The Mastery of Mog

MC extraordinaire Mog is a man of few words but many bars. Ronnie McCluskey picks his favourite lyrics from Scottish hip-hop’s modern-day Robbie Burns.

From The Grey Area to Nomads Land via countless collaborations, Glasgow emcee Mog has proven himself a lyricist of fearsome repute. Acidulous and clever, the rapper filters his weapons-grade bars through a catalogue of deeply felt emotions, from crippling depression to broiling rage, drug-induced euphoria to wistful nostalgia.

Scottish hip-hop isn’t for everyone, but in Mog’s lyrics one frequently turns up gumbo-flecked jewels of hard-won wisdom – relatable experiences, amped-up anecdotes, cutting observations and snatches of tar-black humour. It’s not a stretch to say that his albums mimic page turners, as Mog guides the listener through a dark abyss of consciousness, like Virgil leading a tour of the Underworld.

Mog & ZA’s latest release, November 2016

Glasgow’s Mog

Mog’s storytelling credentials are beyond dispute. If you grew up in certain schemes in the west of Scotland – scratch that, in any socially deprived quadrant of the country – you only need to listen to Moovin On or Evolution to hear an approximation of your experience. A world of menchied waws, rollin trays and spliffs, departed mates and old flames.

It’s not all doom, though. On Stop Me Now, Mog sounds possessed of a superhuman optimism, and the exultation is infectious. Feeling pissed off, letdown, frustrated or downcast? Stick this tune on and feel your spirits soar. Judging by his material, Mog has gone toe to toe with life since day dot, but he sounds imperishable on a track that is affecting, reflective and pragmatic. Influential in the way only the best music can be.

Below, you’ll find a selection of my favourite Mog bars. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

 

Thirty odd teenagers hingin roon the corner ay ma street

Schemin, scammin, dreamin, laughin at the polis on the beat”

Roon Here

 

Pretty sure the coppers got the phone box bugged
And underneath the Jesus Loves You somebody’s wrote So Fuck”
Roon Here

Ah’m starin at the ghost ay ma tenement close
A hunner odd grand hoose owned by a ned wae a Porsche”
Roon Here

 

Ma people go fae rag tae rag

Shag tae shag

And end up dyin fae the smack they jag

– Went South

 

It’s better tae burn oot than fade away
Cos even on a rainy day
You always had an escapade
A crazy scheme tae get us paid”
– The Way It Is Sometimes

 

Life’s short
Even when you’re stuck inside a time warp
Pop a wine cork
Pour a portion on the sidewalk”
– The Way It Is Sometimes

 

You were a grafter in the truest sense

If you wurnae drappin through the roof

You were cuttin sections oot the fence”

– The Way It Is Sometimes

 

Always the laughin stock
Always the fuckin butt ay the joke
Always the wan no auld enough tae get a burd or smoke”
– Evolution

 

Fuck, ah’m just a young ‘un, barely even hud a wan-on-wan
An noo ah’m in the middle ay a life-threatenin battle plan”
– Evolution

 

When you’re an addict every day’s aboot the quick fix
Cancerous sticks and caffeine
Just tae stop the bad dreams”
– Searchin

 

It’s person versus demon
Reality versus dreamin
Aw ah dae is search for meanin
Gettin stoned an gettin steamin”
– Searchin

 

I’m nobody
Another woulda, coulda, shoulda been
Spendin ma existence swallayin an puffin doobs a green”
– Searchin

 

Wish ah wis hotter than August

And gettin warmerer

Wish ah wis caulder

Than a coroner’s thermometer”

– Purgatory

 

When ah get easily smitten
Ah hear a voice inside ma heid say ‘you’re trippin’
That’s how a scheme makes you perceive these women”
– A Scum First

 

And based on ma criminal hame
Ah keep a safe wan-syllable name”
– A Scum First

Mog’s most memorable lyrics

Click to read more of Mog's best bars
“Ma only purpose on this earth is takin aw that ah’m owed
Wanted man, so ah’m residin in a foreign abode” (Real)

 

“Somebody tell me how it came tae this
Blade in ma fist
Shakin as ah stare at ma wrist” (Darkest Knight)
“Wae the world on ma shooders an a mic in ma mittens
I pledge allegiance tae ma region as I’m solemnly spittin
Cough a lung
The S on ma chest stauns for Scum
A clever cookie, here’s a crumb
Wae the best thoughts tae come’ (A Scum First)

 

‘Ah’ll shovel shit, swim in the dirt and the grit
Tae huv you cunts in a fit’s worth aw ma cunning an wit’ (A Scum First)

 

‘Reside in Scotland
Want pide for the shite ah’m talkin
An this big behind ah’m clockin’s
As fine as the line ah’m walkin’ (Jist Fur Fun)

 

‘Ah’ll still be up the morra
Caffeinated aff a cappuccino
Dazed and in the darkness
Gettin wasted watchin Tarantino
Jackie Brown tae seein Bill get killed by Samurai, it shows ye
Everybody hinks they’re Death Proof till they diagnose ye’ (Jist Fur Fun)

 

‘At the end ay a long day
Ye let your hair doon an your song play
And wonder why the last ten years went the wrong way’ (Moovin On)

 

‘Ah’m gonnae miss the weans fightin on a Friday pished
And a Monday and a Tuesday and you get the gist
Another hing ah’m gonnae definitely miss is this
Pennin thoughts in ma bed wae a spliff’ (Moovin On)

 

‘But it’ll never be the same
Friends and lovers change
Everybody’s grown up an they’re huvin weans’ (Moovin On)

 

‘If people knew they’d hink you’re crazy, oot your mind
Cos ye miss a childhood that ye hated at the time’ (Moovin On)

 

