Grime Essentials

Grime Essentials

East London’s bleep-and-bass youth revolution of the early 2000s started as a reaction to the opulent sophistication of UK garage. Trailblazing MCs such as Wiley made waves by urgently spitting aggro chants over jagged beats and monolithic basslines: they bigged themselves up, hackles raised like barking dogs, picking fights across boundary lines and settling turf wars using a uniquely British tone. In the hands of master storytellers like Dizzee Rascal, meanwhile, grime offered an energetic, violent and witty response to the toughness of street life. The scene’s relative dip in popularity in the early 2010s only seems to have hardened the resolve of newer MCs such as Skepta to keep things real and make music that resonates with young people struggling with the impact of austerity politics. Grime has since cemented itself as the sound of young Britain, with Stormzy's historic headlining slot at Glastonbury 2019 its triumphant victory rally.

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