Tuesday, 8 June 2010
If, as Malcolm Mclaren once said, rap music is "black punk rock", then Tempa T is surely Johnny Rotten. His style of rap, or grime as the kids are calling it, is stripping the genre back to its roots, and while he's not alone in his field, he's certainly one of the best scarecrows on the farm.
In a world where even warbling foetus Justin Beiber is befriending once respected rapper Ludacris, there's something to be said for returning to rap's original premise - angry young men telling it like it is. Tempa T is really angry. Really, really angry. So angry that he sounds like salt being rubbed into a wound. He's also genuinely terrifying. Just wait until The Daily Mail get wind of him. He'll be blamed for global warming, swine flu, terrorism and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Take a look at that Fresh Prince straight across the top like a boiled egg haircut. That alone should be enough to make you take yourself off to YouTube and check out the video for 'Next Hype'. Ignore the first minute, which features a more grating than a cheese grater appearance from Westwood. Just skip to the raw, angry, blistering power of the song. The most exciting part is you're never sure if Tempz is joking.
Throughout the video he wears a cheeky smile as we watch him smash up a flat, slap people in the street and turn over a mattress looking for cash and drugs. Is he really this hard or is just messing? You won't want to hang around to find out. Especially after listening to 'Swing', a song about beating someone to death with a baseball bat. It's chainsaw to the brain stuff. It sounds like the kind of thing the US military would use as a form of torture, and yet, it's amazingly exciting.
One half of you (the half that lays out clothes for the following day before going to sleep) wants to run screaming. The other half (the half that when standing on a bridge briefly considers what it would be like to jump off it) revels in the madness and wants to take to the streets and DESTROY EVERYTHING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. You might not like Tempa T, but he's exactly the kind of person planet music desperately needs - someone with enough courage in his convictions to not give a flying one about what you think. What could be more punk than that?