Yizzy’s banging new E.P. ‘S.O.S.’ (Save Our Sound) is a testament to its very title. Yizzy has determined to pioneer and keep Grime’s original sound alive. He believes we should not allow it to fade, or become diluted by the mainstream. In the project, he expresses a deep love and loyalty to Grime and it’s origins, and though he is a young MC, at only 18, the Lewisham man feels he was born to it.
Having already received critical acclaim for his earlier project ‘This Is Life’, from the likes of The Guardian, Dummy, and Complex, and featuring in The Fader, Complex’s New Years List And Sian Anderson’s Alternative List, Yizzy has collected 7 different producers to execute this album, so as to achieve that original hard Grime sound. Even in the nuances like having the bars and beats almost compete for supremacy, this is a journey back to the start of Grime, brought to you by one of the youngers of Grime....and it must be said...Well done!
The artwork for this project is another star in its crown. Here we see a tower block of flats, with a superimposed image of a stack of VCRs over the front. On the labels are handwritten words, titles to Yizzy’s tracks. The background is dark and moody, with the only real light piercing the scene to be coming from within the tower block. An excellent metaphorical image, the dangerous nature of the environment, but the little spark of light growing from within it. How Yizzy sees Grime, and how he sees himself. Inspired.
- S.O.S. Prod. Treble Clef
The production on this one is dramatic from the off, starting with a vocal sample, chopped and mixed, alongside some sort of heavy piano sound, the track builds and builds from haunting to rousing in the introduction. Later, it kicks in with more vocal synths, providing more melody, alongside the bars from Yizzy, which lend the entire opening of the project a certain ‘call to war’ vibe. Later, still, when the drum patterns come in, with a heavy military feel to them, there are even more vocal synths, then after the first hook, the track takes a very different turn, with heavier melodies in places, and emptier patterns in others, which makes the track become more of a warning. Brilliant, emotive production that follows the subject matter well: Save Our Sound.Yizzy’s bars in this one are spat with passion and angst, he expresses his wish to keep Grime true and real to its roots, shows us his love and loyalty for it, including all the OGs; ‘Still pay homage to the real grime dons no eediots/better show love to the old skool G’s/Rudeboy now make me get serious’, and expresses his desire to pass the torch on to the next generation.
2. Chief Prod. Prince Rapid & D.O.K. Dokument
Jheeze! The production on this one puts me in mind of the old, old skool rave scene. The track starts with an insanely hype melody, gun clicks, and a heavy kick, with a couple aggro adlibs for good measure. The snares and hi-hats are quite light, like accents. The bars hit you hard as the rest of the music kicks in, with the OG call out style refrain ‘Shut your mouth, you chief/you don’t want it with the commander in chief/You’re not a bad boy, blud you’re a chief/get your wig split, something like chief/Your mandem are chief, gyaldem are chief, aunty a chief, uncle a chief/anybody that want to can get bodied in the beef/what what what you know about that one chief?’. The whole tune is based in original Grime and is all about being the best, on road, in the rave, etc. Yizzy also reps his ends in this one, another OG grime touch. A couple of times throughout the song the production drops out completely to frame Yizzy’s ‘Oh my god, I got barred, lies, never get barred in the dance’ and ‘your wifey should’ve dropped me a text, you chief’ to add weight to the bars and create a wheel up moment within the track, so you feel like that’s what just happened. Very clever, on all fronts.
3. Like Yours Prod. D.O.K., Feat. Gemini
The production on this track starts out with a couple voice samples, to create a skippy melody, then, more voice samples are added to provide rhythm, after which, the track comes in proper with hard kicks and a dark bass line, at the same time as Yizzy. Throughout the track D.O.K. has used interesting panning techniques and levels, to create a tune where your focus is pulled all over the place, there’s so much going on, in so many places, much like original Grime tends to be. The track and the bars almost compete for space, and you have to click your brain into gear to sort it out, which is part of grime’s allure, it’s often a riot, of sound, of emotion, of geography, it’s as chaotic as the road, very fitting. Yizzy and Gemini keep it old skool in this one with the topic, being about being better than everyone else and by going back to back, and again with the hard, hard refrain, beginning with the call out ‘I don’t want a flow like yours, yours/I don’t really want a gyal like yours, yours’.This tune is a mosh scene, for real, for real.
