Grime in 2017 has seen a sort of stratification after the initial euphoria of its ‘return’ to the masses dissipated. Part of this is due to the fact that grime is no longer a simple musical movement, but a genre with multiple generations taking part, working with and at times up against one another. Unfortunately, for every younger MC who’s been hyped as a potential superstar (deserved or not) we’ve seen little real follow through on the media bothering to use their platform to revive any of the legends who have been putting in the hard graft to get themselves back to prominence in the scene. Turns out, unless you pal around with the likes of ASAP Rocky or Virgil Abloh, rather than make good tunes, it’s going to be a longer haul without quite the glitz and the glamour.
Thankfully, the Glitz and the Glamour have never been the kind of things that have interested the Slew Dem crew, who’ve been turning out some of the most aggressive and darkest grime for over a decade and a half now, regardless of whether grime was in vogue for the moment or not. Recently the younger members of Slew Dem such as Rage, Kraze and Clipson (formerly of Fire Camp fame) have spent the last few years under the moniker of the Slew Dem Mafia, a homage to the crew that Slew Dem had emerged out of, the legendary and obscure Dancehall Mafia. The group have continued time and time again to release tunes that while not crossing over and attracting the millions of views of other acts, have established a dense catalog of bangers that showcase their talent. “Cool & Calm” shows the veterans have not rested on their laurels, and in fact sound downright fiercer than some of the younger generations have managed and may ever achieve. Hapzman’s riddim is a slinky affair, while the MCs wind around the beat effortlessly, demonstrating that while the Mafia might not be the hottest new sensation, they don’t need to worry about proving they’re still some of the best in the scene.
Words: Maxwell Cavaseno