Written by Edward Burrell
For the next instalment in our ‘War In Grime’ series, we are going to be looking at war dubs, what makes a good war dub and how best to use them. It has been proven that comedic value and the ability to be ruthless has always added value and we will see this in our war dubs below. Lyricism is also important in a war dub, as simply hurling insults at someone isn’t very impressive. A good instrumental also goes a long way, but notice war dubs rarely have a hook despite the fact that when added they are done successfully.
A good war dub seems to make any reply just inadequate, the initial reaction when hearing a good war dub usually is “there is no coming back from this”. The war dubs below all fit into that category but are all different in their approach.
Reply to Compulsive Liar (Kozzie Send for Sox)
Kozzie didn’t seemed leave out a single thing when he went for Sox. From the starburst jacket comment to comparing Invasion Alert (the Birmingham crew that he belongs too) to Blazing Squad. This send happened before the MCs clashed at Lord Of The Mics 3 and really helped set the tone for the battle. This dub stood out to me because there were no holds barred, it wasn’t just insults either, Kozzie’s flow on this track was so vicious. No wonder Sox choked when he faced him in the basement.
Send Off (Devilman Send for Killa P and Trilla)
This is an absolute classic and I’m pretty sure this still plays at grime raves. Devilman has always been known as a complete savage on tracks and this war dub is. in my opinion, where this shines the most. The hook is unforgettable and definitely deserves to be on a war dub. This dub is one of the examples where comedy can help a war dub. The lyric “you drink pussy like bisto granules” still makes chuckle every time I listen to it.
All Black Winter (Ghetts Send for P Money)
This war dub lyrically is one of my favourites. There are so many punchlines in this war dub you will miss a lot of them just like this one: “them man are plimsoles I’m Nike Air to them” The opening bar gets straight down to business and the constant change in flows shows his versatility. Using the title of one of P Money’s songs as a material for the war dub as well, it shows good how great Ghetts is with a pen and a pad.
The Warning (Lowkey Send for Chip)
This is how you use a war dub to singlehandedly destroy someone. After a row on twitter Lowkey had enough and he pulled apart every key event of Chip’s career piece by piece, and then used it against him. Lowkey clearly did not like being disrespect, he repaid Chipmunk in kind, and then some. From ripping apart Oopsy Daisy to ridiculing his poses and hand signs in his music videos. For me this dub had the largest fallout, he would obviously deny this but this dub had a lot to do with Chip being dropped from his label shortly after. There was just no coming back from this.
It’s Over (Dot Rotten Send for Wiley)
This war dub is absolutely hilarious because of the music video and how Dot Rotten uses the footage of Wiley dancing around in the kitchen in the background, tagging some random woman as Wiley’s grandma and even featuring his mum in the title. The hook is catchy and the fact that the dub was 5 minutes allows Rotten to showcase his brilliance; coming up with 5 minutes worth of content is not easy and should be noted. Dot Rotten is well known for his penmanship but coming out with blunt lines such “your mum is a real life crackhead”, still gets the job done. This is the nature of war dubs that some may not understand. Some would immediately say “isn’t this too far just over music?” and to this I simply reply “this is war”. The whole point of a war dub is kill off your opponent, if you hold back, you are opening yourself up to get slaughtered.
We know we said Top 5 but Skrapz needed a special mention!
Crime Scene (Skrapz sending for Skepta and more)
Now although Skepta’s send for SLK was great, Skrapz definitely deserves credit for this dub. I doubt many of knew Skrapz could rap like this but he was a member of SLK where he was known as Skrapzta. He uses Skepta and JME’s own flows and well-known punchlines to diss them which when done well is impressive. The various beat changes keep things interesting and he manages to do so much on the track. He also manages to get Wiley, Sniper and JME in the crosshairs whilst defending fellow crew mate Van Damage.