News 24 May 2016
Author: Saquib Butt

GRM Team Of The Season – If Rappers Were Footballers

Author Saquib Butt
24 May 2016

It’s been a spectacular year for UK music and football both so it’s only right we bring you our Team Of The Season. I’ve tried my best to review the artists from August 2015 to May 2016 (the football season) but may of occasionally stepped back a few months! Enjoy!

GRM Daily

GRM Daily

67 // David De Gea

Having De Gea in goal is literally like having 6 or 7 man in goal at once he’s that good!  The Spanish shot stopper had a rocky start to the season with Madrid transfer rumours relegating him to the bench but once he regained his rightful place in goal, he didn’t look back. De Gea was a minute away from sharing the Golden Glove with Arsenal’s Cech but his wonderful season confirmed that he is the best keeper in the country and possibly the world. Let’s hope Mourinho’s imminent arrival persuades him to reject the riches of Real Madrid.

67 have had a fine season. The group do tend to cause controversy but their ability to cook up bangers is unquestionable. A quick search on YouTube brings up views that most veteran MC’s would be proud of, millions everywhere! The work rate is also top notch, it feels like every two or three weeks 67 bless us with something new. If we ignore any outside politics and focus solely on music, 67 deserve their place in our Team Of The Season and for us they’d have a place in goal because who’d even dare try score past them? Plus multiple goalkeepers is always better than one!

Wretch 32 & Av // Alderweireld & Vertonghen

Alderweireld & Vertonghen are a FIFA Ultimate Team players dream! Same position, same club, same country = chemistry 100! All virtual football aside, the way these two defended together this season, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was as easy as FIFA. Tottenham finished the season with the joint best “Goals Conceded” record and bar the final-day horror show at Newcastle they certainly would’ve finished top of that respective list. Alderweireld was a rock at the back and his composure on the ball contributed to Spurs being able to play the pressing football Pochettino desires.

Who knows what could’ve happened if injury hadn’t robbed Vertonghen of a couple months playing time? He certainly would’ve been in a few more experts Team Of The Season line-ups though. Watch out for this partnership at the Euro’s!

Wretch 32 & Avelino, Young Fire, Old Flame. What a year these two had! A legendary Fire In The Booth back in December set the tone for what was to come. The joint mixtape Young Fire, Old Flame is sure to go down in UK history as well as two amazing shows, with the night at KOKO a particular highlight. Av also found time to drop a fantastic solo project “FYO” which only furthered highlighted his potential to go down as one of the UK’s greats. The North London rappers showed chemistry similar to the Tottenham pair above and as they also hail from Tottenham it was only right they go down as the centre-backs in our Team Of The Season.

Giggs // Robert Huth

Like a fine wine, Robert Huth seems to have gotten better with age. After his career stalled at Stoke, Huth made the jump to Leicester last January and let’s be honest very few people cared. Leicester’s form took a dramatic upturn late in the season and they finished safe comfortably. The rest as they say, is history. Nobody could’ve predicted what followed, a fine start to Leicester’s season was tarnished ever so slightly by their inability to keep a clean sheet. As the title became a more realistic goal, The Foxes defence also shored up. Marshalled by captain Morgan (unlucky to miss out on our team) and the German Huth, Leicester went on a remarkable run of 1-0 victories which ultimately helped them secure the title earlier than anyone would’ve thought. At 31 years of age Huth somehow feels like he’s been around for yonks whilst still having a good few years ahead of him. It’ll be interesting to see how he takes to the Champions League next season. Well done and congratulations on a truly amazing season Mr Huth.

Giggs, also like a fine wine has seemingly got even better with age. Unlike Huth (no offence), his standards were pretty high to begin with but the SN1 MC has somehow managed to continually up the levels through 2015 and into 2016 with no signs of slowing down. KILLER guest verses on Man Don’t Care, 3 Wheel Up’s, Round Here & Let’s Lurk as well as the sick tape SN1 Folder, has got the buzz around Giggs’s forthcoming  album”Landlord” at an all-time high. In our Team Of The Season, he takes the role of Robert Huth, a veteran with so much more still to offer. Giggs is coming to collect the rent in 16/17, be afraid.

