Mura Masa gets grimey on "Deal Wiv It" in collaboration with Slowthai.

There's something particular about British hip-hop. The rasping brogue of Northern accents seem made for ranting, raving, waxing poetic on small slivers of life, dropping rhymes on crisp packets and weak, watery cups of tea. It tends to give British hip-hop, often known as Grime, an artsy avant-garde feeling, even when it's utterly deranged.

British speak-singing isn't restricted to hip-hop/Grime, either. We're reminded of the paranoid ramblings and rantings of the late, great curmudgeon Mark E. Smith of The Fall on "Deal Wiv It," Mura Masa's reflection on how life's changed in the wake of fame.



The Fall are a decent touchstone, as "Deal Wiv It" is built around a backbone of spiky, funky, blown-out rock 'n roll. The throbbing bass and squealing guitars bring to mind recent retro-worship by The Chemical Brothers, perhaps getting together with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

The two most apt comparisons would be the slightly posh raps of The Streets from the early 2000s and the more recent mind-melting, two-fingers-in-the-air noise hop of Clipping. "Deal Wiv It" falls somewhere between all of these bands. Any fan of each will find something to dig on this infectious but snotty single.

Mura Masa has more of a chance to be heard than artists like The Fall or Clipping, however. Funky rock 'n roll is going to have more mainstream appeal that dirty, distorted, blown-out hip-hop that sounds like it's been dredged from a gutter. Don't worry, though, "Deal Wiv It" is every bit as deranged and in-your-face as yr favorite Northern raconteurs. It just happens to have a funky beat, and you can dance to it.

We Are: The Guard have been dancing to this one all week. We suggest you do the same! 


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.