On December the 10th 2012, my teenage years were rolled back with the release of Ruff Sqwad's White Label Classics cd. A compilation of some of the most sort after beats made by Rapid and Dirty, from way back when being on "endz" entailed one wearing fresh Champion NBA gear from footlocker, or an Akademiks tracksuit along with a pair of loose chunky laced air max 90s or 95s (which we christened in the hood as 110's, for their £110 price tag). I don't even think at the time the name "grime" had been given to this genre of music just yet.
Music which I religiously locked into daily via Heat, Flava, Deja Vu or Rinse on my Nokia 8310. Back then Ruff Sqwad was one of my favorite crews, they were relatively younger in comparison to folks such as Wiley, God's Gift and a slew of other contributors to a genre of music we now know as grime but despite this, Ruff Sqwad were able to go toe to toe with the best of them as mcs and as producers. Rapid and Dirty's production, I feel was different to other producers in their field they seemed to make music which sounded like they were produced with real instruments (as silly as that sounds), unlike a lot of other folks whose stuff blantanly sounded like they had simply used the basic samples which come with Fruity Loops. I have to commend Rapid's inspirations and sampling choices, which at the time easily put him in his own lane. Not many back then could flip records as diverse and off the radar as he did, then make them flow well enough for mcs to spit over on pirate radio, looking back in hindsight that sh*t was insane. Another thing I really liked about the boys, is there was never any drama/ beef from them towards any other crews. They seemed to stay neutral all the way through, and for those who followed the music from way back will know ego's, road life and bad attitudes fueled by various "sendings" on dvd's and radio shows meant there was madness on a regular basis. With all the above said I would like to give a big shoutout to everyone who was involved in putting this cd out. It definitely has a special place in the heart of UK music which will live forever. If you want a copy make sure you're quick as numbers are low, buy it from here. Check out Rapid and Dirty Danger's interview with Benji B check it out below.