Conflict, 2003

I just don't know where I've been. 

I'm watching Conflict parts 1-4 on YouTube for the second time in a row wondering where the hell I've been and why I've not paid better attention. I've had Wiley's Zipfiles – almost 100 tracks – on my phone for ages now, but this is making me realise quite how much I've missed by not listening to them all and a gazillion other tracks since 2003. This early grime is incredible. The energy of these MCs – Wiley, D Double E, Dizzee Rascal, Crazy T, Lady Fury … – the sheer onslaught of their flow, is mesmerising. It sounds like what watching Ed Colver's artwork for Black Flag's Damaged being made would have looked like, if Rollins had literally put his fist through the mirror instead of faking it. You can't touch me, I'm untouchable, you can't touch me, I'm untouchable, you can't hug/hold (?) me, I'm unhuggable, you can't stop me, I'm unstoppable. Fearless, clenched-fist and coiled-spring creativity. Makes you want to jump from one building top to another like a true traceur and run until you collapse, your lungs emptied of all breath. Makes you want to make things and give them away because there's no time to be worried or shy or self-obsessed or protective. The urgency of it all, damn. It's beautiful.

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