Background and Info
With its origins in London’s pirate radio shows Grime is a genre that sticks its hands in a lot of musical cookie jars. Jungle, Drum & Bass, Garage, Reggae and Dancehall to name a few. It has also been labelled as ‘gritty’ hip hop and ‘deep’ rap. It’s certainly a genre that’s hard to pin down but perhaps that’s what has made it take off in both the UK and States. Though it was helped along by Kanye bringing 40 grime artists on stage at the 2015 Brits and Skepta and Drake becoming BFFS. Also pushing Grime further up the charts and into the public eye is Boy Better Know. Godfathers of rap JME and Skepta’s record company originally selling t-shirts, then briefly a 3G network and now releasing grime albums. BBK has the independence usually associated with the indie/alternative genres but with the same slick production of mainstream rap. Perhaps this is why Drake recently signed to BBK, or it might be because he got a BBK tattoo. Basically, if you like a stonking electronic bass and some brilliant rap then this is the genre for you.
Song to ease you in
Stormzy – Know Me From
Only 22 years old but making a strong name for himself in the Grime scene, Stormzy’s Know Me From is a great way to get you in to the genre. You may also remember him from this years end of Freshers’ gig at Northernhay Gardens. There are actually two versions of this music video. But the original was too high production for him so he re-shot this handheld version that has the same style and humour as his famous Snapchat stories (His username is Stormzy1 for those curious). Despite not being signed to BBK this track has that same feel of independence from mainstream rap, whilst still being brilliantly slick. #merky #problem
Song you will love
JME ft. Giggs – Man Don’t Care
The tee-total vegan Jamie Adenuga is one of the kings of the grime scene, not just because of BBK. He is famous for his inventive rap about things other than the generic girls and booze. Man Don’t Care is a great example of this, from commenting on education and the origins of grime “How could a man with a uni degree/Be bussing up mic and chatting his grease/Cause the music originated/And will always remain in the streets”, to Harry Potters favourite disarming spell “Expelliarmus couldn’t stop me”.
Song for the fan
Skepta – Nasty
JME’s brother Skepta and fellow head of BBK released this track as a reaction to his famous rivalry with fellow grime artist Devilman. Grittier but simpler than his other more popular songs like Shutdown it’s my favourite of the three tracks. However, I also recommend listening to Skepta and Devilman’s 2006 clash on SoundCloud to get some inspiration for your own rap battles. For example the line, “And I make his belly look like a bowl of spaghetti” and my favourite “And you’re not even a good producer, And your girl looks like medusa”. Jokes aside clashes lay the foundations of many grime tracks, just like Nasty.