Grime’s Most Improved MC’s Of 2017? Grim Sickers Vs. Izzie Gibbs

Written by Edward Burrell & Samee Anibaba

The Grime scene is blowing up at the moment; from its early days as a garage DIY scene, to it’s total takeover of festivals, playlists, and charts, it’s rise has been euphoric. What this means is that any artist who is part of that genre must grow as fast as Grime has been doing, so that they don’t get left behind. Now how do you figure out who has improved the most? We got our resident grimeheads, Edward Burrell and Samee Anibaba, to give their opinions on who has shown the most growth and talent in 2017.

Edward Burrell – Grim Sickers

In my humble opinion the most improved MC so far in 2017 must be Grim Sickers. There has been a huge difference in his music releases, features and performances on sets over the last year, and hopefully, I will make the case to you why he’s improved the most out of everyone currently in the scene.

Grim Sickers commenced his career in 2013, after being noticed he was noticed by Jammer (a member of Boy Better Know). As a result, he was given the privilege of participating in Lord Of The Mics. What put him in the spotlight at the time was the song entitled Black Bin Bag Him, which later ensued in an all-star remix which gave him plenty of recognition.

However, there were many mutually agreed flaws that Grim Sickers had. Firstly, he appeared to be extremely one dimensional, although the Bin Bag flow got him plenty of reloads, he was overusing to the point where it was predictable. Furthermore, that flow was clearly inspired my MIK (Tizzy Gang member) and Nasty Jack (Ex-Nasty Crew member and now Tizzy Gang member), fans and critics alike even accused him of plagiarism. His second problem was his energy. In most places it was either misplaced or absent, meaning his bars weren’t as well received. It affected his delivery as he was attempting to use a soft tone, which sounded like he was whispering at times. Lastly, his lyrics were very simple, unsophisticated, and some of them did not even make sense. His wordplay was not particularly special and some even argue that a different MC should have taken his place on Lord of the Mics.

My case that Grim Sickers is the most improved MC so far, is that he has solved all those problems. He now has multiple flows with varying tempos, whilst retaining the same style seen with his Bin Bag flow. The originality issue as it turns out was explainable, it was later revealed that MIK and Nasty Jack were artists he looked up to.


It was over the last year that Sickers became more complete as an MC.  He now has reload bars in abundance, and his flows are better received since adopting an “angry” style of rapping. You can visibly see his confidence and rarely does he enter a set unnoticed, with a booming voice to compliment his aggressive flows and lyrics. The track Bread, was his first distinctive use of a one line flow, which suits him due to his natural aggression. Since then he has added this to his arsenal, consequently, his ability on a set is now even with his ability on a track. His most recent track KANE, is his best and most memorable piece of work so far. The one line flow, accompanied with his aggression and angry tone, equals a guaranteed rewind at any rave or on any radio set.

Credit: Grim Sickers

This slow and steady improvement has also been seen on his features, appearing on Sharky Major’s (Ex Nasty Crew member) Big 45 and So Large’s ALLA DEM. However, his improvement is mostly evident on radio sets. With multiple appearances on Radio 1, Rinse FM, and a one of appearance on Westside radio, his delivery, reload bars, and diversity of flows, gives him everything he needs to turn a live set into a mosh pit. You can compare his live sets from 2013 up until now, and see a clear improvement. He now has a trade mark sound that is his own, and it will be interesting to see how this transpires into a mixtape, EP or Album.

The MC still has a long way to go, as he is still not universally recognised by the scene as a good MC, his style is a lot more controversial and possibly an acquired taste. However, his energy, memorable flows, and extreme improvement in both areas is undeniable by fans and critics alike.

On his recent live appearance, he makes a joke that he has been practicing in the mirror at home, on the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is true,

Samee Anibaba – Izzie Gibbs

First off I’ve got to shout out Eddy for the idea for this article. Grime’s bigger than it’s been and there are a lot of MCs out there gradually getting better. But who’s come out the best so far?

Eddie’s saying Grim Sickers – I hear that to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling him when I first heard him, but now he’s dropping insane bangers like KANE, even getting that rare JME feature on a catchy but hard tune.

But I think the title can only go to Izzie Gibbs; the guy’s still young and he’s pretty much become one of the best MCs in a short space of time.

I first heard of him when he had a small beef with Novelist that was pretty much a lot of indirects. Izzie was clearly not on Novelist’s level at this point, maybe it’s the bias as a huge Novelist fan, but I thought Novelist would probably win a clash with his eyes closed; and when a clash was actually supposed to happen, Izzie didn’t even turn up.

I kind of wrote of him off after that to be honest but one day, after deciding to check out a freestyle he did, I’d realised he was just getting better with every verse he did. He was way calmer, he was way more on beat, the guys flow was way harder than before. He was spraying bars so quick and so intensely that he sounded like a young Ghetts. You can’t say that lightly so just know the guy was going in. The guy was cutting up the beat like butter. He’s literally gone from being one of the best MCs in Northampton (which probably isn’t the best title) to getting bring-ins from Stormzy on freestyles and (arguably) out barring him on a set. All in about 3 years.

Credit: JDZMedia

He was even getting better as an all-round MC, getting way more consistent with actual tunes too; his latest song with the legend Donae’o Chillin is easily my favourite grime tune right now, showing off that Izzie can make something that’s more than just shouting bars.

So all in all, Eddy’s wrong to be honest (no shame in admitting it bro). Izzie Gibbs is making great tunes and getting better every verse. Grim Sickers is sick but I hope Izzie gets the recognition he deserves.

What do you think? Whose the most improved MC in the Grime scene today?


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