Music

Ghetts Delivers A Grime Banger With 'Know My Ting'

Ghetts’ new single “Know My Ting" featuring Shakka will have you pressing repeat.

Ghetts’ new single “Know My Ting” dropped a few days before he was set to perform the entirety of his seminal 2014 album Ghetto Gospel live at Roundhouse in London.


Featured on “Know My Ting” is Shakka the singer and producer who has twice won Best R&B/Soul Act at the MOBO Awards. His chorus, built around the song title, is simply about status affirmation, “we’re spending pounds, you're making sounds, you know my ting.”

The beat doesn't make for easy categorisation. One moment it sounds like house, but when it breaks, the snare slithers like what you'd hear on a trap beat. When it breaks again and picks up pace, the slithering snare become sparser. An incongruous name for it could be trap house—or not.

You never think banking and finance references would make for a memorable bar, but this just about does, “I took National before you Lloyd,” referring to Lloyds TSB group’s takeover of Abbey National, though not quite a zinger.

“Know My Ting” is Ghetts’ first solo release of 2017. The other is the gloriously vicious “Bang”, one of the exceptional songs off Wiley’s Godfather which we reviewed here.

The new year is shaping up to be a great year for Ghetts, one of grime’s foremost MCs, as he continues to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Ghetto Gospel, and readies his next studio album, which is yet to be titled.

Sabo Kpade is an Associate Writer with Spread The Word. His short story Chibok was shortlisted for the London Short Story Prize 2015. His first play, Have Mercy on Liverpool Street was longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. He lives in London. You can reach him at sabo.kpade@gmail.com.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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