#WRITERSBLOCK Why Giggs’ ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ Mixtape Is An Important Project

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According to wikipedia the promotion for Giggs’ 2017 mixtape ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ can be summed up as such:

‘Wamp 2 Dem was promoted by Giggs through Instagram, posting teaser trailers compiling online reactions to his verse from Drake’s “KMT”, song previews and meme voiceovers.’

i.e his promo was memes. He used memes to promote his mixtape and it’s on track to chart at number 2. And those memes? They weren’t particularly groundbreaking, just Giggs being mad at DJ Akademiks saying his verse on ‘KMT’ wasn’t good. And despite that lack of promo, ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ is set to be the biggest project of Giggs’ career. Which makes it an important project; not just for Giggs but for UK music in general.

‘Wamp 2 Dem’ had zero singles to promote it and the only guest we assumed was on the tape before it dropped was Drake (who wound up not making an appearance.) Giggs promoted this off his reputation alone and it worked. This is great for the scene and troubling for labels. It says so many things about how album rollouts are handled. We can see it now with some of the biggest underground artists being mishandled by clueless labels eager to make a quick buck; forcing them to commercialise their sound and making decision that are out of character for the artist; alienating their core fanbase.

They tend to have the big ‘crossover’ single, with the big hook probably sung by the R&B singer de jour. Or get a mid-tier US artist  that will probably be a lot more underwhelming than they imagine. Any old American collab isn’t gonna gas us Brits up anymore. At this point, it’s Drake or higher. All the press and TV chat shows, deemed essential, really aren’t anymore. Labels are constantly trying to make hood stars into fine young gentleman completely missing the point of their popularity in the first place.

Giggs’ has certainly been helped by labels (this project was released in collaboration with Island) but the most notable parts of his career weren’t. ‘Talkin The Hardest’ ‘More Life’ features, 2017 BET Awards nomination and even his highest charting album (‘Landlord’) were all independent moves. So while XL helped Giggs reach a wider audience, if a song as popular as ‘Talkin The Hardest’ dropped today Giggs probably wouldn’t need a label at all.

Which is why the tape is important. Despite looking to be his most successful project, it’s also his least commercial. Despite becoming an internationally renown artist, ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ doesn’t try to curry favour and make new fans by changing; it’s actually the most ‘Giggs’ project ever.

Most tellingly ‘Ultimate Gangster’ featuring 2 Chainz, features Giggs in his element. A Menacing instrumental where he does what he does best. But while 2 Chainz’ verse kicks off in typical 2 Chainz fashion, he quickly switches to match Giggs’ flow.

As do the American producers on the tape. Zaytoven, London On Da Track, they come with their trademark sounds, but it’s clear they’re not just fobbing Giggs off with any reject trap beat, they’re aware of Giggs’ sound and cater to it. And Young Thug, heavy with features can occasionally phone it in, gives a better performance which speaks to Giggs importance on the global stage.

There’s zero filler on this tape; as this is just Giggs’ making the music he wants to. He doesn’t need to do a song with Rapper/Singer x to reach x market. Which is why:

On ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ Giggs successfully takes all the UK and US elements and mashes them together for the definitive Giggs experience. It also serves as an important mark for UK urban music as now labels will have even less power and artists will be free to create music true to them and their fan base. It proves that fan base is important. No views, not sales, not plaques. Giggs got signed because of his fan base; nominated because of his fanbase and through all the police constantly shutting down his shows, it was his fan base that stuck with him and got ‘Landlord’ independently to no.2 in the charts. More than anything ‘Wamp 2 Dem’ is the sound of a UK fan base pushing an artist to the top.