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GROOVES: Grime MC Ghetts looks ahead to the Camden Crawl - and defends Cher Lloyd

Published: 8 March, 2012

Grime MC Ghetts is one of the biggest names to have been revealed on the line-up for May’s Camden Crawl.

Some years on from turning his back on a life of petty crime, he has dropped the name Ghetto and is sounding like a very happy man.

When we speak he’s recovering from performing at a huge drum and bass night at Scala, having got home at 7am and is planning his usual hangover cure – two beefburgers without the bun, chips, peas, two well-done eggs and beans.

As the cholesterol starts to tally up he points out his latest find – an app which tells him where his nearest gym is wherever he is on tour.

Although the venue hasn’t been announced yet, we know for sure that Ghetts will be playing both days of this year’s Camden Crawl (May 4-6).

He said: “This is definitely my pleasure. I always wanted to play it, so it’s like a dream come, true so to speak.

Someone from the Camden Crawl contacted me and asked would I like to do it and I said, ‘of course’, and everything else from there’s history.

“I’m definitely going to put on the best show I can, it’s going to be very energetic – expect the unexpected. It might be a little different from what you expect from the average grime gig.”

Having played in Camden several times before, he said: “The crowd’s very receptive. I love crowds like that. Sometimes there are venues where I’m not sure what they’ve paid money to be there for.”

Last year, Ghetts drew some puzzled responses when – having been known for his hardcore lyrics – he guested on Cher Lloyd’s single Dub on The Tracks, but he has defended both the record, and Cher.

“I don’t know what it is,” he said, “I really can’t understand why her criticism level is so high. Sometimes I just think, give her a chance, she’s pretty passionate about what she does.”

He added: “I don’t like to be put in a box by anyone realistically. I know a lot of people were going, ‘oh, it’s Cher Lloyd’, but I heard the tune, I thought, ‘she’s adapted pretty well’, and yeah I did a verse.

“I base my decisions on the actual music instead of what other people think you should or not do. My motto is, if I like the music I can write to it, if I don’t like a beat or the song, nothing’s going to come to mind. I’ll be pretty blunt, but with this I put pen to paper straight away and it started flowing from there. When I heard the outcome I was thinking, ‘this is pretty good man’.”

Ghetts has worked hard to create a distance between his present persona and that of his past, contentedly revealing: “Today, I’ve not been in trouble with the cops for eight years.”

The turning point came for him after time spent in a young offenders’ institute. “I was there for a load of petty crimes,” he said. “I was a rebel­lious teenager. I got to 18 and realised it’s not for me, I’ve got to find some­­thing constructive to do.”

Contrary to his image, Ghetts admits to some surprising music tastes.

He said: “People look at me and probably think I drive round listening to loads of gangsta music all day long, which I don’t. I’m into SWV, Destiny’s Child, music from that era, my friends all think it’s weird. I hate listening to loud, ener­getic music on the way back from a booking. I’m always putting on a slow jam or two and everyone in the car is very upset with me. I’m just calm, and they’re like, ‘this is for girls’.”

• For full details of the Camden Crawl line-up and tickets, visit


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