Catch up on all the Lord of the Mics VIII Hype Sessions

The upcoming eighth edition of clashing series Lord of the Mics has had perhaps the brand's most unconventional roll-out yet. Most of the competitors were transparently decided through Twitter back in January, and we extensively covered these early developments and initial war dubs. Two months later – and after clashes were recorded in Jammer's infamous basement  we were invited to witness several clashes unfold live in the flesh at a private boat party on the Thames; you can find a full breakdown of its proceedings here. Since then, every Friday night for the last month has seen Sir Spyro premiere two new Hype Sessions on his 1Xtra show, followed by visuals on TRENCH two days later. Here's a breakdown of each war dub. The full Lord of the Mics VIII clashes are set to drop Friday 14 June alongside the "Allstar Riddim".

F.O.S - "LOTM8 Hype Session" (Reece West send)

Videographer: Bipolar Spider

A seasoned battle rapper and former opponent of Izzie Gibbs, Scunthorpe MC F.O.S taunted Yizzy and Ten Dixon alongside many others in his initial LOTM8 war dub, but has ended up pitted against Haringey's Reece West. On his Hype Session, he mostly opts for predictable and unsubstantiated claims about his opponent, calling him a nonce, a snitch, and a broke boy, and even dropping in some casual homophobia [as do others below, sadly] Рbut thankfully some bars hit closer to the mark. He calls West "nobody good, just Dixon's friend", dissects one of his best-known lyrics ("who the fuck is Ars̬ne Parson?"), and claims he's stolen flows from Skepta and Grim Sickers.

Reece West - "LOTM8 Hype Session" (F.O.S send)

Producer: Mystry

Videographer: Bipolar Spider

Over a tense, percussive instrumental from Birmingham beat-maker Mystry entitled "Helsing", West deploys his signature scattering flow, retaliating by telling his adversary "the only Freedom of Speech I rate is Ghetts's album", and claiming that he's "done more than this prick like five times over" and "I move grams, he's on 'Gram pouting" before going on to imply that his opponent's had a sheltered upbringing in Scunthorpe. This send feels as though West is holding back; we'll have to wait and see what else he's got in store for the rest of the clash.

T.Roadz - "Domino's Boy" (SBK diss)

Videographer: AshOnCam

13-year-old upstart T.Roadz has already exchanged one set of war dubs with SBK, who's four years his senior, and filmed his previous video in his opponent's hometown of Stevenage. The Birmingham barrer now goes for an imaginative new line of attack, claiming that his rival lives above a stinky, rat-infested Domino's pizzeria and even shooting an appropriately themed video.

SBK - "LOTM8 Hype Session" (T.Roadz reply)

Producer: Wiley

Videographer: Bipolar Spider

Directly responding to his opponent's dub, rising Stevenage lyricist SBK laces an obscure Wiley instrumental from the vaults, entitled "What a Cheek". In his fiery reply, he claims "my biggest fan? That's T.Roadz's mother", "Ash[OnCam] is injecting gas in your head" and "you should have clashed Litty Lightz" [a fourteen-year-old MC]. Fighting talk for what's shaping up to be a serious clash.

Logan - "LOTM8 Hype Session" (Armz send)

Producer: Logan

Videographer: TheOtherSide

First things first, Harlesden's Logan deserves major plaudits for being the only competitor to vocal a self-produced instrumental in his Hype Session. To top it off, the visuals were directed by TheOtherSide, a team of creatives to which the northwest Londoner himself belongs. After Acton MC GHSTLY XXVII ducked out of their scheduled clash shortly before its due date, Logan was matched up with East London's Armz and given just a week to write all his clash bars. Here, he deploys his signature patois-tinged tone and complex flows, claiming he'll "pop Armzout like cork on sherry". A valiant attempt, especially considering the criminally short notice the two MCs were given for this clash.

Armz - "F Logan" (Logan send)

Producer: A.T

Videographer: RichPower Films

Hackney barrer Armz delivers a catchy send for Logan, complete with cinematic visuals in which he kidnaps his opponent's lookalike. He gets in some digs at Logan's dress sense, sends shots at his associates JoSoSick and Funky Dee, and claims he'll "leave a Logan behind his dreads hiding". He says the name Logan precisely 26 times throughout the track.

