Friday 15 November 2013

MTV IGGY: Big Narstie Wants To Say Hello (High)

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

Name: Big Narstie

Where He’s From: London, England

When He Started: 2002

Genre: Grime

For Fans Of: Merky Ace, Tempa T, Wiley

Not all grime MCs have renk attitudes and permanent screwfacesBig Narstie will have you know. The south London native has seen a super-surge in social media followers as a direct result of the ROFL-inducing humour and matey persona he's displayed online over the last 18 months. If he's not writing comedic articles for Noisey or being hilariously harsh with his single reviews for FACT Magazine, then you can find Big Narstie appearing weekly in his own Uncle Pain series on The Grime Report’s YouTube channel, which sees him take on an agony uncle role to debate some serious issues with often side-splitting conclusions.

But has the major LOLZ translated into major record sales? "It's getting there," says the quick-witted emcee, who began rhyming in 2002 and is one of the founding members of grime crew N Double A. "Obviously, things are looking much better than they were before. People are definitely more accepting towards me now that they’ve seen more of who I am as a person, and I like the fact that I'm one of the few MCs out there proving that grime music can still sell. My last EP, Don’t F**k Up The Base, didn’t do too bad [laughs]."

The larger-than-life character's latest offering, Hello High, is a 7-track joint EP with dubstep/grime beat-makers True Tiger. And from subject matter to the visuals, it's one of the more creative, out-of-the-box projects the scene has served up in recent years. "I've wanted to work with True Tiger for a while but we were always really busy," explains Big Narstie. "We eventually got in contact with each other and, originally, we went into the studio to make one track, Baracuda, but it ended up becoming a whole EP because I'm a God-damn-motherfucking beast in the booth [laughs]."

Big Narstie is grime to the death. Plain and simple. And so, for him, diluting the genre for the approval of the pop/dance world will forever be a no-no. "Grime artists need to stop thinking the only way they can get into the mainstream is by jumping on dance or pop music," he advises. "The scene needs more artists who aren't afraid to release the music on a commercial level." Amen. Mr. Narstie has big plans, including a soon-to-be-released Uncle Pain DVD and merchandise, but, for the time being anyway, he just wants to say Hello High to as many people outside of the grime realm as he possibly can.

This also appeared over at MTV IGGY: H E R E