Anyone else remember this one?
I suspect quite a few people do. It might be considered a bit of a London thing, but it did make it as far as the leafy lanes of rural Norfolk. I spent a good few years bumping this track on the school bus as a youth. Even after Roots Manuva’s Witness, this sounded so completely off the wall. I’m still not really sure where to put it.
The Groundbreaker is the brainchild of Fallacy and Fusion, a London based MC and production team fitting somewhere between hip hop and grime. The track straddles both genres, sat at around 140bpm with repetitive horn stabs, quotable verses from Fallacy (always wanted a pair of Evisu jeans) and a catchy chorus. For me, it’s right up there with the best the UK has ever produced. Roots Manuva dropped it on his Badmeaninggood mix, admitting The Groundbreaker was “one of the first British tunes in a while that really scared me. It kind of made me feel a bit vulnerable.”
The music press went bananas too, with Ministry proclaiming “if this doesn’t get you dancing you must be dead”, and The Hip Hop Chronicle pondering “is this the start of a new genre?” It’s a shame Fallacy and Fusion never went too much further than The Groundbreaker, but it remains one hell of a swan song.
I discovered DJ Skully around the same time as Fallacy and Fusion. Skully picked up first place at the 2002 UK DMC finals, blowing the collective mind of Brixton Academy with a juggle of The Groundbreaker at 45 rpm. If you pick up a copy of the Fallacy album Blackmarket Boy, you’ll find his skit on there too. Check out the video below (5:00 for the routine in question), I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched it.