Giggs GiggsLet Em Ave It
A thick anorak with fox fur around the hood. Sunglasses. The latest LeBron James trainers (without shoelaces). Jeans so baggy you could fit a colony of rabbits inside them. Necklaces shinier than a quasar. The look like a motherfucker in his eyes. A match between his teeth. Joints. Drugs. The British hood - gangsters with a South London accent. Giggs, formerly Hollowman, wants it all and he wants it now, like Queen, but without the moustache, tight pants and the effeminate mannerisms. Controversy has always been a profitable companion for the man from Peckham: he was in prison for possession of firearms, and it seems that the London police fervently advised XL Recordings not to sign him, because the cops have had their eyes on him for some time. These credentials didn’t go unnoticed on the streets, which, in fact, already knew him well: his mixtapes and first official album, “Walk In Da Park”, sold very respectably, despite its poisonous content, crudeness and rabidly underground character.
Armed with a flow so slow it may have been sent our way by telegraph, and a tone of voice that is so hoarse he almost sounds like a dog, Giggs has forms, a background, and appetites that remind one of a wilder UK version of The Game (of course). His stories take us to a world of hustling, low-class demonstrations of manhood, elephant-sized tits, and survival on the most sordid London streets. There is something sinister and dangerously attractive in this character. In spite of his amorality and verbal violence, he has earned the deepest respect of his colleagues and the press, who have not hesitated to proclaim him the great black hope of English hip hop (the pope of the rap waves, Tim Westwood, adores him). His secret? You believe him. The guy is authentic, untameable, he does what he wants and he sounds like a hood. But a real hood. In fact, he has a perfect flow for the made-in-the-UK gangster stories that fill his liner notes, and he takes shelter in a sound that is coherent with his message. This overflow of attitude and musical logic is something to be highly appreciated in this time of fakes, impostors, and ghetto kids who want to be Gloria Gaynor.
“Let Em Ave It”, a title that pays homage to one of 2pac’s great songs, isn’t complicated: it uses bad electro, old-school gangsta rap (joint in the mouth, curls slicked back like Eazy-E, and cheap beer) and sweaty grime to make a spiked bed that not too many fakirs would dare to run their tongues over. Heavy rhythms ( “Life”), grimy beatboxes ( “Ner Ner”), industrial factory epic ( “Have It Out”), bad neighbourhood synthesisers ( “Get Your Money Up”), repetitive choruses ( “Hustle On”), machine grime ( “What More Do They Want”): these are the basic components of an album that follows a dark, threatening line that doesn’t fool anybody about its violence, sexism, and lyrical power. The photographs of urban horror shot by this guy from Peckham take on greater relief and credibility in this B-series mafia comic book, full of killer claps, bpm’s on low, and pachyderm electro-rap; this is a graphic novel of street dogs set in an apocalyptic London that gives you chills. With Dizzee Rascal living his Ibiza-pop wet dream, the headz have to trust this smoking pit bull more than ever: he is authentic, hard as a rock, uncomfortable, and part of the little there is with a real personality that has come up on the British rap scene in a long time. A little respect for the man who has made Ryan stop being my favourite Giggs. Óscar Broc
* Buy it here