Words: J Swif
Since the release of Animal on 8th June the Harry Shotta Show has caused a major stir cross the globe and has been the topic of much debate. Released on their own Showtime Music record label the Harry Shotta Show consists of DJ Phantasy, Dextone and of course prolific lyricist Harry Shotta.
So Where did it all begin? The roots go deep in both the Hip Hop and Drum & Bass scene. DJ Phantasy has been DJing and producing since the late 80’s with releases such as the collaboration with DJ Gemini on Never try the Hippodrome which was a true breakthrough track for the rave scene and what would later become Drum & Bass music.
Harry Shotta was big in the UK Hip Hop scene and was formerly known as “Lethal” as part of the “Lethal & Destruction” Duo before making waves in the Drum & Bass scene with his quick, double timing lyrics with flawless delivery and clarity.
Dextone is well known for excellent production quality and versatility on DJ Phantasy’s ‘Easy Records’ with tunes like Septic Tank and Don’t Need You as well as his collaboration with DJ Phantasy on No Way Out which featured on Futurebound’s Viper Recordings Sound of Drum & Bass 2015 album.
The concept for Animal was born at one of the UK’s largest and best known Drum & Bass events known as Westfest when during a Harry Shotta Show performance, DJ Phantasy chopped up Eminem’s Rap God with Shotta’s spitting his own lyrics in between.
Following this performance, Shotta was furnished with the beat that would later become Animal. The beat was at the same BPM and length as Rap God and soon a classic was in the making one Shotta put pen to paper and created a monstrously lyrical beat that is Animal.
Post release, you would be hard pushed to find a music related website that has not mentioned Animal since its release. MTV, UKF, Power 105.1 ,EDM Network, Z100 New York and the BBC have all been giving the track airtime and the credit it deserves. Even Funkmaster Flex and T Pain have tweeted about the collectives raw energy on the track.
The track has definatley made people sit up and take note, it is even poised to enter the record books by breaking Enimem’s current accolade of having the most word in a song (1560 words) on Rap God from the Marshall Mathers LP II. Animal has 1771 word which beats the record by 200, this huge feat is currently awaiting official recognition.
What is striking about all the press coverage Animal has received is that even though the track is not Drum & Bass, most of the media reported the news of Harry Shotta breaking Eminem’s record describing Shotta as “A renowned DnB MC” which can only be a good thing for the scene as a whole and cements its legitimacy as a genre that can produce great lyricists that possess writing ability as well as delivery to rival any Hip Hop artist.
What is also great about the track Animal is that it seems to have unwittingly stirred much debate between Eminem fans and HSS fans where the simple fact is that there is no rivalry, there is no beef, the tune is just a group of artists that came together and created a magnificent record which happened to contains more words than Rap God. No more, no less. Debate is always good for bringing music to the masses and in Shotta’s own words when I interviewed him for this article he wanted to make one thing perfectly clear. “The track (Animal) and the lyrics are just me pushing my art and creativity and trying to show maturity in my lyrical content, there is no disrespect meant to Eminem or any other artist, it’s about pushing the art to the next level”
The lyrics have gained such notoriety in an extreme;y short amount of time they are already featured on the huge Rap Genius pages which is a globally recognized crowd sourced website which breaks down songs in text with line-by-line annotations.
Ever respectful to his peers, Shotta name checks many of his partners in rhyme and inspirations with lyrics such as “I graduated from the school of Skibadee, Shabba D, Fallacy, Wutang Killer B” and gained a few new fans in the forms of huge superstars T-Pain and Funkmaster Flex.
With the world premiere of Animal on Charlie Sloth’s show on BBC 1Xtra, the video for the track was premiered on Jamal Edward’s SBTV channel on YouTube and acheived a staggering half a million views within the first week of release and they statistics are continuing to grow at a steep incline as more people get to her about this incredible track. SBTV has always been a huge supporter of The Harry Shotta Show and was the natural choice to premier the video for Animal on the popular YouTube channel which has seen Animal achieve a staggering 637,951 views in two weeks.
Animal Climbed the iTunes chart at a blistering pace going to Number 10 in just a few short days, the global DnB community really got behind the track and are making it literally one for the record books. Lets just hope Guinness World Records recognize that.
All that is left to say is, if Animal is he first release from the forthcoming Harry Shotta Show album, I can’t wait to hear what’s going to come next.
The Harry Shotta Show Single Animal is available from iTunes
You can see the Harry Shotta Show live at United Festival main stage on Finsbury Park on Sunday 13th September.