Prince Rapid Of Ruff Sqwad: The 10 Best Grime Tracks Of 2004

We asked one of the founder members of the genre to pick the top tracks from a year of his choice. Unsurprisingly, the results are nothing short of definitive...
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I chose the year 2004 for the year of grime because I felt like this was the year where grime stood on its own two feet. There were many varieties of sounds that belonged to each producer, you could really tell what was a Wiley beat, what was a Jammer beat and what was a Rapid beat. We all had our own sound.

Jammer - Destruction VIP

This tune had all the biggest and top MCs on it. It was a shock to have MCs such as Wiley, Durrty Doogs, D Double E and Kano all on one track and on such a deep grime beat, it was exciting for me and so many other grime fans because it had never been done before. The brass instruments that Jammer used throughout the track gave it a really energetic and powerful feeling.

Tinchy Stryder - Move

This tune that I produced myself meant a lot to me because I was influenced heavily by Dizzee, particularly ‘Stop That’ from his Boy In Da Corner album.  I used a new studio to create this beat so all the sounds were new to me and it was a complete experiment for me and Stryder. The catchy hook made you wanna get up and move which was the main aim when Stryder was writing it.

DaVinChe feat Katie Pearl & Kano - Leave Me Alone

This was one of my favourite tunes from 2004. It was very melodic but also rough and edgy at the same time because of the hard hitting drums. This mixed with the sweet vocals from Katie which I though was very sexy. I liked the flow and the cheeky content of Kano’s verse, his lyrics blended in well with the whole picture Davinche was trying to paint with this tune. This is grime music at its finest and the birth of Rhythm and Grime.

Wiley - Pies

This track was very significant to me, I loved the authentic sounds which sounded very oriental. If you listen closely enough, you will hear a lot of new age grime producers have taken influence from these kinda sounds. The video to this also set another level by having it shot in the USA, he was the first to fly over to the US to film a grime video and he managed to show the comical side of grime with it.

Skepta - Private Caller / Mucktion

This tune was a banger and hyped up so many sets, simply because of the gritty synth bass which penetrated through the whole track, start to end. The part that always stuck in my mind was the chorus because Skepta used a sound from the music software Fruity Loops that was quite commonly used by myself and a lot of other producers at the time.

Rapid  - Your Love Feels

This is one of the most powerful instrumentals that I produced for Ruff Sqwad. The sample that I used relates to my music because at the time I was using a lot of brass instrumentals. I took the sample “your love feels like trumpets” because to me it was a metaphor that expressed a love that was very full on and for me that how I feel with my music.

Ruff Sqwad – Anna

Anna was the first Ruff Sqwad video which was ever released on TV, it made a big impact on the underground scene. The instrumental was electrifying and emotional at the same time, it made a lot of noise. I think it would have been a success without vocals as it told a story on its own.

Dizzee Rascal - Strings Hoe

This was one of Dizzee’s best productions. I have a lot of respect for this production because at the time whenever it came on at a set every mc wanted to grab the mic to spit on this one instrumental. The string sample that goes through the track gives it a mysterious airy feeling. It was a banger in the clubs and a remix of it still gets rinsed in the clubs today.

Dizzee Rascal -  Wheel

This was experimental grime at its finest because for me I had never heard these sounds in a grime song before. It set levels for producers to make music out of the box. Later on, when D Double E put his vocals on it, it made the song a complete package, this one was a definite banger for the streets.

Skepta & JME Feat. D Double E - Thuggish EP

This was an anthem for the pirate radio scene.  I first heard it when I was on DeJaVu doing my set from 4-6pm, all the DJs supported it. I noticed straight away the Bone Thugs n Harmony sample. It sounded like hip hop and grime collaborating. When the hook came in it would set off the mood.