4. Me, You & Everyone Prod. Terror Danjah, Feat. Daliya Nava
The production on this one is different, still, but it still holds true to the OG Grime theme Yizzy has determined to rep, in that since it’s a tune for the gyaldem, this one has a slightly calmer riddim, and Yizzy comes a little calmer, himself, a common choice for tunes for gyal within OG Grime. Starting out with a light, simple melody, created with sounds like bells, and quiet snares and hi-hats, it kicks in a little harder with a very low low baseline that follows the flow of the melody in a simpler, lower way. This is a story track, another common grime theme, about a past relationship of Yizzy’s, where he laments she was ‘right person, wrong time’, and divulges that she couldn’t find it in herself to trust him, which eventually caused the relationship’s demise, since he was doing nothing wrong. The refrain, sung beautifully by Daliya Nava ‘How can somebody that means so much, be so impossible to trust x /Tell me how do I know it’s real, show me, it’s just us/Coz the things they were telling me, I need to take my love away’ show the attitudes and standpoint of the gyal in question. Quality Production all round.
5. Bap Prod. Maniac
The title of the track lets you in on what it’s going to feel like....being hit with a bullet or twenty. The riddim starts out with skippy synths and a simple bass, but suddenly kicks in to become much harder, with a driving bass line that makes the tune feel like a mosh pit from about 4 bars in. Here we get heavy kicks and snares, and continuous hi-hats, along with OG use of computer sounding synths, etc., which all combine along with Yizzy’s fast-paced bars, where he sets out from the get-go to let us all know he has the best bars, the best flow, etc.He calls out any mandem who come to the rave with no energy and lets us know he ain’t shook of any MC.The hook on this one is a mad ting, for real; ‘Bap, tink manna manna play games/ Bap, them boy they wan jump on the wave/Bap, man I got flows for days, bars for days/when I turn up in the rave, all I want hear is/Bap Bap, that’s the sound of the runner like/Bap Bap, that’s the sound of the rave/Bap bap, man I got flows for days, bars for days/when I turn up in the rave all I wanna hear is/b Bap b Bap, everybody get gassed/ b Bap b Bap everybody get thrashed/b Bap b Bap, with a drink in their hand’, and is set to be screamed by all the mandem in the rave, especially since Yizzy reps the whole of London on the track!
6. Radio Danger Prod. Swifta Beater & Terror Danjah
This riddim is about mandem not being able to beat Yizzy in a clash, not being in Grime for the right reasons and the love/hate relationship Yizzy has with the scene because mandem don’t help it in the right way. He spits this with a heavy, fast-paced flow that once again, is reminiscent of the old skool.The track has a jarring stop-start intro that catches you off kilter.It takes you a second to catch up to what’s happening, the melody is light, but with dramatic pauses, as someone once said; ‘music is created not with the notes, but with the spaces in between’. Again this track quickly takes a different turn and becomes much harder, using a darker bass line, with lots of light hi-hats and snares, woven over the top and panning effects, to once again give us that busy full original sounding Grime. The dramatic pauses are utilised throughout the track to lend weight to Yizzy’s hardest bars, for example at the end of the bar ‘sending, sending, sending shots/wanna send shots, ya bout to get get shot’, the track drops out on shot, making it much harder.Sometimes it’s what isn’t there that matters more, Swifta and Terror show their skills to the fullest here.
7. Let That Go Prod. Lewi White, Feat, Gemin1 & Blacks
The track kicks off with only a light melody and snare, 4 bars in a deeper, darker bass line comes in, along with the kick and some other lighter sounds like a triangle, etc., along with Yizzy himself, who spits this one low and deep, to add weight to the serious nature of the track’s subject; doing road, knife crime, retaliation and the inability to stop. Here we get an insight into what it really is like to be from a place where nothing can or will be forgotten. Where you must become what you are surrounded by to survive, for example, Yizzy lets us know he can switch up and be back there in a second and will make sure he wins.At other places in the song, the production drops out to just a snare and the melody, framing Yizzy’s ‘I’m way more actions, and less talk/ from the belly of the beast, where it gets warm’ to show us how real it is out there for him. The refrain ‘Live right now when the ends is cold/see bare man tryna let that go/all cool, next man stepped in the war/truesay now we can’t let that go....’ illustrates the retaliation culture perfectly. This is a well-timed tune considering the current political climate surrounding this topic, and should really be studied, in a bid to understand how much needs untangling for knife crime to end.The whole production and features are well chosen, with both Gemin1 and Blacks’ flows and bars true to Yizzy’s love of the original style of grime.
This project set out to fully rep OG Grime, to pay testament to it, to keep it going, and to add Yizzy’s slice to the culture. He has achieved and surpassed his efforts, with help from some of the best in the business. This Donny cannot be ignored.
If you love hard sounding, original style Grime coming straight at your head top, this is the EP for you, for real.