Hello there XXLMag.com readers! Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson here again with a fresh instalment of The UK Underground Report for January 2011. My Christmas was really cool, spent some time with the family and all that jazz, but when you’re in your local pub doing the countdown on New Year’s Eve, that is NOT the one. Anyways, I’m more than ready for this year and I hope you’re going to enjoy the artists that I plan on profiling in coming months. Last month it was all about the guy on the Traktor, Wretch 32, but this month we’re delving much deeper into the UK grime scene with one of its legends, Durrty Goodz!
If you’ve ever been in search of a British MC with very well-thought-out intellectual wordplay, then Durrty Goodz is definitely your guy. This 29-year-old lyricist from east London is a legend within his own right, but it was some of the biggest reggae artists of yesteryear that inspired Goodz to get into the music game. “Music has been in my system from an early age, it’s been in my bones,” he told me. “From when I was young, my dad would play me tapes and videos from a lot of the Jamaican parties, all the stage shows and stuff. Ever since I saw the likes on Ninjaman and Supa Cat and those types of guys, I’ve always been into music. I was introduced to hip-hop by one of my uncle’s; he’d always play me Redman and all the latest hip-hop stuff around at the time, so I got into that from early on as well.”
Now best known for his work in London’s grime music scene, initially, Goodz wasn’t too keen on the grime sound when he came across it in its early days. It was purely down to some of his close friends as to why he eventually tried the genre out. “I kinda got pressurised by my friends on the streets to get into grime. This was a little while ago now, like 2003/2004. A couple of my good friends, they knew about the inner-city grime scene, the days when everyone would go to the pirate radio stations (that were situated in a block of flats) and spit. So I was played a couple of tapes that had a few MCs on it, and at first, I wasn’t impressed. But there was one guy that had a unique style; that turned out to be Dizzee Rascal. Anyway, my friends would keep on telling me to come down all the time, but I didn’t know if it was worth it because I was doing my own thing at the time. But I eventually went down and did my thing and people were feeling what I was coming with, so it just went on from there really.”
In 2005, Durrty Goodz was approached by Polydor, who eventually snapped up the young MC. But it wasn’t too long before he cut all ties with the major record label due to unhappiness and not being able to have creative control, something which is very important to him. In the midst of all his label worries, Goodz also found himself in court for a crime that he didn’t commit, and was sent to prison for a year until he was later on acquitted. Throughout all of the drama, Goodz continued to do what he set out to do, which was to make music. Now though, he’s happy doing it all on his own without any major record label telling him what he can and cannot do.
“I’m independent now! I set up my own record label and there’s big money going into this project, something that grime has never had,” he explained. “I’m going to be pushing my people and I’ve basically got creative control. It’s very important to have creative control when it comes to your music, and all the artists coming up need to have that. If you’re a creator, you’ll get upset, but if you’re maybe an imitator, a perpetrator or just a traitor (laughs), then you might like being signed and doing other stuff, because now you’ve got the nice clothes, nice cars and you’re on TV; that might have been your path. Good luck to everyone.”
“A lot of people came from the grime scene and when they get signed they’re no longer privileged to go ahead and make that grime/street sound like they used to be able to; they’ve got to apply to the rules now. But me, I’m a rule-breaker. I’m still allowed to make that grime/street music, you get me? Because people still want to hear that. It isn’t over for grime!”
Whether it be grime, hip-hop or reggae that Durrty Goodz decides to lyrically attack, his fans seem to be loyal no matter what sound he comes with, and like he explains: “I see myself as a real musical man, because when you’re an MC it’s not just grime that you should be able to do. I’ve been through a reggae scene, a drum & bass scene, a hip-hop scene and obviously I do grime, so I’ve just balled all of those influences into one and became thee MC.”
With a new album due for release soon, this big mic man doesn’t intend on stopping anytime soon. “My best piece of grime work is about to come out in February with my new album, Overall. The Axiom EP was made in 2007 and then I released Ultrasound after that (Born Blessed being the most recent release), but I feel that I’ve got better with each release; I’ve never slowed down as an artist. Everything on the album is Durrty Goodz; it’s been arranged, written and co-produced by myself, so this is a piece of work that needs to be taken seriously.” – Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson