There’s no doubt that grime music has firmly hit the mainstream, as Stormzy walked away with the Brit Award for best male last night.
Drake is signed to Skepta’s label Boy Better Know, and the British Phonographic Industry reported that grime sales had risen over 100% in the past year, proving that it’s certainly not a niche genre.
Grime originally came about in London in the early noughties.
It emerged from other styles including garage, jungle, and hip hop.
Some specific features of grime, however, include a rapid breakbeat of around 130bpm, rapping, and an electronic sound in places, which AllMusic calls ‘where the legacies of hardcore rap and hardcore techno collide.’
The genre was originally popularised on pirate radio stations such as Rinse FM.
Wiley is considered one of the pioneers of grime, and it was often in the beginnings called Eskibeat after his nickname Eskiboy.
Him, Dizzee Rascal, Kano, and Lethal Bizzle brought grime out of just pirate stations. Dizzee’s album Boy in da Corner won the Mercury Prize in 2003.
It’s taken until now for the music style to be recognised across the board, however, with the internet and radio shows like Fire in the Booth helping spread the word.
The MOBO Awards has also given grime artists a larger platform, paving the way for other awards committees to take notice.
Current famous grime artists include those mentioned above, and Ghetts, Jme, Skepta, Stormzy, The Streets, Chip, Bugzy Malone, Novelist, and Akala.
Boy Better Know is one of the more famous grime crews, but others include Newham Generals, Roll Deep and Ruff Sqwad.
Stormzy’s album Gang Signs and Prayer was the first grime album ever to reach number one on UK charts, signifying how far the style has come.
Songs like Pow! by Lethal Bizzle were banned from airplay for having controversial lyrics, but it’s safe to say that stations and labels are now more aware of the cultural significance of grime and ready to take notice of the power of the genre.
The hard-hitting lyrics and enaging performances from artists make grime a real movement, rather than simply a music style, and the connection many people feel to it is not to be ignored.
It’s a genre made by young people that tells the stories of their lives, whether these stories are tragedies, triumphs, or comedies.
Grime is here to stay, and there are plenty more stars to be born in the process.