About six months ago, I wrote a piece about why JME is a leader of the grime scene. Since then, Jamie Adenuga has continued to surprise his fans and followers, and I believe my piece deserves a quick follow up.
Firstly, I want to say that we did find some lyrics that should be brought to light. It seems like JME – much to my horror – may, or may have once been, transphobic. It seems like he isn’t into sex workers who dress like women but have penises, aka ‘trannies’, or at least he wasn’t in 2009. There’s a whole song about it called Disguise, which I’m not even going to link to because it doesn’t deserve any views. The track is actually by Skepta featuring JME and Jammer, not that it truly makes a difference. It opens with the Transformers musical tagline, “Transvestites: More than meets the eye”. Yeah, right.
If there’s any apology for their transphobia it’s in the final line:
I got no problems with your sexuality
But why you trying to trick me?
Which seems like a pretty cheap apology, let’s be honest. I hopefully don’t need to explain why this song is transphobic, whether it’s towards transwomen, drag queens or anyone else who fits the ‘wears feminine clothing/has biologically male plumbing’ category of the big beautiful gender rainbow. I truly very much hope this is just something that’s five years old, and that these guys have all learnt from their experience. We don’t need celebrities or respected members of any community promoting transphobia, and I’m pretty disappointed in my favourite grime artist for getting on board with this cheap crap, vilifying a group of people that really, really don’t need any more vilification. Not to mention that plenty of people are really happy to pay for sex with somebody who fits that description. But hey, that’s a lot of rap, let’s be honest.
Anyway, star swipe back to the present day and JME has been up to no good, ruffling some feathers as is his forte. Tonnes of people were nagging him about when he was going to release more of his Boy Better Know snapbacks, to which he decides to actually release more of his Boy Better Know snapbacks. He puts together a spanking new design of the hat, which he shows off in his demo video for Taking Over (It Ain’t Working), and it is straight up on point. Twitter and Facebook asked JME how cheap they would be, and they sure were sorry when he reacted against their attitude that man would only pay $30 for a snapback. He uploaded a photo of a cheap generic snapback store and captioned ‘If you want a £30 Snapback real good quality, go here pls’.
He then decided that real fans should support independent artists and entrepreneurs, and tweeted/facebooked that he would make his snapbacks cost as much as a ‘tank of gas’. He also told people that they’d probably spend more in a night going out and getting drunk (recap: JME is straightedge, as in, he doesn’t drink or take drugs). Hard to argue that you wouldn’t give your favourite artist as much as you give your local, or a major petrol company.
He then went one step further, filled up his car, and tweeted how much it was: £105.78. ‘That’s the number,’ he wrote.
So he sold his snapbacks for exactly that much, to the decimal. And people. Were. Pissed.
JME told people to ‘log off, do something else’ and produced a very limited run of the hats, only 100. And they sold out within a day.
This all happened a month ago now at the time of writing, and I’m still giggling about his brilliance. He’s a hard man to keep up with.
So props, once again, to Jamie Adenuga, for consistently maintaining his own ethical standards, and being an uncompromising, trailblazing grime artist; it seems to be doing his career more good than harm.