This week Jaykae surprised fans with a series of cryptic tweets, suggesting that he and fellow former Invasion Alert member Dapz on the Mapz were releasing a sequel to grime classic ‘Froggy’. It was unexpected but such an announcement generated hype from fans of the anthem – it was a clear message from Jaykae that while his songs may be charting and reaching placements on huge TV shows like Power, he hadn’t forgotten his roots.
It’s a move that needs a lot of respect – if Jaykae and Dapz stand for anything, it has to be loyalty to Birmingham, and a whole heap of authenticity.
Flashback to 2014 when the original Froggy was released, Jaykae and Dapz were two of the frontrunners in a movement that had successfully finished the work MCs like Devilman had started, and blown the doors off any London gatekeeping in the grime scene. A previously London-centric sound, Birmingham had proven through hard work and pure grit that they were holding the torch when it was getting diluted and downright dismissed down south. The first Froggy was the cumulation of all that, resulting in a proud, blood pumping anthem that is clearly still on the minds of grime fans today.
The song proved its legs when it became fuel for the crossfire between veterans Dot Rotten and P Money, in the explosive back and forth a few years ago. Redubbed ‘Real Talk’, both MCs used the ethereal and spine-chilling instrumental to set aside the jokes and the banter in the beef and address the real animosity they had for each other, and to air out unspoken truths. Thomas Mellor’s instrumental could be the only grime beat for it.
So now at the present day, we have two successful, and very talented MCs renewing the tune and the original message of the song – ‘if you’re feeling froggy then leap’.
The song doesn’t stray too far from the original. The beat feels like a remix of the original, still maintaining its dark, nocturnal vibe and bassy energy, but updated for 2019 to separate it from the original. As soon as you hear the ‘ribbits’ dropping the song off, you know you’re in for another banger.
Lyrically the chemistry between Jaykae and Dapz is still there – Jaykae’s slow, hard hitting flow comes like a blow to the chest on each intense, lyrical bar. Meanwhile, Dapz (who’s been more quiet in output in comparison) hasn’t lost a step. His skippy, fast paced flow is still unique and at an elite level. He still has a unique talent for finding unexpected pockets in the beat, keeping you on your toes, rhyming in surprising parts of the bar and speeding up and slowing down to match the message of his verse.
Both of them make references to the original but the focus is more on revisiting the aspirations that made the energy of the song in the first place. Dapz goes off, saying that “I still have my old girl stressing my new girl I had to have another word”, in a cheeky and direct throwback. You can tell the song had a lot of quotables that they wanted to bring back.
However rather than relying on old references, the song is more about showing that while they may still rep Brum, they are not repping the struggle they used to. Jaykae talks about pulling up in expensive whips to confirm that he’s now really living different. The most pertinent bar displaying this sentiment is Dapz at the end, singing that ‘over the years, we’ve seen them come and go’. And it’s true – Jaykae and Dapz are definitely two of the most successful MCs still standing from that movement.
He’s also still a very talented singer, and it’s great that they chose to keep him on the hook this time rather than outsourcing the job – to be honest, it just wouldn’t feel right without him.
The video is also very reminiscent of the original, and they even dig up the 5 year old froggy shirts for an extra dose of nostalgia.
If you want to check the video out you can see that below, but hopefully this isn’t the last of the Dapz and Jaykae collabs – I definitely wouldn’t complain about another Froggy collab EP.