Cemented firmly in the chronicles of grime, the Rhythm n Gash beat is a certified classic. In our regular Into The Vaults segment, #itchysilk writer Chika CNN drops some verbals about the track’s significance in the rise of grime as a global genre.
Finding the mysterious individual/s Rebound X on the internet is easier said than done-however finding a version of Rhythm n Gash with an MC spitting over it is straightforward. Whether it’s a quick 16 or 32, this beat will have you spitting bars for days. The first time I heard, “Umma umma umma…” I knew I was in love. From the chopped vocals, to the snare this grime instrumental will get you skanking. It gives the listener an insight into the foundations of grime-in its original form.
Unbelievably, it has been 11 years since its initial release of the track which is still as relevant as it was in 2006. With its simple structure yet addictive energy it has helped to elevate grime from an ostensibly UK genre to its current status as a global genre-it’s a level mainstream critics probably thought never possible.
Well known grime artists such as Skepta and Tempa T, have helped to propel (and by proxy grime) the track to its status as a classic. The former sampled the instrumental to create I Spy from his debut album Greatest Hits (2007) released on on his own label Boy Better Know (featuring Jammer).
In terms of its popularity and impact on grime and urban culture, you can argue that Rhythm & Gash has achieved levels akin to Wiley’s Eskimo (2002) beat-is a classic from an era where you would play grime instrumentals off your Sony Walkman phone from the back of the bus or clash your boys during break time on the school field. Everyone wore Kickers and girls would wear Chuppa Chupps in their hair with two (not three) strands of hair gelled to their glistening forehead. The girls would often clash harder than the boys; ‘moving like mandem’ is the expression. Now everyone wears Huaraches and Yeezys and bathes in coconut oil whilst Snapchatting to their attentive audience.
While styles have moved on grime as a genre has also moved there is a question: is grime merely a watered down version to achieve mainstream success-the response to that will evidently be left for another instalment?