‘If ma lips are dry
It’s cos ah kissed the sky
Let’s review
I used tae be blue
And so see-through
But wae ma soul renewed
Just try an stop me noo’ (Stop Me Now)

 

‘Truth be told, ah wis raised in hell
Sometimes ah want tae get a gun an Cobain masel
But ah take comfort in the beauty ay rhyme and hip-hop
It’s the only hing that saved ma life, nae shit talk’ (Saving Grace)

 

‘Even though ah see a ton ay ignorance
The only hing that keeps ma faith in this world is innocence’ (Saving Grace)

 

‘You’ve just got wan ay the faces ah’d love tae fuck a puck aff
Want tae let us dae it? Ah’m tellin ye, it’ll be some laugh, nah?’ (n’ Whit)

 

‘Glesga rap? That cunt must be a head case
Just chuck your heids tae this till ye end up wae a neck brace’ (n’ Whit)

 

‘Sick ay hearin cunts go oan an oan aboot the ice they’ve goat
Ah’m skint as a joint, tellin it straighter than a line a coke’ (n’ Whit)

 

‘Ah rip tracks
In fact, ah spit facts
That crack the glass ceilin
An that’s a mad feelin
Clasp your hands kneelin
An ask for forgiveness
Ah’m the raw sickness
An you’re aw witness’ (Figure Me Oot)

 

‘Since light travels faster than sound
Maist people seem bright till they blabber their mouths’ (Figure Me Oot)

 

‘And you can bet your bottom baw hair that ah’m aw there an mair
So drap the act and put your hauns in the air’ (Figure Me Oot)

 

‘She’s dressed tae excite
An it’s midnight
As soon as the clock strikes twelve
It’s pigtails an a skirt that looks more like a belt
And as they say, the rest ay it is history
She must’ve really thought that you were born yesterday’ (Deep Breath)

 

‘If you’re no on each other’s case then you’re on each other’s mates
Changin faces tae get shady just like phoney number plates’ (Deep Breath)

 

‘Hauf the hings we did as minors an adult wouldnae dream ay
But that shit disnae define us, just part ay the journey really’ (B No Evil)

 

‘Is the complexity stressin ye?
Hus existence made a mess ay ye?
Is life affectin ye so bad ye cannae function sexually?’ (B No Evil)

 

‘Are you such a useless bore that cunts ignore your presence?
Or are you so over-amplified you come across aggressive?’ (B No Evil)

 

‘Snap oot the menopause
And get a fuckin pair a baws’ (B No Evil)

 

‘You’re no a child nae mair, it’s only weans that cry the blues
An yer feet are too small for ye tae be actin the size ay yer shoes’ (B No Evil)

 

‘Plot against me and your plans’ll get foiled like heroin’ (B No Evil)

 

‘Rape, murder, murder, rape
I used tae hate the murder rate
Noo every dunt ah take
Gradually numbs the hate’ (Cold In The Streets)

 

‘Everybody’s dodgy
Want tae prod ye wae a lockie
Tell ma maw ah’m sorry
But she’d’ve been better tae abort me’ (Cold In The Streets)

 

‘Somebody ran a razor doon ma face
Auld reliable
Noo ah’m easily identifiable’ (Cold In The Streets)

 

‘Done a lot ah’m urnae proud ay
It goes wae the turf
Robbin ma folks tae get puff
Sellin ma soul fur a burd’ (Trying To Forget)

 

‘Nae respect fur anybody when ah wis a youth
Just a glorified ned an ma scars are the proof’ (Trying To Forget)

 

‘It wis a summer’s night, back in the craziest time
Kickin aboot the park, stoned, gettin wasted on wine’ (Trying To Forget)

 

‘It’s amazin whit some liquid’ll dae
And in the annals ay this game I’m the sickest tae play’ (Don’t Speak)

 

‘Cunt’s say ‘you’re the man, you’re the rawest when you speak’
But ah get maist ah ma material fae watchin Dawson’s Creek’ (True Colours)

 

‘Sucker for a love song
But never loved a burd long
Drink tae ah cannae hink
Puffin tae the hurt’s gone’ (True Colours)

 

‘Hired gun, shootin doon settlers in the Alamo
Every man’s fallible, sell their soul for a bag a gold
Howdy partner, ah’m a bounty huntin mouthy rapper
Lookin proudly dapper wae a cowboy hat aroon ma napper’
(Outlaw (Wild West))

 

‘Ridin tall in the saddle
Ah went fae bottom ay the barrel
Tae a conman robbin lawmen
Fur their horse an cattle’ (Outlaw (Wild West))

 

‘Stubborn western resident
Ma temper’s evident
When ah’v had one too many measurements’ (Outlaw (Wild West))

 

‘Bouncin tae Dogg Food
Pap on some Cube and Mog’s good
Chonged oot, watchin Boyz n the Hood’ (Old School Ways)

 

‘Pennies fur thoughts in ma melody box
An ah’m meant tae be hotter than kissin the sun
Skint as the knees on your burd
But ye don’t hear me bitchin
Ah’ve awready won’ (So Many Mics)

 

‘There’s somethin wrang when hauf the homes have got ASBOs
An cunts need tae be in fur seven o’clock or the tag glows’ (Fade Away)

 

‘Cunt’s are gettin colder, overdosin in shallow
When the polis hink ah’m traffickin snow like Sam Crow’ (Fade Away)

 

‘So if you thought ma fate wis sealed when they blew ma high
Bad news, ah refuse tae die’ (No Grave)

Mog discography

Discover Mog’s full discography here and a couple of rare tracks here. Also check out his latest music with Simmons is Old.

Mog’s best videos

More Mog

Who the F*** is Glasgow Mog?

Words by Ronnie McCluskey. Images by 0405 Photography.