Nasty Jack – Shotta Music (Goldseal CD)

“Raggamuffin Nasty Jack inna de area, me a true grime star…”

Don’t tell the better half, but by my reckoning I have bought 14 grime mixtapes this year. The imminent release of the 4th installments of both Jammer’s “Are You Dumb?” and Trim’s “Soulfood” will surely increase this total (and we’d better not mention the numerous 12″ purchases either…)

It’s rare for me to get sent a Grime Promo CD – and rarer still for it to be any good. But when Nasty Jack’s “Shotta Music” turned up just after we’d put Woofah issue 3 to bed, I had high expectations.

We’re talking pedigree here – learning one’s trade in N.A.S.T.Y. Crew and some infamous lyrical beef with Wiley. Jack’s “My Name Is” 7″ on Adamantium was one of last year’s highlights – proper raggamuffin grime which was cruelly expunged from the grime in the dancehall Blogariddims mix – purely because Paul Meme and I had so much great material… and something had to go.

“Shotta Music” is essentially a UK ragga album – many of the riddims feature sparse drum and overdriven bass, soundsystem style. High-octane war lyrics and party rhymes abound. On “Sandakarn” Nasty Jack gives thanks and praise to Ninjaman, Nicodemus and Super Cat and pays tribute to the 90s JA deejay style. This is followed by Stormin’s ganja-fuelled take on the same riddim – a proper treat for all version excursionists.

I played the “Skyjuice riddim” on RSI Radio 3 and you can hear it on Nasty’s Myspace. I’ve also bigged it up in FACT Magazine’s “Tunes of The Week” – seems like they agree with my assessment cos they’ve put it in at number 2. The tune features Flowdan, Skepta and Teddy Brukshut alongside Nasty Jack and is outrageous – get to know.

“My Name Is” also features on the CD (I’m guessing that the seven inch is now pretty hard to come by) as do long awaited tunes like “Burn You”. Brukshut and Stormin’ bust out their best rhymes. There is some great interplay between rockstone gruffness and the occasional sprinkling of melody. Oh yeah and dubstep fans will love the vocalling of Zombie’s “One Spliff A Day” relick.

Apparently the forums have featured some rumblings of discontent about Kiss FM DJ Logan Sama hosting the album, but his vocal introductions are unobtrusive and I find them pretty entertaining myself. Oh yeah, apparently some versions of the CD release include a bonus CD of instrumentals, so watch out for that.

A lot of JA music seems to be in the midst of an uninspiring phase for me recently, so it’s been a relief that so many exceptional UK (and outernational) releases are filling that vacuum this year. Do yourself a favour and check this one out.