When Trapstar tapped pioneering grime DJ Logan Sama of Rinse FM, Kiss FM and BBC 1Xtra to help curate, collect and craft a mixtape, the inspiration was simple: take emcees and producers new and old and ask them which beat, which riddim, which sound made them fall in love with grime as a genre. The result is a 22-track tape — the bluntly titled Trapstar x Logan Sama Mixtape — of new blood and living legends sharing mic time over production that sounds nostalgic for those in the know, and ahead of its time for those unfamiliar with grime’s history and heritage.
There’s an instinctive urge to draw parallels between grime and hip-hop — an reflexive attempt to make something familiar and palatable. Even those at the heart of grime culture, like Trapstar co-founder and namesake Mikey Trapstar, try their best to find analogies and corollaries between the two distinct-yet-related genres: Trapstar himself likens More Fire Crew’s seminal street hit “Oi!,” for example, to Black Rob’s “Whoa.” Elsewhere on the eponymous tape, Skepta flips Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” so that Ghetts, So Large and Rival can flex their own riddims over an American hip-hop classic. When pressed on the necessity of a mainstream cosign, Sama points toward the music industry’s structure as a whole. “if you're fucking with what Skepta and Stormzy and mandem are doing right now, there's so much more for you to discover, musically and artistically.” In short, outsiders are welcome here. It doesn’t matter if listeners were clued in via an OVOSound Radio mix or via blog links — so long as it comes from a place of appreciating the culture and environment that birthed this sound, this culture, anyone can hang.
Read the rest of the interview at Hypetrak.