I FIRST heard about legendary grime MC and producer Jammer when I was a teenager and listening to pirate radio was still normal.
I'm talking about the days when I used to gel down my 'baby hair,' when mobile phones resembled the size of bricks and I swore that Ja Rule was going to be my husband one day.
Luckily times have moved on and so has music. But back in the early noughties when grime first emerged, nobody predicted this nameless sound blasting out of east London would eventually make history and shape an entire generation of youth.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the ‘Twittershpere’ suddenly went into overdrive when Jammer, also known by his famous moniker ‘The Merkle Man,’ announced that he would release the fourth chapter of classic grime DVD series, Lord Of The Mics (LOTM), promising to include, 'more clashes and more bars'.
The Boy Better Know member tells me: "Music was just becoming a bit stagnant. People were like, 'yeah I'm going to drop a freestyle' or whatever and things were getting more formulated. The entertainment side of music disappeared for a bit. It was about people making hits and getting plaques."
"People want to be entertained again. That's why I think this whole clashing thing has come through again, that’s what we want to see. When you watch this Lord Of The Mics expect to be on the edge of your seat. Expect to be jumping up and down, spilling drinks, dropping crisps and saying 'ooh it's mad!' It's going to be crazy!"
If that isn’t enough to get you reaching for your skanking shoes, the line-up for this year’s LOTM includes MCs C Gritz, Koder, MIK, Pressure, Hecki, Drifter, Discarda, Jaykae, Fangol and Blay, to name a few. You’ll also witness the first females to enter the 'dungeon' - Lady Shocker and Lady Killer.
One clash we won’t get to see, however, is the east London MC vs British rapper Snakeyman. Following their very public (and hilarious) spat on Twitter, Jammer admits that he is “ready” for the battle.
Jammer explains: “I was talking to [fomer So Solid member] Harvey on Twitter and he [Snakeyman] tried to get involved in our conversation [about alcohol].
“The thing is, he still owes me a drink from when I fronted for him when his card got declined while we were out,” he claims with a laugh.
“I ended up having to front the money with [UK rapper] Frisco. So my point was you can’t get involved in alcohol conversations when you still have alcohol debts!”
“From then on the banter continued, but when I asked him if he wants to clash me on LOTM, he ran away with his tail between his legs! He just knows that I am too powerful. The lyrics I am dropping on him have too much charisma for him.”
Sensing my disappointment at the news, he reassures me that “it might happen one day.”
Despite the ever-growing hype surrounding the stars of LOTM, which has totalled an incredible six million views on YouTube, clusters of critics are still claiming that “grime is dead”.
However, after maintaining a successful decade-long career, Jammer is quick to tell me that he simply has “no time for naysayers.”
"Grime is not dead. Maybe it is dead where you are, but not where I am,” he laughs.
“Where I am it's firing, popping and I'm doing all right, mate," he says.
“Back in the day when I first started making music, there weren’t any opinions. I was just in my studio and nobody could talk to me. There was no Twitter and stuff like that. Now I wake up and 50,000 people can tell me stuff.
“I’ve gone back to just doing what I do best and listening to what I know to be true. In the end that’s what I want to be known for.”
While we hope that the Jammer will entertain us for another decade, when all is said and done, what does he want to be remembered as?
“That’s easy: The Merkle Man!”