Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Problem With Grime

I've always been staunchly against Grime as a sub-genre ever since its explosion on the UK urban scene a couple of years ago. It is, in a way, a twisted younger brother of the garage scene that came to have great success at the turn of the century. Grime has now not only took over the UK urban scene, but it seems to have ushered in 'bassline' music to share their wider audience.

Now... I wouldn't have an issue with Grime at all usually, as there are one or two other genres I don't fancy much that I don't feel the need to 'hate' on as whole (yes, this is a 'hater' article, I'm a blogger, ranting is what I do). The reason the genre is such a thorn in my earhole is because it claims to be hip-hop. Cross-over artists such as Dizzee Rascal & Sway came from the early grime scene to make a name for themselves, and their music is palatable to my ears because they are talented emcees that embraced the hip-hop culture within their sound. Dizzee Rascal, more notably, featured UGK on his last album, and has even managed to break America (apparently, I'm sure one or two US readers can shed light on that).

The reason Sway & Dizzee have made a name for themsleves from the Grime scene is because they have lyrical skills in abundance. Grime really gets on my wick because it is chock-full of untalented artists who have no right to call themselves such because all they do is talk slang and make gunshot sounds over sloppy frantic beats. Artists such as Bashy or Tinchy Strider are now getting ridiculous exposure, yet their music is nothing more than our very own version of the Souljah Boy type rap that is coming to the forefront in the US.

This is my first post in about a month now, due to me moving house and being without the internet. In this month the biggest UK urban release has been the soundtrack to 'Adulthood', a film basically about a bunch of illiterate ASBO kids in London that I really would not want to meet because their version of English is a mixture of txt spk and weed talk. There you go, who needs Jonathan Ross when I can be both informative and stereotypical about inner-city youts in one sentence.

This first post is here for a reason. I need to make a distinction between UK hip-hop and Grime. The line seems to have blurred in the last year and it worries me. New scenes bubble up to the surface all of the time and its healthy for music as a whole, but this site is 100% UK hip-hop. Grime is nothing more than a educationally-sparse teenager's hobby. Job done.

Proper posts coming soon. Transitions are occurring at the moment but hopefully we can get this site up and running ASAP. For now, support hip-hop. Throw away anything that has the words 'Oh My Days', 'Seeeeeeen' or 'Brrrrrrat!' on it.

Please voice your opinions on whether you think Grime has had a good or bad effect on UK hip-hop since its arrival on the scene in the comments section. I'd be very interested to see if I'm by myself in my thoughts on the music as it seems a lot of people have embraced it with open arms.


Anonymous said...

naah - you're generalising too much there mate! i'm no grime fan, but some of the stuff that "UK mc's" have done over beats that would be classified as "grime" aren't bad. Take someone like Kano - who is a decent enough MC - not one of the greats, but still decent... he crosses from standard hip-hop beats to text book grime beats effortlessly. he's just an example, and i agree about all the braaap braaap nonsense... but uk "hiphop" mc's are as guilty of this as anyone, with their "rep your ends" "mans on road" bollocks... take someone like Skinny... you will hear untold braaps, seeeeen's and oh my days from him on every release... but he's no grime mc.

you need to watch out, pigeon-holing rappers too much... at a time when the uk needs all the love it can get!

SniperInTheMist said...

exactly mate. You seem to have missed the point. I highlighted Dizzee & Sway as examples of grime that is very good and rightfully successful. Kano would fit into that bracket well also.

What I am saying IS all of that 'brrraap brraap nonsense' is what is RUINING british rap's reputation. I'm generalising that genre on purpose mate, because I feel it is damaging the overal quality of putput coming from our shores. OF COURSE there are exceptions to the rule. For example, I absolutely hate trance music, but I have been known to like the odd song every now and then. Sway, Kano & Dizzee (artists which I count as being more rap-orientated anyway) are those 'odd songs' in this instance.

I know exactly what your saying. I am generalising and stereotyping, which is a bad thing, but I'm saying it for a good reason. 'Pigeon-holing' is something that NEEDS to occur at times I think, as too much bullshit is getting into the listener's ears these days. Just look at the charts now. One of the biggest songs otu at the moment is that 'You wot, you wot' song (admittedly bassline, but you seriously can't tell me that that song and all of its counterparts are examples of good quality urban music).

