“I have to make people learn from my mixtape, ‘cause certain man can’t even learn from their mistakes…..” – Wretch 32
March 9th 1985 saw the birth of Jermaine Scott, more commonly known to you and me as Wretch 32. This North London residing rapper from Tottenham to be precise; has made quite an impression in the UK music scene this year as a mainstream artist. The transition from a former ‘Grime MC’ to a signed musician has been one that Wretch has made with such ease and we would all agree is truly deserving on his part. His flow and ‘technical’ use of metaphors has gained him the respectable title of ‘Metaphor Man’ amongst his previous team member rapper Devlin (The Movement) and I’m sure to his fans. With the chart success of his first official release ‘Traktor’ reaching at number 5, the second track ‘Unorthodox’ featuring Example reaching number 2 and the ever growing popularity of his current single ‘Don’t go’ featuring Josh Kumra; Wretch 32 is on a ladder to the top and he just keeps on climbing.
However as we may all know success isn’t something that can be offered to you on a plate. It has to be earned and worked for and most importantly you have to really yearn for it. Wretch 32 is definitely an artist who has yearned for that success, how you may ask? Well get comfortable and prepare for the journey we are about to take down memory lane as we rediscover the one and only rise of Wretch 32…..
‘Combination Chain Gang’…. some of us will remember this as a phrase heard quite frequently from Wretch and that’s simple because that was his team, which included many talented artist including Wizzy Wow, Calibar and Shoka (Marvell). Another team I mentioned earlier is ‘The Movement’ a collective group of ‘Grime MCs’ Wretch was involved with. This team was made up of; Devlin, Scorcher, Mercston and Ghetto all of whom are well known artists in the rap game. As we are pretty familiar with the term ‘all good things come to an end’ this can be said about ‘Combination Camp’ and ‘The Movement’. Although that didn’t mean Wretch would forget about his ‘family’ with the release of his first solo and in my opinion his best mixtape thus far, he features his team members heavily throughout. ‘Learn from my Mixtape’ was released in 2006, featuring a compilation of 24 tracks each one displaying his immense lyrical talent. However if you can honestly hold your hands up and say track 04. ‘Used to Be’ wasn’t a song you constantly reloaded; then I just don’t know what to think about the way you are currently living life!
That track featuring his former team members Scorcher, Ghetto and Mercston was the ultimate summertime vibe anthem. The instrumental and vocal versions are still members on my iPod till this very day. The depiction of a failing relationship and the thought of wishing it could go back to its ‘honeymoon’ period – is a scenario almost everyone can relate to.
“…. but she ain’t the same in the bed, she ain’t slacking but the underwear ain’t matching” – Scorcher
“….let’s get back to the way things were, I’m fed up of the arguments, when I get up it’s an argument, truthfully, this ain’t how we use to be….” – Ghetto
“….then things change I feel say it was your female friends getting up in your brain, telling you that I still play games and that I wouldn’t never change…” – Mercston
“….in fact we fell outta love like I hate you G! we broke the chain of events but we get new links yeah…” – Wretch 32
I had to have a little moment there to just quote some iconic bars that I love so much. If you have recently become a fan of Wretch 32 and haven’t had a chance to be blessed with the glorious sounds of his older pieces; I highly recommend you click the link below and prepare for your ears to be pleasured like they have never been pleasured before. For all those who are familiar with the magnitude of ‘Learn from my Mixtape’ I will just leave you to reminisce with the good times.
Download and listen to Wretch 32 ‘Wretch32.com’ here
The word ‘consistency’ is an understatement where Wretch 32 is concerned, as each year he has made sure he put out new material in the form of mixtapes/freestyles. 2007 saw the follow up to his first mixtape entitled ‘Teachers Training Day’ which features some more of my favourite tracks such as; ‘Punctuation’ (an intelligent track conveying Wretch’s ability to word play with punctuation!) and ‘Lying Next To You’- ( which can be described as a song for the ladies, so biased choice really). 2008 was the year when Wretch released his debut solo album ‘Wretchrospective’ prior to his signing with record label’ Ministry of Sound’. ‘Ina Di Ghetto’ featuring Ghetts and Badness was a single released from it and once again you just know I have to quote a lyric Wretch said;
“….where there’s no congestion charge, but to roll through my hood there’s a section pass…” and please rate the “Just in Yard” bar
You know when you just sit back and ask yourself how/why? Is Wretch so lyrically sick!
09 was a year which was highly exciting for me simply for the reason that Wretch put out two ‘emotional’ freestyles. One which up to this day I can’t get over and another which he has admitted is one of his favourite lyrics he has ‘spat’ so far.
Wretch 32’s favourite bars (which features on his 09 released mixtape ‘Wretch32.com’)
Download and listen to Wretch 32 ‘Wretch32.com’ here
“When Amir hit the canvass, everybody cheered like Amir’s been abandoned. I realised when you’re the best or the champion, nobody wants to see you rest in that phantom. They wanna criticise, he always goes hard but he isn’t hype. He ought to go far, but he isn’t signed. They wanna clock the mistakes not the triple rhyme. Don’t wanna cop the mixtapes, but wanna spit with I, the same messages but I don’t penny messages, I dig what I spit so I can bury anything”.
It is totally understandable why Wretch himself would crown this verse as being one of his favourites. When you actually digest the content and read into what he is actually saying you can’t help but agree with each punch line. #Total Madness
My favourite bars (which features on Wretch & Chipmunks mixtape released in 2010 entitled ‘More Fun’)
Download and listen to Wretch 32 and Chipmunk “More Fun” here
“…..hand on the bible I’ve never spat a bad verse and I’m reliable I never put a gyel first, people say money over everything, I just say love over money and anyting ah anyting….”
It just doesn’t get any better than listening to those lyrics again and in some notions reliving the moment to when I first heard them. #Madness
We finally step into the present era of 2011 and come to the end of this trip down memory lane. From all the evidence shown here, you would have to be insane not to agree that Wretch 32 is undoubtedly one of the greatest UK Rap artists. Lyrically wise, content wise, entertainment wise, (just everything wise). In a couple weeks from now, 21st of August to be more specific the release of Wretch 32’s second album ‘Black and White’ will be bestowed upon us. I don’t know about you but the anticipation is so intense for me right now as the expectation for greatness is just what you know you are going to get with an artist like Wretch.
If you have not already, pre-order “Don’t Go” (feat. Josh Kumra)here
On that note I would finally like to bid you a good day, with my last video of a very recent Westwood freestyle. I will leave you to decide upon your own iconic quotes of bars, from the very one and only ‘Metaphor Man’.
Wretchro boy provide a barrage of witty and wicked lyrics over the majority of the mixtape.