How Can You Not Rate Lethal Bizzle


If we’re all being honest no ones favourite verse on More Fire Crew’s ‘Oi’ is by Lethal Bizzle. Personally I prefer Ozzie B’s:

‘Pon the mic I love flex, I’m a lyrical architect/ O to the Z’s on the set/’

And pretty much EVERYONE else feels Neeko has the best verse. There’s nothing wrong with Lethal’s honestly; it sets the track up perfectly and is catchy as well as memorable. The point is out of the three members of More Fire Crew no one would’ve expected Lehtal Bizzle to be getting £80,000 to perform at Wireless. But, it’s 2017 and that’s what it is. So what I’m saying is, after over a decade of moves:

How can you not rate Lethal Bizzle?

Honestly Lethal Bizzle always seems to be the least compelling part of any project he’s involved in. That’s probably why it took me so long to come to this realisation. He’s not unlikable, but doesn’t focus on being so. And that’s clearly because with Bizzle, money has always been the motive.

‘I don’t wanna be the best MC, I just wanna be on TV.’

Just before summer 2004 DJ Statik produced a track called ‘Charge’.

It featured notable MC’s such as: J2K, Godsgift, D Double E, Crazy Titch*, JME,  Tinchy Stryder, Bushkin, Mighty Moe, Friscoe, Jamaka B and even Lethal himself. Groundbreaking for the time the track featured a number of MC’s on one song and halved their verses to 8 bars to fit on the track. (Later known as a ‘8 Bar Rally’.) There was an earlier debate as to which one was created or released first; as around that time Lethal B (Now ‘Bizzle’) dropped ‘Forward Riddim’. But whether or not Bizzle did make the first 8 bar rally; his definitely had the biggest impact.
Anyone with the tiniest insight into Grime knows that ‘FWD Riddim’ was produced by D’explicit; but back in the time of white label records and before producers tags Lethal shouting ‘Lethal Da Bizzle Records!’at the start lead many to believe that he produced it. Was this an accident or a calculated move? It’s hard to say; but it certainly put Lethal in a different light.

The guy with the ‘okay’ verse on ‘Oi!’ had supposedly written and produced the biggest Grime hit of the moment (and arguably ever) and was starting to be taken seriously. However when it was revealed that he didn’t make the beat, or really come up with the concept; suddenly Bizzle started to look a little more cunning than he seemed. Starting Lethal Bizzle Records (one of the first vanity labels in grime) and Fire Camp and quickly following ‘FWD Riddim’ with another hit in ‘No’.

Even in the video for Fire Camp’s biggest hit ‘No’; Lethal positions himself as the coach and makes the rest of the crew (including Ozzie B) to take laps. Already Lethal’s taking up boss status.

Fire Camp eventually folded the way most crews do, but Lethal continued to stay relevant with various singles and even albums. Here’s the thing about Bizzle. His first two albums charted at 89 and 87. His third album didn’t chart and his latest most high-profile project ‘You’ll Never Make A Million From Grime’ hit the dizzy heights of 79. When Lethal Bizzle announces an album the internet doesn’t exactly crash; but he’s on his 4th album and has also dropped a greatest hits compilation.

Lethal knows his lane and stays in it. He makes music from various genres, whatever it takes to make a hit. And even when his projects don’t chart as high as his singles, (in how own words) he ‘takes nothing for granted‘. You won’t see Lethal throwing  a Twitter tantrum because the fans didn’t support him the way he wanted them to. And despite his last project not charting as high as he probably would’ve liked; the popularity of his songs have propelled him to a must see act during festival season, which is bound to build an even stronger fan base for his next project.

Like Big Narstie and even a DJ Khaled, Lethal’s main draw is his personality. A Skepta can stay off social media, drop music and rack up hundreds of thousands of hits in a matter of hours. Lethal isn’t quite the same, he’ll use his personality and to engage his fans and promote his music. And the music rarely seems to be the end goal.

While it’s clear that Lethal has a clear passion for music; he’s always come across as future mogul than top 5 rapper. He’s way more Diddy than Biggie. And just from the layout and tone of his Stay Dench website alone, you can tell his real passion is business.

Never turning down an opportunity, from ‘violated’ on Top Gear to winning international hearts by forming half of an adorable duo with Dame Judy Dench, countless other viral moments such as being an early adopter of social media. And I don’t mean ‘My single’s out now…‘ but engaging his fans and giving them an insight into his life. Which is the real reason people follow anyone in the first place. And what may look like a man slowly losing his mind to some, clearly it’s working. Clothing lines, fragrances and God knows whatever next, all possible by what at this point can only be a shrewd businessmen. Every move he makes he seems to be thinking about the bottom line and the story of ‘Fumin and the FWD publishing‘ proves this.

So it’s no surprise that ‘beef’ kicked off in the form of lawyers being called on Chris and Kem as Lethal made sure he got his 20% of their song. Dealing with the whole thing on Twitter shows that Lethal is living in 3017 when it comes to this Grime stuff.

And at the end of the day 80k to fill in a show doesn’t happen to just anyone. It’s the work rate on display in this interview:

That leads to here. So I just don’t understand how you can not rate Lethal with his words of wisdom ‘If you can’t buy something three times you can’t afford it’, how seeing his car towed made him decide he’d never be broke again; Dench slides, fragrance, t-shirts, sweaters, 80k to fill a show, I could go on, but really he’s a necessary inspirational figure that proves hard work more than anything pays off and that alone is worth rating.