Little Dee and P Money have been making Grime for over a decade, both heavy weight presences in the scene this joint mixtape featuring JDZ media freestyle turned studio hit ‘Back 2 Back’ showcases their lyrical talent, as well as their natural chemistry. A team of heavyweight producers including Audio Slugs and Rude Kid provide the punchy riddims that provide the perfect platform for P and Dee’s skippy, rhythmic flow.
The project, for the most part, is a braggadocious exhibition of the technical ability of the two MCs, touching on typical subjects in the genre such as fame, money and girls. What carries the album is the tangible chemistry between the two, born of their real life friendship which is the subject of ‘Bar 4 Bar’, with Dee and P Money spitting the hook ‘They ain’t us they ain’t real life bros/ They ain’t us they ain’t friends from road’.
The theme of being on road is particularly prominent throughout the tape, on ‘Paranoia’ the Little Dee hook features the lyric ‘Paranoia then it plays it on me/ See the flick blade on me stays on me’ – a result of the ‘gelato, lemon and haze’ that he always has on him. P Money too speaks of carrying arms “I know I’m sorry, what do you know about not trusting donny/ Never told him you got a strap, now you’re getting pulled over begging him not to be gobby”. The Audio Slugs production is suitably haunting, featuring snares reminiscent of a racing heartbeat and eerie chimes providing the melody, which is vaguely reminiscent of Footsie’s 2016 banger ‘Hot Water’. Fittingly Footsie also features on this track and has to get in on the action whether he’s ‘back[ing] out the shank’ or dreaming of a MAC-10.
Everyone knows though that doing road ultimately only ends a couple of ways: prison or death. On ‘Skatty’ the South London duo intricately tell the story of the day the law nearly catches up with them, with armed police waiting outside both their houses when they roll up with ‘a boot full of ammi’. Told through the phone calls the two make to each other to try and plan their escape, which involves car chases, plans to catch a flight and eventually a trip to Dover. The stand-out track weaves an intricate tale without compromising any of the trademark clever lyricism, P’s “Rah feds got me on a gym one/ waiting for a lift cos I’m going on a run” is a personal highlight and the following lyric: “And I’m thinking to myself, rah g this is dumb/ you ain’t ever left ends and you’re missing your son” is a touching moment of sentimentality and a reminder of why we all, at times, do what we gotta do.
If this reference to parenthood and trying to provide for a family is somewhat subtle, the penultimate track ‘All For You’ is anything but. Over a delicate Rude Kid beat the two rappers reflect on their efforts to provide for their families, with Dee mournfully opening “Do I stop writing and graft for life/ and just pass the mic to a passerby” he continues later in the verse “They want a half of white but I’d rather write/ if I shut the line then I can’t survive” – a sobering reminder of the reality of life for many, and the limited options of escape from the ends. The half sung P Money hook drives home the point “I just wanted you to know this ain’t for the roads(…)This is so when I grow old, you got your home”. Both the MCs are fathers to young kids, and this track, my personal favourite from the album, is a reflection of how that changes you as a person, with the MCs renouncing cars and clothes and throwing shade at the ‘trappers’ who dress designer but leave their kids in Primark clobber.
‘All For You’ is a brilliant track, because it provides context for all that has come before, the trapping and the violence that originally marks this out as a typical, somewhat stale, grime EP, despite being masterfully executed. As the penultimate track it demands a second listening of the EP and leaves the listener with something to think about. Ever the entertainers though, the instrumental slowly fades out before transitioning into the thumping bass of the Audio Slugs produced ‘Back 2 Back’: “Yo G, Man a OG, man knows me/ OG’z over the top, mans OP/ Labels getting dropped out no Sony/ 2 jabs from an OG man OD” JEEEEZZZ!!