For those of you who don’t know who Ghetts is, he is an MC associated with the music genre ‘Grime’, and has been played on national radio like BBC Radio 1 and KISS 100. His fans will testify to his unique flow and witty lyrics.
I’ve lost count how many times my friends have said to me: “Omar, Ghetts is the best MC, hands down.” But then again, I’ve come across plenty of people who have said to me: “I don’t like Ghetts, I don’t feel his music.” I personally stand more with the first group of people, but defining what constitutes the best MC is subjective and depends exactly what you’re looking for. I rate MC’s higher if they have something positive to say and if their lyrics convey deep meanings which can change people for the better. Ghetts, I found, feels the same way: “You see me, I like Akala, I like Lowkey, we have deep conversations. I like that sort of thing when it’s got a message behind it. But no one is saying anything real these days, I can’t listen to these kids chatting about guns and drugs I cant listen to that,” he admits.
A bit hypocritical, some of you may say, Ghetts saying he can’t listen to music about ‘’guns and drugs’’, when he has incorporated exactly that into his own music. What’s his response? “The pictures we painted and the way we talked about all of that [guns and drugs] wasn’t us running on the mic, man was doing it with an edge to make man forget man was talking about a madness.” That’s fair enough, but as I elucidated on in an earlier post called ‘The truth about music nobody will tell you’ was that music can enter the subconscious mind and have an effect on people’s behavioral patterns. “That argument about music making people do things, that argument is deadout. That argument is dead! Music is a very powerful thing though. When you got a visual it’s often much more powerful. How many man are shotters because of scarface? It [music] can have an effect on you but not like a film.”
There is no doubt that Ghetts is one of the most talented MC’s in the country, but, saying that, a lot of people wont even read this because they don’t know who Ghetts is. “Of course I want to keep getting bigger but you see me yeah, I know what would work on radio and what would get played on TV. I always try and go against the grain,” he tells me. It’s not for the money, nor is it for the fame Ghetts expounds to me, but he does exactly the type of music he believes in. “In my album Ghetto Gospel, I filmed ‘Top 3 Selected’, but if I shot ‘Understand’ instead, I could have got more mainstream attention but I didn’t because as a person I’m like that.”
Our conversation then heads in a similar direction to the one I had with P Money [click here to read my discussion with P Money]. Why is that DJ’s are too scared to play different types of music? Why is it that 95% of all mainstream music is crap? And why is it that they wont give people like Ghetts a chance? He says: “As a DJ yeah, you want to stick to what everybody likes. When you watch the music channels most of the videos look the same, they fix it all so nothing seems out of place. So if they were to play me, it would seem out of place.” It’s all about marketing he tells me: “How do you market my type of music? They don’t put it out there because they don’t think they can market it. But its deeper, much deeper than that. If you’re an artist and you’re not willing to play the ‘game’ you wont make it into the mainstream.”
Ghetts is notoriously known for his claim that he is ‘the best’, but does he think there are some other MC’s who are over-rated? “I do actually like a lot more people these days but I don’t want to call anyone shit. I don’t really listen to grime. Honestly. I understand why people would think I’m lying but its true. I rate Maxsta but not many other people. The grime that’s put out these days I don’t like. And the people who I did like, they don’t do grime anymore…Grime is deadout. Grime is dead!” he re-iterates. But why is grime dead? “In grime only one thing is appreciated. There has to be different things. It can’t be one sort of sound.”
Ghetts will be performing at Hackney Empire on the July 7 in an event called RE:DEFINITION with a host of other talented artists, with the headline act being Kano. How does he feel that Kano will end up stealing the show and not him? “The truth is this: Kane isn’t meant to be the main act,” he jokes, “it should be me and Kane going on together. “
Ghetts was watching Wimbledon as we talked, and I found out he’s a fan of Serena Williams. But it’s not her tennis skills he is a fan of… “See the women there playing, I like all of that,” he jokes.
One thing is clear when speaking to Ghetts -as I have encountered when seeing other interviews with him. He is actually a fun and bubbly person, who, believe it or not, is a pretty clever guy. Don’t be fooled just because he said stuff to me like: “Man is just here to make music,” the slang he uses is a product of the environment he was brought up in and doesn’t reflect his intellectual capabilities. I mean, to be able to think of thousands upon thousands of lyrics which make people laugh, get people excited and are satirically clever, you have to possess a pretty special talent.
Follow me on Twitter: @omar_shahid
Follow Ghetts on Twitter: @TheRealGhetts