Oi! Who’s that O to the Z! You may remember that line from the classic Grime track ‘Oi’ which still smashes up dances. In fact More Fire Crew, which then consisted of members Ozzie B, Neeko and Lethal B and is now the collective known as Fire Camp (minus Neeko), have notched up several classic bangers, including a little known track called POW.
2007 looks set to be a big one for Ozzie B and Fire Camp. Signed to Lethal Bizzle Records, Fire Camp are determined to set the UK on fire with their aptly titled album ‘Great Fire of London’ which will then be followed up with Ozzie’s solo project ‘Sweet Boy in a Sour World’. Britishhiphop.co.uk had a serious one to one with the talented but possibly slept on mc, about beginnings, beefs and representing East London.
He used to move with his guys in school and I used to move with mine, he was in 10.4 and I was in 10.1 but then after a while there must have been some R.E class that was going on but the teacher never turned up so they just said we can use it to do whatever we want, bring in music or whatever. So I must have had a tape with me that had instrumentals on it, so we put that on and Lethal goes to me ‘can you spit blood?’ and I was like’ yeah, yeah I can spit’ but I must have said back to Lethal ‘can you spit though?’ I must have spat my lyric and then the whole class was like ‘yeah man he’s big, he’s big’ and then Lethal spat and he got the same response, so from there me and Lethal were like mans might as well link up and do a little music ting after we live school or something.
We had some guy called Seani B who used to be the DJ, we used to go to his house and muck about and do tapes; make bare noise and piss off his mum and dad (laughs) telling us to turn down the music and all that stuff. From there we must have done one tape and there was some guy called Gappy who used to be with us- a DJ and at the time he had a pirate radio station that was in Boundary.
I used to go to a place in Chingford it was called Sound Training and various people who could spit would go there to get practice and learn how to mix and spit. So Neeko must have been there with his crew Mad Dog Crew, so I must have linked up with Neeko and he heard me spit and he was like yeah man you might as well join my team. I was like yeah I’ll jump on that ’cause I wasn’t really doing anything at the time. So we used to go on one radio station called Amy FM with some DJ called Crucial B, by this time me and Neeko had started our own crew.
So I think we were in JD Sports in Selbourne Walk when we came up with the name, we were thinking what should we call ourselves? At the time man was listening to Capleton, so everyone was like man should be called More Fire Crew. So from there now we started going on Amy Fm as More Fire Crew and Lethal was on there with Forcer and Slim Ting.
Neeko said to me yeah, your cool with Lethal you should bring him in the team. From there now that’s where More Fire Crew starting getting bigger, then De Ja Vu FM came into the picture. We used to do I think it was twelve to two in the mornings but after that we started getting bigger and it moved from twelve to two, to eight to ten at night, at that time on a Monday that was like primetime.
Then Lethal now, he’s a mad man walks with his book everywhere, opened his book and just started flying to it like ‘oi who’s that boy Lethal B?’ At first me and Neeko was like that sounded a bit funny like, a bit cheesy (laughs) but Lethal must have gone nah its big, its big. So me and Neeko must have put our verses down and Lethal was like when you do your verse say, ‘Oi who’s that O to the Z’ and Neeko’s was like ‘Oi who’s that N- double E’. So that’s what happened.
The first day we got it we went to Music House and cut it on dub plate, it cost like £35. So we must have went to some Barbeque rave in Newham, I think it was called All Fruits Ripe or something. So we were like lets play the tune and see the reaction. There were other crews there like Nasty Crew- this was when the scene was actually building, so everyone was cool. So we said lets perform the tune, the first four bar no one weren’t saying nothing. The second four bar everyone started getting involved shouting ‘Oi who’s that boy Lethal B!’
After this event, our Manager Marky B knew some guy called Commander B who worked on Choice Fm and done the night flight. So he gave it to Commander B and he played it and hyped it up proper for us, everyone started ringing the lines for the re-load and after that day it just went crazy. We stopped doing radio, they kicked us off I think it was a jealousy ting, so we were like lets just do shows from now on. Then our Manager was like its time to do a video.
Then Lethal went Ghana and got some different inspiration, come back fully re-charged like a battery. These times De Ja Vu had a Diesel show where all the MCs used to go on the station, so Lethal started going up there saying ‘POW you don’t know about me’, singing that and everyone in the studio was like yeah man that’s a big lyric.
So going back to Dexplicit he had a couple of instrumentals, we got that actual beat and phoned up various artists like D Double E, Napper, Neeko, Demon, there was a guy called Hot Shot on there but he didn’t bother following it up. So Lethal was like to me how would you feel about doing a tune with other MCs, even the ones we’ve got war with? At first I was like do you think its gonna work though bro, are you sure, but Lethal was like nah, you have to think about it bigger now.
Then Lethal organised the day when everyone was gonna lay down their bars. This was the line up: Lethal, Fumin, D Double E, Napper, Jamaka B, Neeko, FlowDan, myself Ozzie B, Forcer and Demon. We met up at Commander B’s studio and enough of them were like: don’t really like this tune, not really feeling it, but obviously we listened to each other. So Lethal knew everyone’s lyrics. So he was like I want you to say this lyric on there and I want you to say that lyric on there, so he was telling everyone what he wanted from them. So everyone even though they didn’t feel it just done it.
Afterwards everyone was like it’s alright, don’t know what its gonna do though, maybe just for pirate radio but Lethal’s a man that when he says he’s gonna try something he don’t stop. Lethal just went on and as he had various links in the game from ‘Oi’ he went to a couple of commercial DJs- they started playing it. Then raves started playing it, we would get like five re-loads in raves and then Lethal was like I know one Label is gonna come soon.
So Lethal met up with Relentless Records and they said that they wanted to sign the tune for a solo deal and from there the Label said they wonna try and release it commercially it was getting that much hype. It got released and got to number eleven in the charts which is good for a tune like that when people are talking about crack your skull and stuff like that and ‘Oi’ obviously when we done that, got to number seven in the charts first week and then moved to number eight second week. So that’s how Pow came about.
At the moment in the British scene not to be funny, I think the levels need to get a bit higher because obviously people have been doing hip-hop over here for a while now. Its not like it just started, it’s only because Channel U’s come by that we are starting to see people but I think everyone needs to higher the levels now. Its that time, we can compete with the US, we’ve got the money. The pound is stronger than the dollar everyone knows that.
Everyone needs to up their ideas, come with new things. With me if you can sing- sing, don’t be worried about what your boys think- 50 does it don’t hide your talent. There are not enough R’n’B acts out here, there’s nothing wrong singing about a girl because we love women innit (laughs).
By: Michelle Adabra