Grime: The Gritty UK Love Child of Garage, Dancehall, and Hip Hop

A recent post on I Guess I’m Floating, and the comment war that followed it, introduced me to a genre I (much like IGIF writer Nathaniel) had no previous exposure to: Grime.

I won’t go into a detailed breakdown of the origins of the genre, the tendency toward social and political commentary, the stylistic elements and what not. You can all read. Go to the wikipedia link if you’re so damn curious!

What piqued my interest was the debate in the aforementioned post’s comments about which bands are true Grime and which aren’t and whether music-minded people are retarded for not knowing about the genre. Since I fall among the ranks of the uninformed, I did a little poking around.

Clearly, Dizzee Rascal is thought of as the one of the top Grime artists (along with his mentor, Wiley). The “futuristic electronic elements and dark, guttural bass lines” [Wikipedia] of the genre are well represented in Dizzee’s “Graftin”. Some of the commenters suggested Skepta‘s “Sweet Mother”, which I found interesting with the juxtaposition of its frenetic rapping and choppy breakbeats over the laid back islander vibe of the chorus. Listening to his freestyle (9 min freestyle? holy crap…), you get a feel for the competitive element involved in Grime, reminisent of American underground hip hop battles, with all its shit-talking and jab-taking.

I haven’t quite decided whether I like this music or not…but it’s intriguing.

For a good insider view into the genre and culture, check out this Grime Documentary:


3 Responses to “Grime: The Gritty UK Love Child of Garage, Dancehall, and Hip Hop”

  1. 1 lg23 May 17, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. I totally read that post and thought, “am I totally out of touch? I’ve never heard of Grime either!” It is awesome. If you’ve ever liked MJ Cole or other 2-step DJs in the past… this is the perfect genre to get you back into the game.

  2. 2 Zaki May 20, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Great post..

    and blog.

    can i add to my blogroll ?


  3. 3 Sandra Possing May 20, 2008 at 10:58 am

    @Zaki Thanks! Glad you like. And yes, please feel free to add us to your blogroll! Checked out your blog too and it looks like you guys are involved in some interesting stuff.

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