Europe a lot right now. They're flying the flag for my borough and deserve all the success they're getting.
Plenty discussions have been had recently about grime's current state. What are your thoughts on the whole thing? Is grime in need of something to sustain it, or is everything still on and popping?
PM: Grime was trending—it isn't now. That's the bottom line. There's a massive pie: most of it is for the latest trend, the rest is divided up by specific genres and its listeners. When you trend, you get that big bit, but when you don't, you go back to what you had before. That's all that's happened. We had two years of solid releases; myself, Skepta, Jme, Kano, Wiley, Stormzy all releasing big grime tracks with videos and albums. No one has since, so the trend moves on. Afrobeats rappers have been doing that now, dropping big singles and albums. It's like grime hit such a peak and rise that when it went back to normal, people forgot that grime isn't as big as some of these genres. We're still not even classed as a genre, in certain places. There's too much to say on this—we'd need a podcast—but all I'll say is the moment the big dargs all release grime consistently again, it will trend again.
LD: We say "grime's current state", but grime is still the biggest it has ever been. It's growing. Mainstream radio ain't playing much grime, but they never have. Around the world, grime is growing, the fanbase is getting bigger, and grime artists are making a living off the genre. All we need to do is keep pushing and believing in grime and it will be a genre that lives forever.
On a solo tip, what do you both have coming after Back 2 Back?
PM: Money Over Everyone 3, then probably an album. I might do a Best Of project, re-recording/remixing what I think were my best tracks from the past. We've been doing our events recently, so more of that as well. Maybe even a Back 2 Back 2!
LD: After Back 2 Back, I'm gonna get back to finishing my album, Local, which I'm looking forward to getting out there to the world.