This week I wanted to highlight a veteran. A pioneer. A Grime Legend. If you can’t tell, I have the utmost respect for this man as an artist and this has been spanning for over a decade. Our MCM is…
Justin Clarke (born 9 October 1984), better known by his stage name Ghetts (also known as Ghetto, MC Ghetts and J Clarke) is an English Rapper from East London with Caribbean roots from Jamaica and Grenada. His music has been played on national radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, Kiss 100, BBC Asian Network and BBC Radio 1Xtra. Currently, Ghetts is signed to independent record label Disrupt, and released his debut studio album, Rebel with a Cause, in March 2014. “Definition of a Rebel”, followed by the non-album single “The Cypher” which was released on 28 July 2013 and features all personas and elements of Ghetts’ personality. The track peaked at number 9 in the iTunes hip hop charts. Ghetts had reportedly recorded more than 150 songs for the album (with some footage of his demos found on YouTube). Release dates for “Rebel With A Cause” dated back from 2010; reportedly it was meant to have been released after his mixtape “The Calm Before The Storm”. Unknown to many, the album was originally called “The Justifications of J. Clarke”, but in a 2010 interview with SBTV, he stated that he wasn’t ready to have made an album of that manner.
Known for his hard hitting lyrics and intricate rhyme schemes, he is associated and has toured or collaborated internationally with such acts as Kano and Chris Brown and was a member of NASTY Crew. Ghetts eventually left NASTY Crew stating that things had gone “pear shaped” due to the number of people in the group. He later went on to create the grime collective “The Movement”, including Devlin, Wretch 32, Scorcher, Mercston, Lightning and DJ Unique.
In 2008, Ghetts was nominated for a BET award for Best UK Act along with Chipmunk, Giggs and Skepta. In March 2010, he won an OMA (Official Mixtape Award) for his mixtape, “The Calm Before The Storm”. He was nominated for another BET award in 2014 for Best International Act: UK. In the same year he was also nominated for 3 MOBO awards: Best Song, Best Grime Act and Best Album.
After being released from prison in 2003 at the age of 18, Ghetts (then Ghetto) put out his first release, “2000 & Life” in 2005. The mixtape contains 24 tracks and numerous collaborations. “2000 & Life” is widely regarded as pioneering within the context of grime music. Since then, Ghetts has released a handful of mixtapes and EP’s;
2007: Ghetto Gospel
2008: Freedom of Speech
2010: The Calm Before the Storm
2011: Momentum [Hosted by DJ Whoo Kid]
2014: Momentum 2 (The Return of Ghetto)
2010: Merry Christmas EP
2015: 653 (Rude Kid)
and made a number of well-known songs within the UK Grime scene over the years such as “Sing For Me”, “Trained to Kill”,“Who’s on the Panel”, “You Dun Know Already”, “Know My Ting” and his most recent single “Vibe We Bring” ft Lights. He consistently proves he is willing to take risks and able to take on different flows and genres whilst delivering lyrics with his undeniable level of complexity, intelligence and character.
For ME, Ghetts is one of the hardest Grime Legends to come out of UK EVER! He deserves much more praise and accolades than he has received so far. His quality has never wavered, he has remained true to himself and has evolved time and time again with a finesse that is simply levels above the masses.
“Vibe We Bring” – Lights x Ghetts https://youtu.be/5Z73Pxz8Ujs
[References from Wikipedia]