Ghetts // Kante

What more can be said about N’Golo Kante that hasn’t already been said. Sir Alex Ferguson said he’s the best midfielder in the league and I find it hard to disagree. He might not put one in the top corner or pick a pass like Zidane but Kante’s work-rate and tireless energy is invaluable. For all the plaudits Vardy & Mahrez received, it was the continuous running, tackling and intercepting that Kante done which allowed the flair players to shine. The selfless nature of Kante saw him stay out the limelight for much of the season, he turned up, done his job and left. Kante wouldn’t look out of place at Europe’s very best clubs and fully deserves his spot in the French national team for the Euro’s where he has a real chance of securing another trophy.

Ya Dun Kno Already! Justin Clarke aka Ghetts has been killing it for many many years but he really upped the levels this year. His 653 EP with Rudekid gave us “One Take” which was the most remixed track since “Pound Cake” with just about everybody in the scene putting their own spin on it but Ghetts’s original was still up there as one of the best. He followed up that momentum with the BANGERS “Ya Dun Kno Already” and “Peng Tings”. His live game was also unbelievable, whenever he touched the stage he brought a crazy energy with him and the crowds have been feeling him more than ever. Ghetts makes our Team Of The Season and he’d take the form of N’Golo Kante, they both possess amazing energy, work rate and similar to how Kante is incomparable to anyone in world football right now, Ghetts is truly one of a kind.

AJ Tracey // Dele Alli

When the season kicked off not many expected Dele Alli to feature much this season. As the season went on, Alli became a vital piece in the Spurs side and quickly became one of the first names on the team sheet. He scored the Goal Of The Season and scooped up the YPOTY award. At only 20 years of age, you’d forgive Alli for being slightly reserved on the pitch but he showed no signs of shyness, he’s got stuck right in and even displayed a slight temper. His season was cut short by an incident but Alli is England’s brightest talent in years and has a real future in the middle for both club and country.

Similarly to Alli, AJ Tracey’s trajectory has been rather remarkable. Rewind back to August when he dropped “Spirit Bomb” with us there was a nice buzz around the boy from the lane but it was assumed he’d make his real statement a bit later on. As it was, AJ grew from strength to strength, he gave us the “Alex Moran” EP, a sick Fire In The Booth, a Toddla T freestyle and a personal highlight for me “Packages”. PENG TINGS LIKE ERIN BUDINA! Thank you for putting me on to Erin Budina AJ. All jokes aside, AJ Tracey has quietly and quickly built up a loyal following and is set for a big future starting this summer where he’s been booked at quite a few festivals!

Stormzy // Riyad Mahrez

Riyad bloody Mahrez. What an unbelievable story. Mahrez was the undisputed king of the Premier League this season with 17 goals and 11 assists from the right wing. He developed a telepathic connection with Vardy and left defenders on their rear all season long. There’s not much else to say except that he’s been an absolute joy to watch this season. It’ll be interesting to see if Leicester can keep him from the clutches of Europe’s elite.

Like Mahrez, there’s not much else to say about Stormzy that hasn’t already been said. He’s had an absolutely huge year and he’s only just started. He racked up 31 million views on his Shut Up freestyle, walked Anthony Joshua to the ring, sold out shows ALL OVER the world, sold 400,00 records, got an Apple Music show, hit #7 in the charts, got your MCM’s total YouTube views in 4 hours. It’s just been an unbelievable year for the #MERKY MC. Stormzy takes Mahrez’s place on the wing because they’ve both done amazing numbers this season and because unfortunately neither Benteke or Lukaku made the team. More life to you Mike and give us the album ASAP please.

Nines // Mesut Ozil

If there’s a player in the Premier League who’s natural ability speaks louder than anything else it’s Mesut Ozil. His tally of 19 assists saw him top the assist chart and he also topped the “Chances Created” list. All this with Giroud upfront! Imagine what he could do if Wenger opened the cheque book for a striker. The magic of Ozil is how he makes it look effortless whilst seemingly slowly jogging around the pitch. You still feel Ozil has more to achieve at Arsenal and The Gunners summer activity could well dictate whether the German magician can top his 15/16 campaign.

