Castro - All Hallows
Prod. By Skywlkr of Bruiser Brigade fame.
In 2012, the former Castro Saint’s comeback was one of the highlights of Grime Nostalgia that had nothing to do with Grime Nostalgia. Acts from Flirta D to Ears to Hitman Hyper all returned to some relative success, capitalizing on the near-decade long existence of their legendary bars and sets on pirate radios such as Rinse, Deja, etc. But aside from a few MP3s, a shitty video of a freestyle, and the briefest snippet of a live set, what legacy did the Tottenham-based MC leave behind to come back to be welcomed with open arms?
So instead, the comeback was mounted. He started wearing a serial killer like mask to play up his seeming anonymous identity. He’d already been one of the first grime MCs to explicitly rap about cocaine, but now had a synth/trap-leaning sound to compliment it.
Over time however, the goals shifted… CAS now appeared to be evolving into a more post-internet artist, as songs ranged from anti-drug tales, to Curren$y-esque weed odes, to this… a horrorcore themed regular rap record. More and more, it’s not easy to qualify CAS as a grime artist the same way his early material fit, no matter how many old JME instrumentals he freestyles to.
The output of CAS hasn’t let me down yet in any way, so I can’t complain; but I can remark on the lost opportunity .. For producer Skywlkr has made a name for himself with Danny Brown for the ability to emulate the slinkiness of Dizzee Rascal’s take on grime, and Brown himself has been able to bridge the gap with Grime Producer Darq E Freaker into newfound territory… Appropriate, given Danny’s oft-cited Grime influences.
So why then, does CAS seem to be getting less and less ‘grimy’ as time goes on? Will it really benefit us to lose one of the best talents in a ever fluctuating scene to the ratrace of tumblrwave and meme rappers?