Written by Edward Burrell
After all this time, Footsie is still flying the flag for Newham Generals; cementing his position as a veteran that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Releasing his latest project, Live On Deck, Vol 1 from his own label ‘Braindead Entertainment’, it would be incorrect to say Footsie still has it, because he never lost it.
He has been a successful producer for years working with the likes of Dizzee Rascal on the label ‘Dirtee Stank’, and a legendary MC alongside D Double E and Monkstar as part of the Newham Generals. However, his new LP shows us that Footsie has stayed at the forefront of the scene and is not lacking style or substance.
On the subject of the new generation of grime MCs, Uncle Mez and PK have both made spectacular contributions to the LP. On a Low and Gallavanting, both have Mez and PK going back to back with Footsie on the buttons, and both tunes are heavy. PK is the “Wave Captain” with one of the best “skippy” flows in his generation, he tears it up on Gallavanting.
Mez does great work with the hook on the track from the dynamic duo, On A Low. Mez has always been great at supplying energy as well as diversity of flows to every track he’s on, and this is no exception. Footsie has no problem producing for both Mez & PK, despite the differences in how the two generations of MCs work. Capo Lee (Aka Lee Man as we now know) also came with his signature flow on the title track, and should not be forgotten.
Footsie has always drawn inspiration from Reggae, due to his father’s background and how he was raised. His previous projects in the King Original series, very much showed his passion for reggae over the years, and even now it hasn’t faded. Live On Deck also features dancehall artist Jah Model and reggae artist Dolski. They Should Know does have various samples as well as a melody that would be commonly found on a reggae track, and it really does sound good. It must be noted that Bugsy’s (Not the one you think it is) verse on this track is absolute fire. Footsie and Bugsy even incorporated some Jamaican patois into their lyrics despite being grime artists who wouldn’t usually do so.
Despite being based in East London, Footsie isn’t only respected in London. The LP gets the Birmingham massive involved with the title track Live on Deck and Its Dat!. Without a doubt, you will reload Safone’s verse on both tracks at least twice. Although both Deadly & Mayhem are listed on the track, it is the latter that uses his voice to keep the hype going with his verse.
But let’s not forget Footsie isn’t just a producer, he’s a well-known MC as a part of Newham Generals, as D Double E comes with his flow that even a decade later no one can test. Newham Generals are still as strong as ever however it is disappointing that there was no appearance from Monkstar. Stronger shows just how dangerous D Double and Foots still are on back to back verses. The song lyrics stresses the longevity of the three artists’ careers, Newham Generals don’t run out of bars either, and they’ve been going for longer that Chip. D Double’s verse on Check was just insane. D Double throws it back, using flows similar to his content released On Da Double all those years ago, proving yet again the Newham Generals are still as good as ever.
Other long time affiliated MCs such as D Power Diesel, Brakeman and Spliffy Ranger deserve a mention. Brakeman’s verse Check was original with some good LOTM references thrown in for good measure, Spliffy Ranger is what makes Back Shot a successful tune and D Power rides the riddim nicely even if it’s only for one verse
Overall, Footsie very much delivers on expectation on his new LP, Live On Deck, Vol 1 and he has reminded both old and new Grime fans that Footsie and Newham Generals are not going to fade anytime soon. His ability to stay relevant and current whilst keeping a solid growing fanbase is enviable in the modern age of music and must be applauded.
Check out the album below: