ghettsIf there is one figure from the Grime fraternity that personifies the image of a grime emcee then its Ghetts. In truth it may even be the chicken and the egg question because maybe he was the genesis of that image for aspiring grime emcees: agitated rhymes, increasing volume of the vocals, hand wagging displays and sweat all increasing as the intensity and frantic 32’s come crashing down on unsuspecting emcees who happens to pass-stopped in their track by one par too many:

“you’re just not big in the game/you’re just not big in the game”

repeated for added effect-whoa!

The thing is Ghetts has got older and the older we get the more reflective we can become but add to that equation the birth of your blood and there you go. We have a more rounded Ghetts or should I say Ghetts has allowed that side to be seen.

Recently I saw Ghetts drop a fresh Fire In Da Booth and my friend Bernard stated: “he just changed the game right there” and what was it about his performance that brought such a powerful statement? Simply put Ghetts proceeded to show progression in his game and show an ability to bar over anything put in front of him displaying the ability to carve the mic up with blustering bars, and caress it the next with words of depth.

Pushing his new single with the Kano Party Animal, Ghetts took some time to talk about Ghetts unleashing the different personas.

First Freestyle

To be perfectly honest I was in and out of jail from a very young age so I was obviously not very good at crime. So I took up music and drama classes while I was inside and so when I came out being from Newham and knowing certain people I had a head start and I just took the chance and things have been going well from there.

Free-styling Life

My baby is 16 months now running around doing all types of craziness. It is the best thing in the world really obviously continuing the family name. It has given me a perspective that I might have had before but just not really cared about or ignored but now it is something to live for. In truth I was kind of free-styling my whole life before. People do not really know but this is the first time that I have taken this whole music thing very seriously. I have always made music but there is a whole bigger side with music: the business side is much bigger than me making music and putting it out. It may sound weird from someone who puts out music but I have never taken it properly seriously until now.

Grime is bad?: “good friendships were created back then”

The press gave us a lot of negativity in truth about violence and gang stuff. You see like when one of our people goes to the mainstream the people wonder how we all know each other but they do not know that when we were putting in the groundwork we at one time or another would have rubbed shoulders with each other. More often than not good friendships were created back then. We reflected what was going on in our lives at the time so while we were doing music some of us still had our feet in other activities so to them it seems like we are promoting this lifestyle when in actual fact we were living that lifestyle. If it was all roses then that is what the lyrics would have been about. With music people from North, South East and west connected and without the music it would not have happened.


I don’t want to sound like one of those old people so I do have to embrace things but I definitely think things were definitely more exciting then. A lot of people think things were premeditated but they were not. For example back then after finishing an interview with you I might be in the car and hear someone on radio and then just go to the station because I know where it is and then do this thing. Everyone was hungry and it made the scene vibrant and everyone was in tune to this movement called grime.

The verbal trinity; Ghetto, Ghetts and J Clarke.

It’s evolution so there are different transitions in my life. So really I am Justin Clarke by nature when I am around my family and my friends but coming through a time when everyone had their aliases I was ghetto and that was my first period in music. Then you have the transition from Ghetto to Ghetts and that was more just about me feeling that name more and now this transition where I am more reflective and looking at my past. Don’t get me wrong I still talk crud but I mostly try and do it in a reflective manner-showing people where it could end.

Party Animal

That first single is more for the wider audience but it is not anything that has not been done before. Me and Kano did Typical Me and that is before anyone conformed. I knew I wanted a feature from Kano but I never had anything for him at the time. So Party Animal was one of the last tracks I did for the album and so when I heard that track I knew that was the track for him to feature one.

Rebel With A Legacy

Rebel with a Cause now I have many things that are causes for me.

I want to break boundaries for the young one s coming up so they don’t have to confirm. The only people that achieved things without conforming were So Solid if I am real. People have done amazing things but So Solid was able to achieve these things and they never had to change really. When they came out they were on a mad tip and that was at a time. I am not trying to have a quick thing today. Someone asked me if I would prefer to have an album or a single if I could not have both and I chose an album because with an album the people are relating to you not just the song.

Party Animal out on the 03 11  13