In a similar vein to Ozil, Nines is a guy who makes the music thing look easy. He appears, racks up millions of views, shuts down the Internet and leaves. “One Foot In” was a quality body of work and it’s hard to poke any flaws in it. He followed that with one of the visuals of the year for “Cant Blame Me” and a sick video for “Yay”. The numbers are a mad ting and you can only salute Nines for that. For those reasons, Nines takes his place in our Team Of The Season as Mesut Ozil due to the way they both handle their respective careers with the utmost finesse. One Foot Out ASAP please.

Kano //Dimitri Payet

We’ve got Payet, Dimitri Payet.. I just don’t think you understand. Besides from a very catchy chant, Payet set the Premier League alight this season. Similar to Ozil, he makes the game look rather easy and time seems to slow down for him. Fantastic dead ball ability, a great touch, vision, passing, dribbling, Payet has it all in his locker and was a key reason as to why West Ham had the fantastic season they did. It’s amazing that it’s taken till the Frenchman hit 29 years of age for people to see what he’s truly capable of.  It’s fitting that Payet will be playing his football in the wonderful Olympic Stadium next season, a stage his superb ability is fit for.

It’s KA! Legend is often an over-used term but is totally fitting for Kano. His triumphant return to the game with the future classic “Made In The Manor” reminded all of us what he’s capable of. “GARAGESKANK” was the instrumental of 2015 and tracks such as “Endz”, “3 Wheel Ups” and “This Is England” were brought to life with brilliant gritty visuals. Kano brought true quality back to UK rap/grime and showed us what the most important thing in music is. Albums. Quality albums. Also, let’s not forget that Fire In The Booth, real real legendary. Legacy well and truly cemented. Thank you Kano and please no more sabbaticals.

KA takes the role of Dimitri Payet in our Team Of The Season because they both done East London very proud.

Chip // Jamie Vardy

Chat Shit, Get Banged. Another fantastic Leicester story. Some of you might be getting bored of the Leicester talk but what this man achieved this season was very special. He had a controversial summer where he was involved in a racist incident but from there on in his career went fully upwards. From non-league to broken records, 24 Premier League goals, title winner and full England international. A mixture of pace and clinical finishing cemented Vardy as one of the league’s most feared strikers whilst also having the ability to lay on a number of assists for his team-mates. Big up Vardy, bring the Euro’s home for us!

You’d be forgiven for thinking Chat Shit, Get Banged was Chip’s motto the way he went about his business this season. He was just not having it. From Pepper Riddim to Light Work to Michelle Riddim Chip was delivering quality, lyrical shots everywhere. Besides the shots, Chipmunk gave us two quality EP’s with the “Believe & Achieve” series and the “Rap v Grime” mixtape. A season that involved restoring his image and solidifying himself as one of the best lyricists in the country, job well done. Chip can’t run out of bars and the future looks very bright for the Tottenham MC. He takes the place of Jamie Vardy for the sole reasons that his shots and accuracy would make him a deadly striker! 😉

Skepta // Harry Kane

Harry Kane burst on to the scene last year but some still doubted his longevity assuming he might of been a flash in the pan. How wrong they were. Kane ended the season as the league’s top scorer and England’s undisputed N0.9. Weirdly, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly it is that makes Kane as effective as he is but some of the goals he’s scored this season, mainly the curler against Arsenal, show his finishing ability is second to none. The Tottenham forward missed out on the title this year but at 22 he has many more chances ahead, for now Harry focus on the Euro’s!

King Skeppy. What a bloody year he’s had, I’m sure you’re all aware of his success so I won’t bore you. Well maybe just a little.. with Skepta it’s more than just simply good music. What’s he done for the culture is amazing, Skepta has helped put UK “urban” (I use that word loosely) music on the map once again. He’s helped with transatlantic relations and on top of that I feel like along with Kano he’s put a value on art once again. Chuck in the Uniqlo covers and GQ lists and it’s easy to see why there is so much acclaim around Skepta at the moment. In our Team Of The Season he takes the spot of Harry Kane as they’ve both been flying the flag for the UK and Tottenham this season.

Subs: Cech, Morgan, Bellerin, Rose, Kouyate, De Bruyne, Aguero // Mist, MoStack, Section Boyz, Cadet, Santan Dave, Big Narstie & Tion Wayne.

I hope you enjoyed this read, if you have any comments or feedback feel free to get in touch on Twitter! @Saquibb95