Let’s face it, if you’re a fan of Grime, you’d have to have been either hiding under, or smoking the rock not to have noticed the impact that The Square have been making for the last year or so. For the uninitiated, The Square have been storming radio sets, and flinging out releases to such an extent that they’re now easily the most highly rated young crew in Grime.
DeeJillz is one of The Square’s main mic men, and one of the best Grime youngers, full stop, so when I got a chance to talk to him, you best believe that I had plenty of questions…
GrimeDisciple (GD): Thanks for your time, DeeJillz. First of all, how did you get started in Grime, and how did The Square come together?
DeeJillz (D): Basically, I knew Elf and Syder from before, and we all got to know each other and used to spray together on cam and dem things there. Then, after a while, we just slapped a name on us – “The Square” – and it kinda took off from there, feel me?
GD: I’ve always wondered why some of the younger guys on the scene got in to Grime, especially after so many people labelled it as dead. How did you come to get in to Grime?
D: It’s the music I grew up with, Channel U times, etc. One day, when I was a little yout’, I was serving over Bebo and I came across Ghetto’s “Risky Road Freestyle”, and I think, from then on, I started writing bars more seriously, but even before I’d even heard of Ghetto my style was naturally similar to his, maybe cah we’re from the same country, I dunnno [he laughs].
Whatever the reason, jumping on Grime seems to be paying off for DeeJillz. In fact, it’s hard to find an interview that doesn’t make predictions of The Square being “the next big thing”, so how does DeeJillz deal with that, is it a pressure? “No pressure at all,” he begins. “I just see it like this: if I keep mashing in work, then I will get an outcome”. Lazy MCs, take note!
One of the main reasons that DeeJillz and The Square are getting so much hype is for the old skool style approach that they bring with their music. That’s not to say that they’re throwbacks, rather that they approach the scene in a way that’s more traditionally Grime. A perfect example of this is DeeJillz views on clashing.
“MCs are not clashing properly, and they’re are too nice in a clash,” he says with a laugh. “Put me in the dungeon, and watch the type of attitude I come with! To be honest, I wouldn’t wanna jump on Lord of the Mics anymore. I feel that, after number 3, it’s lost it’s respect. Any issues an MC has, we could clash on pirate radio and that’s it. No war dubs, no nutten. We clash on pirate radio and done. That’s how Grime is meant to be. With the whole clashing thing, Grime has kinda lost its rawness, but I feel south London kinda brought it back. If you were to watch the Tempo vs. Ten Dixon clash on Youtube, you will see the rawness, and that is Grime”.
Talk turns back to DeeJillz’s music, and although there is no news of a mixtape, he does reveal that he’s currently working on projects with Syder Sides, and with Elf, as well as on various other projects for The Square. “Producer wise, I’m only fucking with producers who wanna fuck with me, and actually wanna work and make music, not just dash me an instrumental. If I need a feature on a track, I have five other MCs in my crew, so why do I need to collaborate with any more?”, he says with a laugh. “I don’t feel the need to work with an MC because of his status”.
GD: What would you say that you personally bring to The Square, and how would you describe your style?
D: I say I’m the MC with raw Grime aggression and I feel it balances out The Square, because each MC is different.
And it’s that “raw Grime aggression”, that seems certain to add DeeJillz, and the rest of the crew, to the ridiculously long list of top names in the scene from Lewisham, a list that includes P-Money, Family Tree, and Kozzie, as we as many more. It’s also a fact that, along with The Square, a lot of the best young MCs are coming out of the same area, so, with that in mind, I have one final question for DeeJillz…
GD: How come there are so many sick MCs and producers in Lewisham? Just what’s in the water, or the weed out there?
D: [cracking up laughing] It’s been like that from day, bro! I guess it’s our surroundings, and the olders around us, I dunno… it’s just how the blue gets down.