It’s hard to hear grime when 50 Cent’s on five channels. But if you’re sick of Bacardi/party rhyme schemes and flimsy-ass chorus hooks written with an eventual ring tone in mind, find Run the Road and prepare to get lice. Vice’s compilation gathers 16 of the UK grime movement’s sickest — or at least most marketable — moments, from the choppy flow and splutter of relative star Dizzee Rascal on “Give U More” to opener “Cock Back,” a violent splice of raga, digital noise and hip-hop bravado from producer Terror Danjah. As the latter cut dates from 2003, it’s clearly taken some time for Vice (with partner Atlantic) to secure this set and drop it on America. But now that it’s here, it can be your antidote to mainstream rap’s bloated massacre. “Destruction VIP” is chaos theory crunk with its multiple emcees and furious pace, Tinchy Stryder’s East London patois is thick with youthful ego, and No Lay’s “Unorthodox Daughter” will just stamp on your eyelids. The bomb track is “Cha Ching [Cheque 1-2 Remix]” from cheeky brat-on-mic Lady Sovereign. Swooping and flinty, it’s like your little sister acting out Lil’ Kim’s “Queen Bitch” over beats you made on a Tandy TRS-80.
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].