I do believe this is the first time I've written about Dot Rotten. He's a grime artist who's been floating around for a while now, probably most notably getting nominated for BBC's Sound of 2012 list. If you don't know (i.e. you've never lived in the UK) his name is a pun of a character from a London-based soap opera called EastEnders – you must've heard of it – whose name is Dot Cotton. She's about 500 years old and smokes a lot.
Anyway, my ears were on like, red alert or whatever when I heard this new-ish song from Dot Rotten. It was new when I first heard it, around a month ago, on Charlie Sloth's Saturday night show on BBC Radio 1/1Xtra. It's called 'Check Me Out' and it's real cool. But the one I heard on the radio also featured fellow grime MC JME and now I can not find it anywhere. Please, if you can find it, or if you know where to find it and you see this message washed up on the shores of the internet in months or years to come, please direct me to the Dot Rotten x JME version. Thank you.
'Check Me Out' is dark and narcotic, a lazy haze conjured by Canadian producer Sevn Thomas. Bubbles of growling synth switch in the grime style between a repeated few notes, a muffled crunch that accompanies fittingly directionless bleeps which echo into the darkness. Fragmented percussion features lone snares for the verses before rattling hi-hats summon booming columns of sub-bass for a decidedly sordid beat that fits the subject matter.
Over the track, Dot Rotten assumes the role of an overprivileged member of the upper class, affecting a posh / aristocratic accent with a genius bit of nonchalant smugness thrown in for good measure. Essentially he paints a picture – and perhaps quite rightly – of the debauched and arrogant upper middle class (yeah we love classes in the UK). The words themselves are brilliant, I want to write them all down. He talks about drinking chamomile, scones with strawberry jam, eating caviar whilst the lower classes are in Malia. Little things, too, like posh, fake laughter fluttering in the background alongside non-posh words like "swag" as the narrator says how the-shit he is – I love it!
A couple of choice lines: "Fuck that business meeting / I shall not be showing up / Father says I'm childish / Fuck him, I'm not growing up" and and also "Red wine from '08 / Been here for a century / Strolled into my mansion / And there's four girls with four friends for me," not only demonstrating great imagery but also punchy and effective rhymes, too.
- It's taken from Dot Rotten's Remember Me EP (you can download it for freeeeee), also featuring production on one track by Stwo, which is just extra cool.