In my opinion, grime music has always been underestimated as a genre. For those of you who don't know what grime is, I like to compare it to trap music in the United States. It's raw, gritty and made for the streets. Some of the pioneers of grime however, have been criticised for turning a bit 'poppy' in recent years, perhaps suggesting that grime will never be able to cross borders and branch into other areas of the industry. I honestly think that grime will get its day in the near future, and with this exclusive premiere and stream of the new Merky ACE mixtape, I'm hoping you'll agree.
Play Your Position optimizes everything that makes grime so unique. The rawness and angst with which Merky sprays his lyrics are true to the origins of the genre, and really show the passion he has for the music he makes. Whereas the beats he's chosen to rap over all have elements of grime in them, whether that be the distorted, gritty bass lines or the jagged orchestral strings, Merky stays true to his roots. Alongside the grimey tendencies on this mixtape, he's added a touch of trap music to his repertoire, with booming 808's and shuffling hi-hats that wouldn't sound out of place on a Waka Flocka Flame track.
Merky has chosen a wide range of producers, from his long term friends Faze Miyake, Rude Kid and Deeco, to some newer faces such as Shift K3Y and Smurf Beatz. Each producer chosen has given their own grimey input onto this project, and I personally can't find one beat that I think is the weakest. This is testament to both the producers perfecting their craft, and Merky for picking the right beats for his mixtape.
There are a couple of tracks that stand out on this project, in my opinion. Firstly, the title track "Play Your Position (Beckham)", that not only refers to England's most famous football (soccer) players but also has an aggressive, chiptune influenced beat that'll have you instantly switching into your bass face. Another track that had me reaching for the reload button was "Plugged In" which features Canadian rapper Tre Mission. The offbeat organ instantly got my head nodding, along with the bangin' drum beat underneath, whilst both Merky and Tre both flow brilliantly over the instrumental.
Merky ACE is one of grimes hardest working artists, having appeared alongside fellow Family Tree members such as TKO, Ego and MIK, to appearing regualrly on DJ Logan Sama's show on Kiss FM, Merky has been putting in work. He's also featured on productions from the likes of trap whizz kid Baauer and grime heavyweight Preditah, as well as appearing on the legendary Boiler Room tv. It's going to be interesting to see where Merky goes from here, with two mixtapes under his belt in 2013, and a collaborative project with his Family Tree members on the way, Play Your Position could just be the key this young talented emcee needs to get through the door.
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Play Your Position
- No Hats No Hoods Records
- 14th October, 2013