As a Grime legend and one of the most entertaining figures in the scene, Jammer enjoyed a massive 2011 which included well received return of his iconic Lord of the Mics series and less than a month away from his 30th birthday, the dreadlocked Boy Better Know representative is getting ready to release his new single Big Man featuring Viper, JME, B Live, Scratchy, Lay Z, Sox & Flowdan. New RWD editor Danny Walker grabbed a few minutes with the Murkleman to talk suits, animals, being a Big Man and a whole lot more...
How are things?
I’m great… yes wicked, can’t ask for much more right now. Just enjoying everything, obviously after the Lord of the Mics success, it’s all good.
How was the Lord of the Mics success as you did jackets, launch nights, you guys were everywhere… it was good to see it back…
It was something that was wanted by the scene, they couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. We delivered it to them in that format as well; we had it on iTunes – where you could download it, so it was very in with the kids. You know how everyone has got their phones in their hands now. There were still people who wanted the hard copies, and we sold a lot of hard copies and we sold a lot of digital copies too. It’s all about pushing the scene, it’s not really about the brand. The brand is important but it’s about awareness. Bringing awareness of the artists. I’ve seen a load of new artists coming through so it’s a good time for the music.
With grime there are quite a lot of collaborations. I don’t think any other genre collaborates so much.
Yeah, it’s a movement, the culture, you know and just raw talent. It’s not even like we’re at war with the major labels but just… nobody can market me better than me. And nobody can understand the other artists better than those artists themselves. We just communicate and do things together.
I’m still waiting for Murkleman to jump out of nowhere to hijack a set. Surely something is going to happen with that.
Something mystical is going to happen with that; Only the other day I got a Murkleman tattoo and then, the same week I bumped into Urkle. The actual guy who plays Urkle. That was random and I haven’t seen him for four years. We most probably will see the return.
Let’s talk about the single, Big Man, one of you best lines was, ‘I’m a big man but I’m not 30…’ Now you’ve changed it to ‘I’m a big man but I’m not 40!!!’ What is your definition of that phrase…
Well in the beginning, Hyper, was the oldest one in N.A.S.T.Y. Crew and he was like, ‘I’m a big man… I’m 30, I’m 30’ and I was like, ‘Rahhh.’ We thought that was funny. Back then I was thinking, ‘I’m a big man as well, but I’m not 30’ and it just come around like that. That was it. The single is out on 1 July, at midnight, I’ll be 30. That is why I’ve moved it on to 40 now.
Think you’ll be a big man at 30; or still the same?
I’ve always been a big man since however long you’ve know me. I had my studio, I was running a label and managing N.A.S.T.Y Crew, so in my mind, I’ve always been forward.
What was the reason for bringing in classic bars like Viper’s, you have that old skool vibe to it.
Erm, me and Skepta were talking about the lyrics for a little while and obviously what we done with the first one [Doin’ It Again], we got Creed and we had the old skool garage and the new skool guys on there. We just thought, ‘How can me make another classic’. We selected who had the right chorus and who would have the right 8bar and who would make it work. We just formulated it from there. All the mums and dads that used to go to the old garage events, they’ll remember [Jammer does Viper impression] ‘Seeeeeeeeeeleeecta’. They’ll remember it from Luck & Neat days. Then you’ve got the other guys who remember it from our days, who grew up to that. From the old days of RWD, when you weren’t editor; Them days there, they’ll know the other bars like, B-U-N… All the new kids will know the Sox lyrics and the Lay-Z lyrics from Lord of the Mic 3.
We have to touch on beef…
Everyone wants to ask about beef. I knew it was coming. I thought we were gonna do a normal interview [laughs].
[Laughs] It’s all healthy.
The scene needs a bit of entertainment at the end of the day. See Snakeyman. It’s not my fault his card declined. I dunno. He’s got to sort that out over his side. Get rich or Die Declined, you know what I’m saying [laughs].
Let’s talk about Jammer’s style; you’re never afraid to rock a suit…
What are you saying?!?! My style has improved over the years, yeah?
Yeah man, you’re rocking suits and all sorts.
Oh my God, this is GASSED. I feel GASSED right now. When you get interviewed and they start talking about style, I never thought I’d be up on that. On those new levels. The suit has to come up, I’m a big man but I’m not 40. The suit selection is there, you’ll see me rock more later in the year.
Next I’ve got another big single which will definitely have the girls onside. So yeah, I’ve got another big record that will be coming after Big Man. That is obviously me building up for my new album.
Do you have a name for that? Jumanji 2, perhaps?
It’s called… [pauses]… I’m not even gonna say the name but look out for it. You know what it is, anything can happen in the last minute. If I go around saying it everywhere I’ll have to keep it. I’ll know what the name is. When I made Jumanji, I didn’t have a name for the album, I just made the album… and then one day I had a dream that I wanted an elephant [for the cover].
We remember Big Dada telling us…
Yeah, I phoned the label and asked. For two weeks they couldn’t get one because of all of the animal rights. Then I got one and I called it Jumanji.
What is happening with Boy Better Know…
Yeah, obviously Boy Better Know is a collective of different people. All the characters are there for a different reason. Obviously my role is the guy that comes and hypes everything up. That guy with the high-pitched voice on all sorts of stuff. Obviously that is just what I do. If there is a video and I’m not hyped… It don’t look right. Boy Better Know is moving, look out, we’re dropping loads of stuff. Keep your eye out.
Big up the fans and everyone who bought Lord of the Mics. All my followers on Twitter and congratulations as well.
Jammer's new single Big Man is released July 1.
Photo by Verena Stefanie Grotto [kidsofgrime.com]