safe 2

Review: Saskilla and Ten Dixon – ‘Safe 2’ EP

In Grime by Cammy Thomas

It ain’t safe for anyone when ‘Deze Guys’, Saskilla and Ten Dixon come through with a bag of bars for the second year in a row, on their follow up E.P; ‘Safe 2.’ For fans of Saskilla from his Nu Brand Flexx days, and for those of us that saw Ten Dixon’s animated E.Honda like hand gestures on the recent ‘Lord of the mics 8’ clash, this joint E.P reunites the charisma and humour fans enjoyed the first time around.

Like last years’ comedic E.P ‘Safe’, this years’ ‘Safe 2’ continues the contrast with a slightly toned down version of Ten Dixon’s cartoonish / manic delivery, against Saskilla’s measured yet menacing flow. Safe 2 works due to the fact you get the entertainment factor from Ten Dixon’s humorous style and Saskilla delivers dexterous bars. Lead track from the EP, ‘Washed’ demonstrates their opposing styles to great effect.

‘Grime is Dead’ opens with a soundbite from Saskilla’s fellow Roll Deep member Wiley, Ten Dixon comes with a witty par referencing Saskilla’s previous Chip off his shoulder (If you know, you know!!)! Saskilla rightly asks “How you gonna say that Grime is dead when Wiley’s still got a heart rate; jelly?!”

The production on the track ‘That’s an L’ is so minimal and syncopated, it sucks you right in with its oddness, which in itself is a celebration of the ‘other’ / not of this world essence Grime contains. The EP becomes experimental when Saskilla and Ten decide to switch up genres completely and visit neo soul on the track ‘Smile.’ It’s completely unexpected but with its sensually smooth tempo and feminine vocal; issa vibe!

Saskilla and Ten Dixon push boundaries even further by sampling Dorothy from the wizard of Oz on the track aptly titled, ‘Yellow Brick Road.’ The track is genius when you hear the exact soundbite used from the Kansas native, and if you never thought you’d hear Dorothy from the wizard of Oz on a trap beat, you were oh SO wrong.

The last track on the E.P is my personal favourite. ‘Wonder what Wiley? Wonder What Dizzee?’ is a tribute to the massive impact both pioneers have had on Ten Dixon, Saskilla and grime culture as a whole. Ten Dixon takes on the dual role of interviewer and fan and asks Wiley a series of direct questions all fans have pondered over the years. Saskilla, as a grime veteran gives an insider’s point of view, as he recalls his personal memories from his time spent with both Dizzee and WIley. ‘Wonder What Wiley? Wonder What Dizzee?’ instrumental is stunning with a bluesy saxophone melding with dreamy xylophones to match the introspective mood of the song.

All in all, ‘Safe 2’ represents a growth and maturity within Saskilla and Ten Dixon’s musical partnership, in which they demonstrate that they not afraid to try new flavours and genre hop. Both artists’ are more experimental with their flow, style and instrumentation on this second offering. Let’s hope this dynamic duo reppin, old school and new school Grime MC’s, have more beats n bars locked away in the safe to share with us in 2020!#

Stream the EP via Spotify! Also available via iTunes and Amazon