In 2014, grime crews still nominally exist, but they don’t run the proverbial street with the fervor that Roll Deep, Boy Better Know and Ruff Sqwad did in ’04. I for one was not reticent of grime as an 11 year old American boy, but recent attempts at crew revival have got me calling for a renaissance, as well as feeling a fair deal of false nostalgia. Lewisham crew The Square, a seven member producer/MC amalgam, is looking to jumpstart that revival and Novelist and Lolingo, both of whom are members, have anything to say about it, this prodigious collection might just succeed. Besides Nov and Lol, The Square includes DeeJillz, Elf Kid, Syder, Faultsz and Streema. “Pengaleng” is the crew’s first output and the first single from their upcoming The Formula mixtape, due August 25 via Nohatsnohoods.
For the last 12 months, Slackk, Mr. Mitch and Oil Gang’s Boxed club night has set the bar for what a grime night should look like, drawing in just about every instrumental grime producer of note. To celebrate their one year anniversary, which is occurring this Friday at Birthdays in Dalston, the crew has put together a wildly colorful 18 track compilation featuring some of the most exciting producers in the game. Astral Plane mix contributors Strict Face and Logos appear, as do a host of other transcendent talents including Rabit, Mumdance, DJ Milktray and Inkke. In another year, we might be looking back at Boxed Vol. 1 in a similar fashion as we do Grime 2.0 these days. There’s really no excuse not to grab this masterstroke immediately.