Grime made a major come back in 2014 and is still the genre most associated with British youth. There are three main variables to what makes Grime… Grime. These are the 140 BPM(Beats Per Minute), the 8 Bar structure and the willingness of Grime artist to completely sell out!(str8 lyk dat)
This article will be speaking mostly on the final variable. I can’t be the only one who is sick and tired of seeing a rising Grime Artist capture the minds and hearts of the Public spitting under raw grime riddims with the aggression and swagger which is the survival trait for so many young youts, for the same MC to only trade grime for some contemporary popular music, whether it was Drum and Base in the mid naughties or the Tropical music and to a lesser extent drill wave now. Why, oh why do they do it ?
Whatja call it “Urban”?
The media and the music industry plays a large part in why Grime artist sell out!
Grime artist have by given the classification of “urban acts” [[which is essentially code for “Black music]], as oppose to just Grime Artist, this dismisses the unique variables which separates grime from Hip Hop, Afro-Beat or Dancehall or any other Rap (spoken music) genre.
This monolithic branding has made Grime artist more likely to venture into other “urban” genres knowing that people outside of the true grime fans can not tell the difference.
This doesn’t even need explaining, If you could get tens of thousands for making pop music wouldn’t you?
Why Grime doesn’t Sell?
Grime has been the voice of Britain’s disaffected Black boys in the poorest areas of the country. Grime being a cousin to Hip Hop and Dancehall recognised that the music business was a way out of the Ghetto, however there’s one problem, England is not like Jamaica or America in that it’s hard to sell the raw truth of what it means to be young black and angry when you only make up 3% of the State, with little to no established media institutions to push your narrative. Ultimately Grime artist have for a long time been at the mercy of what young middle class white kids liked or disliked.
What about Skepta?
Skepta’s chart success has to be placed in context. Skepta like many other Grime acts has dipped into popular dance music, best example is his 2010 single “Rescue Me” which even till this day is Skepta’s best charted song in the UK charts, reaching number 18. It can be definitively argued that Skepta’s success has relied heavily on his appeal to white middle class boys(just go to a concert) His current fashion style and even his “That’s Not Me” song, taps into the current hipster & “edgy middle-class kid” culture which is opposed to high-end brands, pro gender neutralisms. Big Up to Skept for keeping the grime sound though!