Grime’s Godson returns, Saskilla: ‘Godson 1.8’ album
If you’ve managed to avoid being drawn in by Club house clashes (I have been watching at a safe distance from my tree house aka my yard!) you would have noticed Saskilla got busy with his twitter fingers going HAM on promo in the lead up to his album drop for – ‘Godson 1.8.’ Saskilla has led with the tag line ‘The last grime album of the year’, but he could have easily tag lined promotional material, ‘The best grime album of the year’, and I doubt anyone would have reason to challenge him, because this is a serious contender. The third instalment of Saskilla’s Godson series – ‘Godson 1.8’ (previous releases include ‘Godson of Grime’ (2016) and ‘Godson 1.5’ (2017) is an absolute grime classic, despite the fact the album only dropped today! (30/12/20)
The 10 track album is packed with banger after banger, there are no flimsy fillers here. When the album momentarily offers you a recovery period from relentlessly licking you in the head with screw face riddems, the album gives you poignantpolitical insights which remain with you long after first listen, leading you to reload the whole thing instantly to absorb thewealth of wisdom Saskilla imparts. ‘Godson 1.8’ opens with a flurry of ceremonial horns courtesy of producer Shannon Parkes, which unfurls like a formal knighthood announcement for the godson of grime’s imminent arrival. Saskilla commences proceedings at his ceremony, with a hectic scatter shot flow firstly asking if we’ve missed him, he then bigs up his fire joint EP ‘Safe 2’ alongside charismatic cohort Ten Dixon, and notes the grime scene had to switch up to keep up after its release. Saskilla reminds us he’s so old school he’s been about since man like Beadle! Any time an artist uses horns to open up their body of work, (see Cam’Ron ‘Glory’ for reference) it signifies importance, formality and a call to the masses to pay close attention, all of which Saskilla has rightfully earned as a pivotal artist within the grime scene.
Political tracks entitled ‘Jeremy Corbyn’, ‘NHS’ and ‘No more Covid 19’, produced by Strivz and Trooh Hippi respectively, play out like a trilogy of terror inflicted on all; by the Tories. Production on ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ interestingly lurches forward in a disjointed fashion, cleverly depicting2020 itself by sounding robotic and sluggishly mechanical (much like the people who claim to run this country.)Saskilla’s flow here is urgent and disbelieving, as he asks – “Looks like the country’s f*cked who voted? Everybody poor, man thinks they’re losing, everybody rich, man feel they’re chosen, that’s how you know that the system’s broken”, hesucceeds in expertly vocalising the opinions felt by themajority of the UK. Artist Jamkvy takes centre stage on thetrack ‘NHS Thankyaz’, and he did not come to play. The track is dark, stark and hits the mark, as Jamkvy calls out Dominic Cummings (and goings) for being out and about whilst hypocritically berating others for doing the same thing, hewonders why there is no money being invested in the NHS leaving doctor’s overworked and stressed and terms Dominic Rabb a “Wanker” for encouraging us to clap for the NHS,while the government continues to metaphorically boo the public institute by selfishly pocketing the money promised to them. The track personifies our current reality and is heightened by Jamkvy refusal to sugar coat the truth. The last in the bun Tories trilogy segment of the album – ‘No more Covid 19’ has Saskilla frantically bemoaning all the things he’s done with like “racist feds, don’t want it no more”, andcraves the simple things we miss and took for granted since the pandemic descended, like eating out at restaurants. If these 3 tracks were played to someone in 20 years’ time, they would paint a vividly accurate picture of our current reality due to the exceptionalism within the lyricism.
