Hollowman aka Giggler aka Giggs is the next one up in our series. East London quite rightly set the tempo as the majority of well known grime artists hail from the cockney east-end. South London is the mecca of this “road-man rap” – or am I wrong? In my humble opinion, nobody has encapsulated all the elements of growing up in the inner-city, quite like Giggs. Perhaps, you may say this is a biased view, as I also hail from South London; but I do not subscribe to tribalism so we can dismiss that notion. Undeniably, South London is the area of London, whether you live there or not that is famed for its reputation for “keeping it real.” A somewhat juvenile concept if you ask me but a lot of your favourite US rappers (and indeed anyone) have been tested there.
Disclaimer: For those special co-commentators of the culture I advise you to remember our brand is founded on the word Entertainment, so do not be perturbed as I dissect the elements of this particular entry in the series.
Background: If you are of the culture, you may wish to ‘pull my card’ regarding this entry but be aware that this is not the first time I heard of Giggs. There was a Danny Weed tune back in the day entitled “Up in the Shoobz” featuring O.T.B. (Out to Bore/Out to Bang) and Giggs. I have a cousin who lives in Walworth Road, (in the Brandon Estate to be precise), which is pretty much the area of O.T.B. I say this to say, I was one of those people who knew about Giggs, before the rest of London did.
“Hollowman handles his job, Feds on the ground, helicopters on top”
#3 Giggs “Talking The Hardest”
Giggs hails from Peckham and wields considerable clout amongst his conglomerate. This was on full display in this particular UK music moment. It is safe to say, this was his breakout tune, which garnered wide public recognition. The song was on the collaborative mixtape with Dubz, another UK musician, entitled “Ard Bodied.” Without further ado, let’s break down the lyrics.
“If you’re talking the hardest, Giggs better pop in your thoughts as an artist (Jheeze)”
The legendary opening line, which grabbed everybody’s attention. The ad-libs was a strong audio tool that Giggs knew how to effectively deploy. On this occasion, it was the “Jheeze” but it easily could have been the “Umm.” Both sounds emphasise the quality of the preceding bars if in doubt of the use of the ad-lib. This was far reaching, as I remember everybody wanted to talk like Giggs at one point with the “Jheeze” and “It’s emotional” colloquial language.
“Walk in the party, sporting Armani, half of the crowd’s all snorting my charlie”
You do not need to be a rocket scientist to break this one down. Half of the rave is euphoric and that is down to Giggs. Straying away from the aspect of “charlie”, which we strongly advise against, the feel good factor is something we admire from this lyric. Let’s move on.
“Chicks looking at me like “talk to me darling” (jheeze)
Hollering at man
Winking, smiling and wanna attack man
I think these lighties loving my Black Gang
Everyone’s suit same colour as Batman’s”
Giggs is citing his prowess with the ladies, especially those of mixed race origin, termed “lighties.” Now, it is not my role to break down why they are called lighties, as I do not specialise in eugenics in my day job, but that is the word. The Black Gang is the Peckham Boys, of which Giggs is/was part of. Black is a recurring theme and is ubiquitously the colour uniform of people who grow up in “the ends” (inner-city). Generally, if you wear black you are not considered “sweet” so it may reduce your risk of being accosted on the street and having your manhood called into question.
“Big fur jacket, that’s the thoughts of a pimp, I used to be quiet did that sort anything?”
Believe it or not, I used to be quiet too. Many moons ago. I lost out on opportunities but now I can confidently say I have recouped those ten-fold.
“Feds try nick me for a murder, But it could’ve been the man that had the weapon before me
B, White and Green, I been peddling all 3″
Perhaps, the most “real” bar in the song is when Giggs poses this rhetorical question to the listeners. Operation Trident did their investigations and Giggs nonchalantly came out with this response. I love it. Giggs once again references colours and if you are of the culture you know the above mentioned colours are not making it into any children’s picture-book.
“Clapped your mandem and what,
Me and you are cool but you can stand there and watch”
Personally, this is my favourite line. It is an intriguing dichotomy between being cool with someone in the knowledge that they are helpless to assist in a situation. One day, Jualito was alongside Jeks and Rams in a rave in Camden. He was less than half a metre away from an inebriated gentleman try and pacify his girlfriend. She was looking over at Jualito as this young gentleman, oblivious to his girlfriend’s roving eye, continued to try and calm her down. Jualito, practically leaned over and smiled at her, in which the young gentleman looked over powerlessly. This has stayed with Jeks and Rams since.
Giggs has definitely left his mark in the UK music scene with this memorable moment. In some ways, he shone the biggest light on the Rap scene in the UK by revolutionising the sound. He was the first to have deliberate pauses in between lyrics. Other rappers have “bit” this flow and are quite open about it like when Dubz said in a tune “Shout out to my dude Giggs, I got bored of my flow so I used his.”
My question is has there been any meaningful progress since the break-out of Giggs?
Perhaps for another day. I hope I have not scared any viewers away but we all have our guilty pleasures.
Over to you Jeks
Hollowman Rams. (I’m gassed)