To celebrate the ten year anniversary of his first mixtape AWOL 2, Big Grizz has released the album 33rd Degree which is perhaps his most diverse project yet. Musically the levels have definitely gone up and you can tell that as Big Grizz gets more into creating his own soundscapes, he pushes the envelope to implement much more dynamic and melodic rhyme schemes.
Grizzly’s vision behind 33rd Degree was to emulate the hunger and raw energy of AWOL 2 but also to display growth. We get a mixture of that in tracks like 6am in Da Brix where he paints the scene over a Drill beat to give you the feeling of Brixton in the early to mid 2000s when it was strictly a no-go area. One of my earliest memories of Brixton as a kid was seeing someone being chased with a knife, looking out of the rear window of my Mum’s car as a child, as we drove out of the car park by the indoor market. He could probably rename that track ‘Wrong Turn in Brix’ because as much as its been gentrified to a large degree, take a wrong turn in Brixton and it’s a mazzaliño. Also like everywhere -seen this in Peckham and Deptford a lot, the fiends are like vampires because they come out after dark and become much more visible. It really is like a tale of two towns for day and night.
33rd Degree displays Grizzly’s artistry and persistence of wanting his dream to materialise. Very much a self starter, avid with the DIY ethos around recording, mixing and even shooting and directing his music videos, Grizz exemplifies the by all means attitude as he is motivated by his family and being the change he wants to see.
Alongside Grizzly himself, the album features production from Alien Muzik, Shannon Parkes, 3DUK, Filthy Gears, Hunta Beats, Trooh Hippi and DJ Absurd. If i were to have a favourite track, its definitely Roller Coaster, I’m a big fan of the bounce, and also 6am in Da Brix because of its menacing mood to project a picture of the gritty and resilient Brixton that I remember in regards to the culture, stories and key players from that place you always heard about.