Next hype is Frontman Vipzz – ‘Paradigm’ EP Review

GGK (That’s Gloucester Grime Kid for those of you who don’t already know) Frontman Vipzz recently dropped his brand new EP entitled ‘Paradigm’ so called as the front man of the Grime collective Internal values family (IVF) seems to have gone through some internal shifts which have altered his perceptions on life since IVF’s debut EP ‘New era’ and Vipzz’s first solo EP ‘NeaaFam.’

Vipzz opens ‘Paradigm’ with a bemused cry of “Oh my god” which reminded me of D Double E’s signature soundbite featured on many of his tracks. Vipzz shouts out the mans who have left the endz or passed away and vows to carry on in their honour. On the opening track ‘Trap Grime Freestyle (T.G.F) Part 1’. He wittily drops the double entendre “Bars that break you down show me off dismantle / show me off this mantle” over the dark and hesitant b-line. We even get farmer Giles rolling through on his combine harvester as Vipzz impersonates a stereotypical farmers’ accent in a comical nod to his Gloucester roots. On the track ‘Way back flow’ Vipzz remembers the fierce flow that other MC’s possessed whom he came up with in a bid to succeed, as back in the day they had no choice but to go hard to break free of their less than ideal surroundings. The riddim rapidly intercuts between a menacing warning bass and a lighter oriental sounding instrument. Vipzz provides us with more comic relief with the bar “Separate the bars that are so sharp, cut more than a black gyal’s looks, you know – One of dem black gyal ‘I know this punk ass ni*ga aint talking to me’ typa looks.” Which made me laugh as I’ve been guilty of giving out that exact look in my time.

The house full of horrors track ‘Matt Black’ has Vipzz steering his ghost train through a tunnel full of cobwebs as he harks back to the days he lived in a council flat with his mum. The catchy hook of “We don’t do dem tings” has Vipzz stating he’s not the type of artist to flex and floss and he’d rather educate himself and others. ‘Cruddy’ which could be a fraternal twin of ‘Froggy’ from Vipzz’s previous EP ‘NeaaFam’ brings exactly what the track states – straight up crud, it has minimal instrumental but the bars are so fire a crowded instrumental would only serve to bury the shellings occurring on this track. IVF members Konvo and Ms. Flawless board Vipzz ghost train and expertly cruise through the crud on their verses. Everyone featured on the track brings their A game and the bar is raised to the highest of levels, it’s also a welcome change to hear a female MC trading bars with her male counterparts and holding her own; Ms. Flawless delivers a dynamic, varied and no-nonsense verse and I found myself wanting to hear more from her.

With all that ‘crud’ being slung and left to settle; ‘SKRT’ featuring Sdot swerves round the crud and seems to have caught Vipzz in the midst of a paradigm shift as here he’s content to take mans by surprise and “Run up on an MC” in his 4 door; whereas on the track ‘Matt Black’ Vipzz made it clear he didn’t like to flex and preferred to educate and this of course is the complexity of any paradigm – an alternative set of circumstances or perceptions bonded together by a central core. The Paradigm then swings back to its starting point as we revisit ‘Trap Grime Freestyle.’ ‘TGF part 1’ played as a tense warning whereas ‘TGF part 2’ carries a much darker and malevolent undertone as Vipzz teases mockingly “You don’t know Grime, what do you know about Grime” throughout over a dark and grim instrumental.

Vipzz also shouts out one of his musical hero’s “I’m froggy I’m on a Wiley tip; like who ate all the pies” and later in the track salute’s Grime artist Tempa T. After Trappin on the Grime freestyles, terrorising MC’s in his 4 door and getting cruddy round the endz Vipzz goes back in training to prepare to battle the next group of MC’s who should want to challenge him; he spits his last dose of venom on track ‘Dojo’ featuring Smokeey J. Vipzz proclaims “Grime gives me that mojo” and lets us know that he’s “on a black man, bad man, batman ting” in the dark night like a dark knight on the instrumental of the track” Vipzz invites Smokeey J to spar with him in the Dojo of doom. Interestingly Smokeey J’s bars are based entirely on characters from EastEnders as he weaves the characters names into bold metaphors and double-entendre’s “And she’s not an EastEnder, I go hard no not pretender did you get it? I bet you didn’t that bar there is worth 5 listens” The instrumental is melancholy and bleak following the theme of much of the EP. Vipzz delivers an EP full of old skool feel instrumentals that feel as raw as uncooked meat!

Vipzz aggression and pure energy heat up the meaty offerings he serves us with every track. Vipzz also gives a unique insight into his surroundings as a Gloucester Grime kid which is valuable as Grime becomes a staple hold and develops a strong core in cities outside of London. Stand aside and observe Vipzz ‘Paradigm’ play out but I wouldn’t get too close as we all know when poison projects in your direction from the fangs of a Viper, its game over!

Paradigm E.P is available via: soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/ivfrontman/sets/paradigm and also ivfam.bandcamp.com/album/paradigm

You can peep the videos for T.G.F Part 1, T.G.F Part 2 and also videos from the Gloucester based I.V.F crew on You Tube.

Cammy Thomas