Jay0117 - "Vajazzle" (Tommy B send)

Producer: Audio Slugs

Now facing Essex youngster Tommy B for the second time following their well-received clash at DJ Argue's Hell In A Cell 2, Bristol's grime poster boy Jay0117 has pulled out all the stops in the video for his Hype Session. A hilarious intro skit sees him step into the booth in the midst of Tommy B's Sounds of the Verse freestyle and knock out his adversary (spoiler alert: Tommy's stunt double appears to be none other than Sir Hiss making a cameo!) before launching a vicious attack claiming "you're not a shooter, fam, you're a plumber" and "it's a fact that we're both white / But the difference is that you look racist". He also sends shots at the rest of Tommy's crew, Payback; mocks his height; and claims that he owes his success to his label boss and mentor, grime veteran Sharky Major.

Tommy B - "LOTM8 Hype Session" (Jay0117 send)

Producer: Biggaman

Videographer: Bipolar Spider

In a witty send produced by fellow Major Muzik signee Biggaman, Maldon's Tommy B addresses his West Country opponent directly, claiming "you're only big in Bristol Motion" and "you keep screaming Bristol City but I know that you went to school in the posh bit". He then ridicules Jay for showing up to January's Grime Originals rave in London without taking a booking fee, and, on top of that, only managing to earn one reload from Oblig during the New Gen set. It's not all intellectual: he also calls Jay a "batty man" and makes up some blatant lies – but that aside, the multisyllabic rhymes on display here are some of the most intricate we've heard this year.

Funky Dee - "Known" (Mischief Artist send)

Producer: A2

Videographer: Bipolar Spider

Grime veteran Funky Dee has warred with countless MCs over the years including Milli Major, Rival, Grim Sickers, and Sox, who he's set to rematch later in the year. Mischief is significantly less well-known than the aforementioned artists, hence why the Lewisham MC didn't bother replying to his first three sends. On his new Hype Session "Known", he uses exactly this as his main line of attack, asking "how about a punch on your face so you can be known on the roads?" over a weighty A2 refix of Jme's classic "96 Bars of Revenge". The song's hook harks back to his old school collaboration with Vener Remah from his formative years as a member of Fatal Assasins.

Mischief Artist - "LOTM8 Hype Session" (Funky Dee send)

Producer: Olja

Videographer: D'Lux Films

Not to be confused with the top R&G producer of the same name, Mischief was one of the first grime MCs to emerge out of Hertfordshire. His longstanding beef with Funky Dee has seen him release three sends in the last two years, as well as dropping plenty of indirects for his rival on radio. On this new send, produced by Olja (who also handled his new EP Grime Kid Vol. 1 in its entirety), he claims his opponent peaked with the funky house anthem "Are You Gonna Bang?" and hasn't achieved a lot since.

Dialect - "Lord of the Mics VIII Hype Session" (Jafro send)

Producer: Westy & Restraint

Leeds' Dialect pulls no punches on his first send for Leicester's Jafro, showcasing a variety of different flows. Over a stomping, brassy instrumental from Westy and Restraint, he claims "I bring death like a blood diamond / All you're gonna see is Jammer and your friends tryna revive ya" before interpolating his opponent's iconic "BL@CKBOX Freestyle" and "War Again" bars.

Jafro, KayP and C Dash - "King's Landing" (Dialect, Zen and P Solja send)

Producer: Rynsa Man

Videographer: Gugzay

In a one-of-a-kind deviation from the traditional Hype Sessions format, a trio of Leicester lyricists have linked up to create a combined diss track aimed at three different Leeds MCs. Jafro, who's set to clash Dialect on the imminent Lord of the Mics VIII, has invited local KayP and C Dash – who are expected to face Leeds artists Zen and P Solja respectively on Lord of the Mics IX – to contribute guest verses and a hook to his Game of Thrones-themed send.

The track comes fresh off the back of two full-length projects from Jafro: the Chief Shadow album Why Am I So Tired?, written alongside Anansi and released just two days prior to "King's Landing", and The Greatest Playlist Ever, a twelve-track solo effort released in May.

