Exclusives 6 January 2020
Author: Seth P

5 of the hardest genre defining grime clashes

6 January 2020

Originally Published: August 2018

The braggadocious adversarial nature is an integral part of the fibre that makes up the very fabric of the scene.  This comes in various shapes and sizes, the bars that permeate BPMs across the country will be dripping in one-upmanship as MCs try and outdo each other on wax. We’ve recently witnessed a manifestation of this Stateside, with the Pusha T and Drake feud; and we’re certainly not short of our own legendary war dubs on home turf.

However a recent tweet from Jammer got us thinking, what about the art of warring in the flesh? Although a polished well packaged send is a thing of beauty; there is certainly something special about seeing two MCs get into it in front of hordes of bloodthirsty fans hanging on each MCs words hoping to see someone’s head get taken off. Journey with us as we take a look at some of the finest examples of lyrical combat.

1. Wiley Vs Kano

It would be nothing short of sacrilegious if we didn’t start by revisiting one of the most legendary clashes in grime’s history, the monumental collision between Wiley and Kano. The clash takes place in Jammer’s basement, the birthplace of the iconic Lord of the Mics series. Wiley and Kano cross swords in a battle which the outcome remains undecided to this day.

2. Skepta Vs Devilman

Skepta and Devilman’s is another clash that has ascended to a higher plane. The clash embodies everything that makes the gladiatorial sport so great, the audience reactions, the mutual respect between the two and the word perfect one take deliveries from the two MCs (no iPhones around for the assist either). The clash contains a selection of some of Skeppy’s most quotable bars, even Drizzy would later stumble on the clash applauding the lyrical acrobatics of the two MCs.

3. Ghetts Vs Bashy 

“WHERE’S CARLOS?”: Arguably grime’s most famous rhetorical question. This came during a clash between Bashy and Ghetts, the latter unhappy with a flurry of bars sent his way causing the lyrical exchange to almost become physical. Ghetts’ trademark ferocious energy is simply made for clashing, another reason why countless fans were disappointed that the P Money encounter never evolved into a face to face clash. Stormzy brought this clash back to the fore by sampling it on his track “Bad Boys” which featured J Hus and Ghetts.

4. Cadell Vs Novelist

We fast forward to one of the modern day classics with Cadell vs Novelist. The setting, the wheel ups and the humorous lyrical barrages from both MCs is exactly what makes clashes so entertaining to watch. No egos, just straight bars; the former has contaminated the scene, as many MCs seem reluctant to test their mettle in an unforgiving live setting; and the rest are more concerned with how a loss might effect their social media clout. Similar to Wiley’s legendary clash, younger brother Cadell’s lyrical war ends without a clear winner being decided.

5. P Money Vs Big H 

One of the best modern iterations of Lord of the Mics. It was also the first ever Lord of the Mics live event, tickets for the event were being sold at £100 each and fans certainly got their fair share of controversy, seeing Big H infamously leave the stage prematurely.