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Saturday, 4 March 2017

Grime, More Than a Genre


Hi everyone!

I hope all of you are well and enjoying another fresh month!

March has really started of amazing for the industry; we’ve been introduced to new albums (I know you all are loving a little bit of Ed right now), and had a change in genre at the top of the album charts. Music industry first right there!

I want to mention how great it is to see a Grime artist at the top of the charts. A lot of people have no idea how hard it is for a genre like Grime to get the recognition of being a genre, especially out into the mainstream, to be listened to the way creation purposes intend it to be. Pure Grime, nothing watered down.

I have read a lot of peoples comments about Stormzy and his recent success. A lot have said that he has put Grime on the map, others have said he is the only Grime artist to ever bring Grime to the mainstream and he has been the only one defending Grime when being asked about the genre. Though Stormzy is doing his thing, and he is really deserving of everything, he is not the only Grime artist to fight for this genre to be heard.

I grew up with Drum & Bass, when ‘Jungle’ was classified as music. One Nation, Micky Finn, MC Det, Shabba, Kenny Ken, Nicky Blackmarket, Skibadee, they all made me love a genre that was underground and dirty, if anyone has looked at the history of this genre, they know how evolved it’s become.

I have never stopped loving the old music that made me fall in love with the sound we have now. This especially goes for Grime. It doesn’t matter where you were born or where you grew up, if Grime was apart of your life at some point, you were living in the age of the sound. 15 years ago Grime was different to how it is now, which makes me ask myself the question; has Grime gone mainstream or is mainstream allowing Grime?

Stormzy has brought Grime to a generation that most only know little about. It’s incredible to see people accept him, because he is the essence of old Grime, true gritty underground Grime that was always channelled outside of radio stations, album charts and streaming. However, if you only know Stormzy and this era of Grime, you don’t know the other artists that have done everything and more than Stormzy.

We have all said Wiley is the godfather of Grime. Back then he was the king of the underground and repping everything London had to offer. We had Roll Deep in every pipeline throwing out the best Grime tracks inbetween other artists like Devlin, Bashy, Dizzee Rascal, Getts, Kano, Giggs, Skepta, JME etc. Dizzee was in the charts along with Chipmunk, Tinie Tempah, Tinchy Stryder they’re all recognised Grime artists and have got number ones in the mainstream charts. They were the success stories for their Genre, much like Stormzy is now.

When artists like JME have been slept on for not reaching the mainstream and causing an uproar in the scene it jars me because there are so many artists in the genre that have not got the deserved recognition, him being one. JME’s album was put out on his own back, he transformed the independent and created something incredible, Integrity is pure excellence.

Grime is a humble, aside from the diss tracks put out weekly amongst the ones wanting the MC underground crown, artists they appreciate other artists work and the height they have in the industry. Grime hits hard at those of us who haven’t always lived in the pockets of parents, a stable family or an affordable income. Sex, drugs and violence are the stories we hear from Grime, but when you understand why, it’s because that’s the life surrounding the ones with the stories to tell.

Industry critics say that Grime lights up acceptance to knife crime, gun violence, underage sex, drug taking and gang wars. It doesn’t, it highlights the struggles of a single mother raising a child alone in a one bedroom flat because her partner abused her, it highlights the hate crimes towards young black men who are scared to walk their usual way home, it tells stories of young girls finding sanctuary in the arms of a man twice her age to pay for a substance that makes her forget her past. Grime is there for stories the mainstream avoids, for young men and women to channel their messages through a passion for music to earn a life they have always dreamt of.

Grime is a genre that focuses on lifestyle, on true life that most of the world ignores. Ask any Grime artist their past, they will tell you the same. They create for a cause, to spread their word across the town. Grime is beautiful when you relate, but even more so when it is celebrated because the stories need to be heard.

Stromzy, you’re a true boy. Congratulations. Thank you for making more people aware others like you are there, even if they are in the shadows.

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