Ten Dixon - "Lord of the Mics VIII Hype Session" (Tana send)

Producer: Halfbreed
Videographer: Bipolar Spider

After deciding he couldn't wait any longer to attack his opponent, Greenwich's Ten Dixon dropped his second war dub entitled "Mr Slap Off Hat" on 5 June, which was recorded after his Hype Session but released before it. On the official Hype Session, released eighteen days later, he assures his opponent that "your funeral is pending" and "I'm gonna rip your soul out" over choral samples and sparse, entrancing plucked strings.

Tana - "Skeng 4 Ten" (Ten Dixon and Blessed send)

Videographer: ReadTheTitle & JordzVisualz

Birmingham Tan gets personal on this piano-led dub, claiming "your voice sounds like you've been taking way too much helium" before alleging that Dixon's then-girlfriend cheated on him with Crafty 893 in the Mode FM toilets. Dixon's WAVE Gang colleague Blessed is also caught in the crossfire as the two of them are likened to "Dumb and Dumber" on the send. He replied just four days later with a diss entitled "Jokeman". Ten has responded too, with a third dub entitled "Top" released the following day.

Rawza - "Who's Basic???" (Gen send)

Producer: Izzie Gibbs
Videographer: VisualPluggHD

Wellingborough's Rawza takes to an instrumental supplied by his close affiliate Izzie Gibbs to assert that Gen's "multi-syllable rhyming isn't exciting" before claiming he'll win over his girlfriend and questioning whether a 27-year-old can call himself a member of the 'new gen' ("You never sprayed with the best MCs your age on a set"). He also suggests that his opponent's extended hiatus from the scene was linked to his depression. No holds barred – but the same can be said for his rival's send.

Gen - "Lord of the Mics VIII Hype Session" (Rawza send)

Producer: Carty BOTB
Videographer: VisualPluggHD

Chadwell Heath native Gen kicks off his send by pretending to forget his opponent's name. He then launches into an unrelenting attack on Rawza's appearance, describing him as a "dinosaur with dreads" and a "Poundland version of Krept" as well as speculating: "bet I could fit Lord of the Mics DVDs between your teeth". Finally, he aims to dismantle his opponent's technique on the mic, branding him "a rebore Izzie Gibbs" with "no clarity". Neither MC held back in this pair of dubs; we'll have to wait until the full clash to see who won.

Yizzy - "Lord of the Mics VIII Hype Session" (Micofcourse send)

Producer: Thomas Mellor & Swifta Beater

Videographer: Bipolar Spider

Following on from their acclaimed 2017 clash outside Mode FM, Micofcourse and Lewisham's Yizzy are set for a rematch on Lord of the Mics. Part of the same cohort of late-noughties radio regulars, it's fair to say the two MCs are well-acquainted with one another's bars, and Yizzy shows this in his send.

He claims "half of your bars are filler, leading up to a bait punchline", asks why Mic has been trying to make friends with his close associate Aaze, and questions why Mic sent for him at Radar Radio's Hell In A Cell clash set in December 2017 when he wasn't there to defend himself. This is followed by extra-large portion of jokes about his opponent's weight. The most self-aware lyric comes late in: "Most of the people supporting you in the clash / Don't think you're better than me, they just don't like me / And wanna see me lose, that's facts".

Micofcourse - "Feline" (Yizzy reply)

Producer: Skeamz

Old school producer Skeamz, of Chip - "Who Are You?" fame, recently made a grand return to the music game after a decade-long hiatus. The first lucky recipient of one of his brand new instrumentals is Shepherd's Bush barrer Micofcourse, who graces the beat in his Hype Session below.

The video opens with a clip from an infamous Yizzy exposé video released in 2017, which reveals how he stole lyrics from many midlands MCs including Ceejay, Phidizz, Jafro and Skeez in a January 2016 freestyle for OSM Media. This is the main focal point of the diss, hence Mic naming it "Feline" as a nod to how his opponent has a proven history of being a copycat.

He then goes on to claim Yizzy is an industry plant who "don't graft at all" and whose "ego's way too big for [his] talent", before suggesting he takes too much inspiration from AJ Tracey  which is interesting as Yizzy called him a "BTEC AJ Tracey" during their 2017 clash. He also directly responds to the claims made in his rival's Hype Session.

Be sure to visit Once Upon A Grime from 9 August to see our breakdown of the full clashes when Lord of the Mics VIII drops.