Monday, 11 February 2019
DJ 279 on Choice FM 25.06.04
with Swiss, Asher D & Cassius Henry
It was nice to come across this Friday Night Flavas show from 2004 where 279 hosts one of his round table freestyle sessions with So Solid's Asher D and Swiss alongside Ammo and Young Pro (who I haven't heard of but were presumably up and coming at the time) and singer Cassius Henry. They take turns going in over new and old rap beats for the best part of an hour. It's good, the only place you'll hear members of So Solid Crew rapping over Iced Down Medallions, and a useful time stamp of where certain artists in the UK were before road rap and UK drill became a thing. It wasn't all boom-bap head-nod backpack business over here. On a slightly related note, don't get me started on Complex letting their work experience lad loose on an article where the extent of the research was checking his own iTunes history. Just let it be known that UK artists like Rodney P & Bionic, Mr 45, Skeme & Big P, MD7, Fallacy and Terra Firma have been talking that road talk since the 90s.
I should also add that what made finding this tape a particularly nice surprise was that I was never a fan of So Solid Crew in their heyday (although I do know the lyrics to 21 Seconds inside out - it was unavoidable when it dropped). However, one of the crew's DJ/producers Swiss turned MC and dropped a decent solo effort in 2005, which included the single Cry and as it was on more of straight up rap tip, was more my kind of thing. I liked UK Garage but when the MCs appeared that was it for me, and as much as I wanted to like grime at first but in it's early days the majority of raps and beats were just too basic and raw (ok, rubbish) in comparison to where hip hop was at the time.