When MCs Clash: Land of the Mics and Titus Cole
There are many series nowadays that focus on competition within the arts. It’s always fascinating to watch artists and creators clash within their field, but it also interesting to learn more about an art form you didn’t even know exist. Or a competition that you didn’t know existed. In this article, we will be studying the amazing clash between masters of ceremonies.
In the lesser known field of music, Jamaican grime music has a strong sense of competition through its artists. Many MCs clash together as a result of the music forms sound clashing. The series that documents the clashes between these MCs is called Land of the Mics. Up to now, there have been eight editions of the series. In each round, different MCs are featured in clashes. But it’s important to understand the nature of the competition first. In each clash that is presented in the series, two MC’s perform the clashing competition using instrumental grime music. There are a few instrumentals they go over in each round and during the clashes, they are also making new music. So an incredible aspect of Lord of the Mics is how much music they release with each edition. There are also diss tracks and winners in each series, which are decided by the audience.
But after understanding the theme of this series, it is important to note the documentation and filmmaking process of the series itself. As Lord of the Mics is about MC’s, there is a lot of music that influences the way their competition and clashes are recorded. Music always adds a magical touch to film, whether it is a documentary, a short short, or a long story. Yet this series has impacted many filmmakers and artists too because of the way it brings together many elements of art at once. Over the years, Land of the Mics has altered its program to make it more special and interesting for the viewers. For its ten-year anniversary, marking the seventh issue of the series, Lord of the Mics included ten clashes between MC’s. This was one of the best years for the series as a graceful number of tracks were released as the ‘Lord of the Mics’ complication album with the clashes, scoring a Top 10 of the UK Compilation Chart. Lord of Mics issues I & II were also re-released this year, making it even more exciting as memories of previous MC’s and clashes were relived for the audience and team members alike. But there are many artists
who were influenced during the making of the series, such as Titus Cole.
Titus Cole served as a filmmaker at Lord of the Mics, which was a fascinating year for Land of the Mics. He was able to witness some of the most hyped clashes that took place for the ten-year anniversary, and also one of the years where DJs were also invited to a clash. The power of music and competition was transfused into Titus’ understanding of how grime music actually works. But it also impacted him as he was beginning his professional career as an intern at the Land of the Mics. Titus is a filmmaker and cinematographer based in London,
United Kingdom, and he was heavily impacted by the strength and energy of this series. For him, it was very interesting as he was able to be in touch with two elements of filmmaking at once: the cinematography and the musical aspect.
He mentioned in an interview with us how much being in the atmosphere of grime music clashes informed his understanding of music as a person who loves music, but also as a filmmaker too. Titus Cole is also a cinematographer, and he is currently working on a project that will take us behind the lens of his perspective: his perspective is wildly unique because of his connection to music but also because of the way he perceives cinematography and the was y it can impact storytelling. To Titus, all aspects of filmmaking and documentation are in relation and correspondence with one-another. For instance, the way a camera moves can be in tune
with the score, or perhaps a film’s lighting will greatly affect the details of cinematography and enhance a specific technique. This is why he was very moved by the series, as he saw so many important elements working together, and creating a beautiful body of work where people witness the power of music, through the lens of filmmaking.