Remember, this blog is nothing more than me writing my opinions and chronicling artists in the UK scene. So you always have the right to disagree, and I know that Grime has been embraced by a lot of people. I'm just not one of them, and I feel its rubbing off badly on the hip-hop scene.

Hip-hop emcees are seeing the success grime and bassline are achieving and they are purposely changing their sound and getting invovled with grime just to earn a quick buck. Its ruining their reputations and its losing them their long-time fans in the process. THIS is my 'Problem with grime'

battlechasers said...

grime is the clegg nut on the arse of hip hop.
we need to wipe it loose and flush it away down the shitpan where it belongs.
anyone can make a grime video, get some mates with staffys, sit on yer dads gold tdi and make fists and gun signs at the camera.
send to channel u to rep ya endz and the mans dem, call yourself anything but spell it in txt spk or add a z to the end to addd extra street value.

cali shotta numba one said...

Im from the states and like grime, and yes most of the artist are abc rappers, but there is also alot of talent in the grime scene, its also a shame that uk hiphop is getting overshadowed cuz it is quality but the avergae american aint gonna get past the accent, big up tho

SniperInTheMist said...

haha battlechasers just summed up my feelings on it as a whole scene but obviously as the blog writer i tried to be a little bit more diplomatic and 'wordy'.

Nice to see some americans notice the talent in our british scene Shotta, maybe the grime scene grates on us more because we've lived with it for longer. I think americans could get past the accent if they get to hear enough of the music and get used to hearing it. Similar to the situation where it took a LONG time for southern US rappers to get put onto the mainstream.

Chez said...

I don't really like grime, lyrically a lot of it is incomparable to the likes of jehst and it's very musically.. commercialised. Foreign friends of mine find grime easier to get into because the mc's language isn't as complex (ahem) and usually crafted over more clubby beats that appeal to more people, especially those that don't appreciate music for how it's made and the time and thought thats put into it, just how it sounds as a whole. I think i'm probably being very general here, but that's my opinion... :)

sarmuno said...

just on the whole accent thing what do uk heads think of australian rap??

i have heard a bunch of different reports?

in terms of grime, being an australian i dont really know a great deal on it, although i have been trying to get my knowledge and exposure up on it.

so far have heard the likes of wiley, kano dizee sway and a few others and liked what i heard, but have also noticed a few weaker emcees through videos and the like. dont reaaly know enough to make more judgement then that.
UK hiphop is getting a lot of play in aus.

aidan said...

if the content of the rap is good enough it shouldn't matter about the accent.

Bella Musica said...

Australian rap, what i've heard is brilliant, completely adore hilltop hoods

Anonymous said...

I can understand why you feel this way about the grime scene because there are alot of artists who have no ability but if they make words up and people ride with it they get big. There are a small minority of grime artists which i think have a few good ability such as Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Sway, Ghetto and Wretch 32. Any of those artists are Grime grown but they have the flow and lyrical ability to switch beats and still make a hot track. But most people think of Grime as the Jammer's and JME's who imo are really bad. I enjoy grime and can see why you hate it because everyone think its UK HH which clearly it aint.

SniperInTheMist said...

yeah 'anonymous', thats exactly what i'm saying. There are those in the grime scene that can spit, but its few and far between. Btw, i've never heard of wretch 32 so i'll have to check that name out.

nofrillz said...

damn right about grime. the few good grime artists are themselves starting to get overshadowed by the crapness. kinda like the US's soulja boy problem. it is not hip hop. anyone who thinks it is isn't really 'hip hop' at all.

you can't tell me people can distinguish between bassline & grime but can't distinguish between grime & hip hop.

Anonymous said...

fuck me!!! i thought i was the only 1 to hate that shit!, grime is bullshit to the masses (kinda like lil' wayne n m.i.m.s.) wat the fucks gunna be next? fat people farting into mics!? i dont know!!!

UK Patriot (4 Hip Hop, 1 Luv)