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What’s the deal with... Bugzy Malone?

Meet the MC who’s really putting Manchester on the grime map

By Manu Ekanayake
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Is this about suited-up kids with custard-spewing guns?

It is not. Bugzy with a ‘z’ is a northern MC on a mission to put ‘Manny [Manchester] on the map’ and prove grime fame isn’t just for Londoners like Skepta and Stormzy.

So he’s ambitious, then?

For sure. He proved this by coming for Chip on buzz-building early track ‘Relegation Riddim’, on which Bugzy made fun of the OG grime star’s poppy collaboration with R&B douchebag Chris Brown.

Fair enough, tbh. Was there some beef then?

Serious beef – they traded bars and video insults on YouTube until Giggs finally squashed it at his 2017 Christmas party, when Bugzy and Chip posed for a friendly Instagram pic together.

Okay, so the guy’s got front. But is he any good?

Really good. His 2015 freestyle on BBC Radio 1Xtra’s ‘Fire in the Booth’  is still  an incredibly exciting listen today. Then he showed his range on last year’s ‘King of the North’ EP by sampling DJ Luck & MC Neat’s UK garage classic ‘A Little Bit of Luck’ and referencing Oasis’s Britpop banger ‘Wonderwall’.  Liam Gallagher later recruited Bugzy as a support act: those Manchester lads look after their own.

Cool. But can he sustain intensity over an album?

Actually, he can. This year’s debut LP ‘B. Inspired’ sees him discuss everything from bouts of depression to surviving domestic abuse and overcoming his own criminal past. He also showcases a more melodic style on team-ups with Maverick Sabre and Rag’n’Bone Man.

I’m sold. He sounds like one to keep an eye on.

He is – and this week you can catch his biggest London gig yet at super-cool Canada Water  venue Printworks. It’s sure to be packed tighter than a sushi roll.  ν 

Bugzy Malone plays Printworks on Fri Oct 19.

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