I'm a real sucker for the recommendations that pop up at the end of Youtube videos. Those little thumbnails can define evenings, dictate weekends and make days disappear. They're magical lines of code that can literally alter your taste, sense of humour, and the shitty playlist at your next house party.
Give yourself to those mysterious algorithms, and you'll be taken on a spontaneous journey, one that feels like you're riding a fucking rollercoaster with your eyes closed or cutting the engine before cruising down the mountain road.
More accurately, that journey will feel like you're watching hours of shit without having to type. And when you're streaming stuff through a short HDMI cable and huffing unpleasant bong rips, that feels pretty fucking great.
A few years back one of these wild ventures took me through the forgotten world of Fire In The Booth. For those who don't know, FITB is a late night showcase on Radio 1Xtra when upstart rappers spit bars like their lives depend on it. They shred vocal chords for a minscule audience made up of insomniacs and hash dealers.
GIGGS' FIRE IN THE BOOTH. HARDEST BOOTH OF ALL TIME.
Eventually, their set will make it to YouTube, where people like me can watch them in a huge, marijuana-soaked marathon. Maybe someone will download their music or even buy their mixtape, but it's unlikely. At the very least, a few people might rip the audio from one of the YouTube vids, to immortalise that little moment of magic that made Charlie Sloth go 'PERFECT.'
Every British rapper worth anything has appeared in the segment, as well as a few terrible ones. I'm sure future Dizzees, Wretches and Wileys are currently working on bars that they'll someday spit in the booth. And I'm fairly fucking certain none of these guys will have scribbled down those lyrics and sold their mixtape outside a tube station because of the cunt who wrote Lego House.
And yet 1Xtra have still voted Ed Sheeran the most influential figure in black and urban music.