Half way through the album, Saskilla switches mood and is in playful mode on, ‘Miss Me’ produced by Flarve. ‘killa questions whether a former flame misses him when he pops up on her TL, Saskilla‘s fine-tuned skills allow him to balance the line between sincere and silly, as he warbles on the hookseemingly mocking it regarding his exes potential new man. Garage gyal and mandem stan’ up! ‘JD Bag remix’ Ft. Eyez, Scrufizzer, Maxsta and Kamakaze, is one for the old skool UKG massive in the place. The 2 step hi-hats and bubbly strings, with deep b-lines transports you back in time to swapping garage tracks via infrared on Nokia 3310s, as each artist shares what’s in their JD bag. This one would go OFF in the garage room at grime originals, as it honours the hugely impactful UK garage scene that most grime heads came up on, before we graduated to grime. ‘Killa continues his homageto the golden years and enlists the mighty Zeph Ellis to let off a rotten riddim on track -‘2004.’ This one hits you deep in the chest and threatens to rip up any sound system, as the b-line reverbs consistently over well timed kicks, with Saskilla taking us on a journey through ends and his creative processfrom 2004 – to present day. Saskilla reminisces of a time gone by when “Man couldn’t put faces to names and the MC’s were just voices back then”, DJ’s refused to playlist grime, commercial outlets rejected grime artists, and he remembers being treated like scum. When Saskilla announces “Right bloody NOW!” before detailing all his wins in present day, you feel like you are watching a 1500 metre runner finally crossing the finish line, exhausted but exhilarated by their triumph. When I saw the features on ‘Hashtag Crazy T’, I reasoned I must be hallucinating after downing too many flavoured gin and tonics, but I can confirm your eyes do not deceive you! Yes the legendary Crazy Titch is indeed on the track alongside Nasty Jack, making this track something of a 3 headed shark ready to war. The production, by Meenz, conjures up the image of this 3 headed beast comprising of Saskilla, Crazy Titch and Nasty Jack, circling round a stranded submarine, its inhabitants (the Tory party) trapped inside sending out emergency SOS Morse code bleeps, to save them from the jaws of these monster MC’s!
If ‘killa was gifted a superpower on black people’s solstice which occurred on 21st December 2020, then it was a turbo charge power, strengthening his ability to spit on any tempo, style or genre he chooses, which he displays on the stunningly soulful ‘Cold World’ produced Danny Yen. Wiley features coming through with a double time flow, owning his status as a (much loved) rebel of the scene, who is often straight out the gate at 160, once he hits the reset button. The tracks title defies its instrumental, as we are treated to the warmth of beautifully luxurious psychedelic keys and neo soul melodies.
We reach the conclusion of the album with ‘UK Anthem’, which is truly a UK Anthem, as the track features multi regional MC’s, with the likes of Cardiff’s Astroid Boyz showing out, Brum’s Devilman joins in, dropping hisdistinctive soundbites and sound effects he’s celebrated for,and Scottish MC Ransom is also in the mix with his on point flow. The track is a celebration of the uniqueness MC’s from differing regions can bring, it’s nothing short of awe-inspiring to hear the melding of accents, flows, styles and cadence showcased here, and is a necessary reminder of grime’s reach and interpretations outside of grime’s hub in East London. Saskilla shouts out various cities he’s performed in multiple times, to the point he now knows exactly which tracks will dun the dance and shut down the rave in – “Manny, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, Cardiff, Plymouth, Southampton, Nott’s, Luton, Glasgow…Birmingham start wylin out, L.O.N.D.O.N, come round ‘ere, then shout it out.” Saskilla ensures no one is left out, as he expresses his passion for live performances. I have to personally hail up the godson, for bringing these postcodes together in celebration of the grime sonic, culture and lifestyle.
Saskilla has undoubtedly delivered a last minute masterpiece,as we happily say goodbye to 2020, and end on a much needed high with this album. Saskilla has crafted one of the most balanced long form projects I have heard this year and I am SPUN. ‘Godson 1.8’ is socially political, topical and meaningful, yet gives us screw face grime bangers which SLAP, he invites us to time travel with him to 2000’s, making us smile as we recall our own memories, he injects hype &fun within the last quarter of the album, he’s also assembled a who’s who of revered producers and feature artists, and he’s given us more flows than a tsunami!! The result is jaw dropping! There are many things we will anticipate leaving behind in 2020, Saskilla’s ‘Godson 1.8’ is not one of them,and I’ll be boppin’ to this body of work well into 2021.
Run it up here!
…and Non Grime, here!