We’ve all heard the phenomenal album that is Conflict of Interest [if you haven’t click here], and personally I think its one of the best albums I’ve listened to in all of my life. It tells the story of his life and also that of a generation; whether you were in the mud, closely associated or a bystander to a life of Grime, crime and delinquency. I know that the statement about Conflict of Interest being one of the best albums I’ve listened to is quite a bold statement, and in someways it may trigger some of you to refute my claims but bring it on in the comments.
Feel free to come at me with an album from the UK which is better musically or lyrically.
Ghetts is a huge part of the fabric of UK Grime and Rap alumni and why so many people pay UK lyricists so much respect. He’s a stylist pioneer and always has been. No one can deny his lyrical ability, nor how meticulous and articulate he is as a lyricist but what he’s done is proved us all right.
This album is testament that you don’t have to forget who you are to deliver a top tier album; you don’t have to stay in the past or as he so best puts it “recite the same bars from 2004” to survive, and more importantly he proved to all of his contemporaries that you can be a great lyricist but still deliver a timeless album without a mindset of pleasing everyone with a mishmash of party songs but then please everyone because what you gave us is a reflection of the current time we’re living in; grim and stagnant but hope for better days. Think the pandemic, job security, a steady income, a job for life with good benefits, a work life balance and being able to afford a nice house in the area you’ve always live or be in a decent area. Ghetts gave us life by giving us an insight into his real life.
Conflict of Interest set Ghetts’ leagues beyond everyone who dropped recently because this album will be remembered for being the maturation of a music genre -even though you can’t pigeon hole it but I say this because he’s a pioneer and an iconic representative- where traditionally it’s participants have always shadow boxed imaginary haters, flexed on the people in the struggle and perpetuated a culture of machismo and misogyny.
We can’t call this a Rap album, we can’t call this a Grime album, what we can agree on is that you do the masterful work an injustice if you were to attempt to pigeon hole it. This album is nothing short of a masterpiece where tracks are sequenced in meticulous detail as you accompany it’s protagonist on his odyssey back to the light guided by his Fitrah.
Gotta respect Ghetts’ clever use of hidden features ie. Dizzee Rascal and D Double E’s ad-libs which reminds me of how Kanye got Jeezy on Can’t Tell Me Nothing. Yes I would’ve wanted to hear a Kane Robinson collab however that would’ve been way too obvious.
After listening to the album a number of times since my first this past Saturday, I watched ADTV’s interview which filled in a lot of the gaps to demystified the process and context. I really enjoy Amaru’s interviews because he gives people room to speak and be themselves. Also because he masks his identity the main focus is on the subject and not the interviewer, it’s not even worth stating the obvious which is a lot of people should be [we know they have been] taking notes.
I found Ghetts’ energy infectious and inspiring which in large part is testament to him being so self-aware and conscious of what he is doing. Also I admire him openly sharing his relationship with God and the powers granted to him during turbulent times when he’s prayed for signs because in todays era of the artist and the world being ever more secular in the time of Individualism, nothing seems to be off limits as if everything is for sale in order to profit, even if it means trading their soul for coins. I find it fascinating that all of the realest artists that have stood the test of time seem to have a strong relation with God, regardless of their faith and I respect that highly.
Don’t just take my word for it, go and listen to Conflict of Interest.