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Roll Deep are a successful London-based group, producing music derived from the urban music genre of Grime. The genre of grime is very similar to the American genre of rap, which is one of the many fields it takes after; other genres include UK garage and hip hop. They were formed in 2002 and were very significant in the development and popularity of grime, as they were among the first to bring the genre to the attention of the mainstream media in the early 2000’s. Roll Deep are signed to and record from their own record label, entitled Roll Deep Recordings, they use this to distribute their mix tapes etc. Their debut album was titled ‘in at the deep end’. The album had many successes; it went silver in the UK, selling more than 85,000 copies. The album won Best Album at the 2005 Urban Music Awards. Roll Deep’s other album releases include ‘Rules and regulations’ which was released in the year 2007, closely followed by ‘Return of the big money sound’ in 2008.Unfortuantely Roll Deep’s album success began to decline as many Grime fanatics found illegitimate ways of obtaining their music , however their popularity remains high. Roll Deep consists of many members, currently there are ten members, as well as having seventeen former members. The leader of the collective has featured on many Roll Deep songs, as well as gaining success individually, with songs that have received chart success. Former members such, Dizzie Rascal and Tinchy Stryder have also gained success as solo artists, and are well known not only within the genre of grime but within others such as pop. The members of the group are Wiley, the leader and the most recognized, Breeze, who is one of the founders of the group and is well known for his witty lyrics, Brazen, who has a notably distinctive, aggressive voice on the microphone, Flow Dan, who is known for his deep voice and lyrical deliverance in patois, Scratchy and J2K, are other founders of the group, Danny weed and Target are well known for making jumpy instrumentals and producing the most successful tracks. Finally Manga who was handpicked by Wiley the leader, other artists who are associated with the group are Skepta, JME, Dizzie Rascal, Riko and Killa P. Roll Deep had their first UK number 1 single with the song ‘Good Times’ in May 2010 and the group’s second UK no.1 single was ‘Green Light’. Roll Deep have been consistent supporters of ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ (LMHR) is a British musicoriented campaign by the Anti-Nazi League and Unite against Fascism. The campaign involves concerts aimed at spreading an anti-racist message. Roll Deep perform at high profile events, such as the memorial for Anthony Walker. Roll Deep have regular appearances on BBC 1Xtra. The introductory shot establishes the narrative and suggests the plot immediately as the audience are introduced to what seems to be a working class family they are eating breakfast before starting their days. This shot is significant because it suggest the normality of these characters lives. The girl is dressed in her school uniform etc. the first shot shows the protagonist right away, this is so that the audience develops a relationship with him, (the boy wearing grey) because of the typical conventions of this genre of music and the fact the video was made in association with trident the audience instantly assumes a bad outcome that teaches a lesson is inevitable. The framing is significant because it shows all


four characters in a division of their own section, suggesting they may all have a part to play within the video. The central character in the middle highlights his significance and clearly identifies him as the protagonist. The lighting is natural, coming dominantly from the window reinforcing the calm, normal everyday atmosphere that is being portrayed. I think that introducing the boy’s family first evokes sympathy onto the audience as we can see how he reacts with them, as a result of this the contrast between the first shot and the last will have a hard-hitting affect on the audience.

As the video progresses the location changes from the protagonist’s kitchen, to his area, (ends) on first appearance, we can see the assumptions of him being from a working class family are again highlighted by the environment him and his friend are walking in. The storyline has typical conventions of a tragic gun/knife crime story. With a teenage boy, teenagers are dominant so far, as nothing bad has happened as of yet, shots like the one on the right highlight their innocence and youth, as they walk into the frame the shot is suggestively saying that because they then have to walk a long way to get out of the shot, it’s a representation of their lives. However they are fighting a losing battle because they are doomed due to the neighbourhood they live in. The producers of the video has cleverly used a technique to create the illusion that the music being played is diegetically, they have done this by not featuring any music whilst the narrative is established. Until this point where a boy is putting the CD into the player and playing the music from his car, the music slowly drifts from diegetic to becoming non-diegetic.

Other vital areas of the music video are obviously when the fights begin, because this sets the basis of the whole storyline and it instils fear into the audience, the protagonist meets his friends and him and his friends are driving around motiveless, this is meant to be a strong reflection of the central character as a person, he has no ob, isn’t seen to be in any sort of education but he has a gun, however we could argue that his need for a gun in fuelled by the


hardships faced by the area in which he lives in. Another vital area is the introduction of the gun, the gun is just as vital as the central character, as him having the weapon has determined the story and allowed for a moral. When the weapon is introduced, it is quickly introduced to represent the quickness and distortion of the protagonist’s thoughts. The gun is shown in the centre of the frame, it neither looks big or small in the frame but its central positioning alerts the viewer that this prop will have a vital part to play in the development of the storyline. Which is true as the protagonist shoots a girl, who was dressed in school uniform, the mere contrast between himself and his victim is significant because all though unintentional he’s a male she’s female, she’s doing something productive with her time and hes shown as an aimless youth which conforms to many stereotypes around teenage boys.

The thing which I particularly like about the shot on the left is that the victim is left for dead, with her school mates at her side, whilst in the background the protagonists and his friends are shown getting into the car about to run away and leave the victim to die. I like the use of thirds because in the far left you see her friend helping her, the centre you see her dying and the far right you see the protagonist escaping.

Shots like these are really vital in music videos of this genre because, the music typically derives from urban areas like these, I particularly like how time changes rapidly within the video, from morning to afternoon to evening, long shots like these are used to establish the area, as they are spontaneously popping up it seems to act as a constant remind of how ever wrong such lifestyles may seem to be, his upbringing has led him no choice but to carry a gun. The video shows many


shots of the boy leaning on the wall, suggestively reflecting on what hes done, feeling remorseful, this shows a different side to what is typically shown in the media, gun users are always shown as ruthless and unremorseful.

The video draws to a close as police are introduced finally, in these situations this strongly highlights the fact that carrying a knife and pulling the trigger can not only cut the victims life short but can ruin the life of the carrier. The audio is still playing continuously however diegetic sounds are being projected to emphasise the tragedy of this occurrence. The police men are the first white people introduced throughout the whole video; this highlights the video’s aim to convey what is stereotypically assumed by onlookers, that predominately black areas are the ones most prone to gun and knife crime.


Music video analysis