JME is many things – Grime MC, Producer and the CO-founder of Boy better know. I’ve been following him since 2004 when I was in school and to me, he is the embodiment of staying true to yourself no matter your surroundings or outside forces. There was a time were predominately grime lyrics were mostly centred around cliché things such as proving to be the hardest, violence and money. JME had notable lyrics which challenged the idea that because we’re from low-income areas that shouldn’t automatically equate into doing crime while throwing your opportunities away.
He stands out for all the right reasons and I’ve always felt like I knew him. This is because for some reason you get the feeling as if you were ever to meet him he would be the same person you see on stage or TV.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if I logged onto my computer, went to YouTube and saw a thumbnail with the title JME meets Rhianna (or someone as famous) I know I would get the same JME.
Another weird way to get my point across which I believe is if JME was a hip hop rapper he would most probably be Redman. I tweeted this to him and I made it a point to elaborate on this as the parallels between the 2 artists are so similar – Their both Super cool, respected by their peers, legends in their genres, from the golden era, don’t ever change, never Hollywood and down to earth.
So for me, it was important to showcase why being true to yourself and owning your individuality is all you need!
Here are some life lessons I’ve picked up from JME
2015 JME released the album integrity. You remember the album with his face blown up full size as the album cover? Yeah, that one! (Great marketing too)
However, I made it a point to include integrity not only because that’s his album title but because that’s a core value he possesses. I must mention that one of the benefits JME has had is being a record label owner which allows him to put out music he loves and never having to compromise on sound, chase a radio hit or follow the trend. From a music lover perspective, it is so painful to watch an artist unwillingly having to go against their musical choices to follow label obligations. JME has constantly made music he loves first which we appreciate afterwards and this all speaks to integrity. I can’t imagine JME signing to a major label and not having creative control over his music
Lesson: Be honest, authentic and stand on your moral grounds.
Over the years JME has done a great job showing us who he is as a person. Take pokemon go for example, he made sure we as fans knew his love for the game was real or chilling at skate parks riding BMX or simply just being vegan were some of the things he loves. What makes any person cool I believe is the little nuances that make them who they are. Social media has done a great job at showcasing an artist’s personal interests and expressing who they are, but with JME you always felt that way towards him even before social media was a thing because he made sure to be himself. He will rock snowboarding boots to a festival, rock the iconic durag, perform with a backpack on stage and then log on to make a grime beat while on Instagram live because that’s just him.
Lesson: Always be yourself and do the things that make you happy
Although being in the public eye, achieving massive success in music and forming one of the biggest music groups in the UK, JME has the energy and spirit of a normal person. He does things normal people do. As I write this and say it out loud it sounds silly but here’s what I mean. On his last album integrity, the following lyrics may explain what I mean
“If you know me, phone me
Imma go eat on my lonelies
I’m in Nandos with a veggie wrap
Or I’m sitting in Leon, munching a gobi”
To me when I hear this I actually can visualise him doing it and it’s because of the things he’s done in the past like picking someone up and selling them a PS4 for 5p? Yeah, I know 5p! So the idea of him popping into Nandos and ordering food himself isn’t so farfetched. Examples like these are why I compared him to Redman. Something we all remember was the famous MTV cribs episode Redman did which automatically made you feel like he was just a regular guy with a talent in music.
Lesson: Never be a prisoner of your own fame, status or circumstances, just do you.
So while he may not be saying these things to us on a 1-1 basis his action speaks louder than words and its clear, that’s why JME stands out to me as a unique individual. Be yourself always, do shit that makes you happy and don’t let society box you in.
He recently teased his new album with free cinema screenings to promote Grime MC, I look forward to seeing what he puts together for us!
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