K9 seems to have filled a gap only previously theorised by grime fans and bloggers secretly hoping they weren’t reaching- the link between actual MC-orientated street grime and the more experimental, melodic strains that can often seem to link to grime in name only. Often associating with Dark0, who seems to have curated the beat selection of K9’s new mixtape ‘Mad in the Cut’, he comes from the old school, previously a member of the Musical Mob Youngers. Hailing from the often overlooked west London grime scene (the few breakout stars being Bashy, Flirta D and Ribz), a spell in jail previously put his career on hiatus.
With his rough edged flow he places the ephemeral beats of Dark0, Mssingno, Visionist et al in a context that could be understood by purist old school heads. The track ‘Krudstar’ is over a beat Mssingno ostensibly made as a war dub, but it’s still far from a pummelling 8-bar workout, however K9’s gravelly tones interplay with the beat’s rumbling tension and waped melodies to create a vital urgency. The rest of the mixtape is well worth a listen too- particularly the Dark0-produced ‘Show Stacks’ and ‘Block Nigga’, a remix of Bobby Shmurda’s ‘Hot Nigga’.
– Bert Coyle