In our series ‘The Films That Made Us’, we take a look back at the films that have shaped British music over the last three decades. In this third edition, we talk to pioneering grime producer/DJ Sir Spyro about the 2002-released flick, ‘Shottas’, a peak of Jamaican gangster cinema and a stone-cold classic among many in UK music.
A woman, dressed in all-leopard print, is getting down to the sounds of Junior Cat’s “Would A Let You Go” as it rumbles across the party. Motorbikes and sports cars pull up. Champagne is poured. It’s Miami, around the turn of the millennium.
A private jet lands, and out steps Biggs and Wayne—two Jamaican gangsters who once ran the drug market back home, but are the new kids out on this block. Two beautiful women follow.
The camera pans back. “Teddy run this city,” croaks a man in all black. He collars a girl and tells her to bring a bottle of bubbly over to the newbies from the plane, sounding like someone who uses gravel for mouthwash. The two groups size each other up.
A portly man approaches Biggs and tips him off about a regular shipment of drugs that arrives near the port every Tuesday. “Every Tuesday?” asks Biggs. “Every Tuesday,” comes the reply. “Every Tuesday?” “Every Tuesday.”
In the pantheon of cinema’s great culture-capturing sequences, this scene from Shottas is right up there, somewhere between Ray Liotta’s trip through the restaurant in Goodfellas and the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars. It might be a Jamaican gangster film that takes place mostly in sunny Florida, but it struck a profound chord in the UK, so much so that Giggs copied the scene almost frame for frame in the video for his 2015 single “Who’s Dat?”, starring Chip, Jammer, and Aubrey White as the menacing Teddy Bruck Shut. It’s all there: the champagne, the cars, the women, the dialogue—even “every Tuesday”.