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YGG (Photo Credit: Sophie Mayanne)

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Watching YGG in full flow is something to behold - and the emphasis here belongs on the word ‘flow.’ Catch them passing mics live or trading bars on radio and you get the sense that this is a crew dedicated to their craft.

Comprised of Saint P, PK and Lyrical Strally, the tight-knit trio channel an old-school approach, putting in hours honing their trademark skippy, slinky grime flows and finishing each other’s sentences on live sets. “There ain’t enough people putting in the practice hours,” says Lyrical Strally. “Practice is important. If you’re lazy about it then you might as well just not do it.”

It’s a pretty simple philosophy, but one that can be traced through the leading lights in grime’s history. Wiley would use appearances on Rinse FM to test out new material, the original Practice Hours DVDs feature some of the scene’s most legendary freestyles, and local youth clubs gave many of today’s stars a space in which to cut their teeth. Saint P seems aware not only of this history, but the pragmatism behind it. “There’s always been sick MCs,” he says, “but they’re not sick by accident - you have to work at it to become good.”

Lyrical Strally and PK nod along fervently, reflecting a shared mentality that harks back to another founding feature of the grime scene - that of the crew. From Boy Better Know to Roll Deep and Ruff Sqwad, Strally admits to being heavily influenced by the creative collectives that shaped the grime sound his own crew now contributes to.

There’s something refreshing about how rooted, how down to earth all of this is. And it appears to be paying off.

Having just dropped the DJ Q-produced ‘Bad’, they’re gearing up for a full EP release later in the year as well as a whole run of festival appearances throughout the summer. The as-yet-untitled EP will be released independently, Saint P says, to allow the crew to retain full control over its direction.

“That’s a conscious decision for us,” he explains, “we don’t want anyone else telling us what to say or what to do.” He doesn’t look around to check - he doesn’t need to - but PK and Saint P are nodding again, in unison.

WHERE: North West London
WHAT: Gritty grime that’s focused on the art of spraying
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Bad’, ‘Don’t Talk Like That’, ‘Okay’

FACT: The trio first met through fellow grime upstart Novelist and his (now defunct) crew, The Square - “We just kind of gelled,” Saint P recalls.

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Words: Will Pritchard
Photography: Sophie Mayanne
Fashion: Josh Tuckley

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