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Grime is a genre of urban music which has been developing in London's underground since 2002. Grime's tempo is typically around 140 beats per minute. Style of flow also varies but its most common for rappers to "spit" double time or aggressively over the beat. In contrast to its more soulful progenitor, Grime can often be dark and aggressive, featuring MCs as opposed to singers and jettisoning the R&B influences of earlier 2 step UK Garage. In contrast, the success of grime is inseparable from its connection with pirate radio, with many performers honing their skills and achieving underground success before approaching the mainstream. Grime has roots in both hip hop and electronic music and is characterised by rapid and rhythmic rhyming over sparse break beats, futuristic bleeps and guttural bass growls. Perhaps due to its experimental nature and diverse stylistic influences, grime resisted attempts to classify or pigeonhole it for a long time, but in the past has also gone by the names sublow, 8bar, nu shape or eskibeat. It is sometimes confused with the instrumental genre dubstep, another style to evolve out of the early 2000s UK garage scene.



The origins of Grime, as a name has to be addressed before we can start speaking about any artist who have furnished this an important part of UK music history...

The Grime name was the brainchild of people who have no understanding, of the current social need for "untouched" creative art within the UK "inner city"communities, within this a majority for the young black population. So that it can grow independently and become a source of revenue for the people of offer the main "cultural" ingredient to this music.

These young people usually have no way of "keeping" hold/control of any potent commercial artistic creation, due to economic restraints and poor education, so when EZ from Kiss FM, was in discussion with key music members in the UK about a new name to separate the next generation's version of garage to his own, his term "Grime" was made in reference to the music being "infant" and of low quality this derogatory term "Grime" was then taken on by the BBC and the London Evening Standard newspaper, as music and media groups, needed to sell and write about a music which has "disputed" regional foundation and no real historical reference point, they decided to run with "Grime" not caring or seeing if the artists and producers themselves, had their own name for this music.

Sublow created by UK producer Jonny Cash, So Solid Crew and Lady Dynamite musical sound "footprint" was created in the precise section of time this music was growing, but they did not name the music. Eski created by Wiley and Ricky Valentine (Founder owner of Freeze FM). NB. Freeze FM were the "financial backers" for the original Eskimo Dances/Raves, during this period Nu Shape "A new music Genre" as it has always been branded, created another more mature strain of MC based garage music, incorporating vocalists and UK accented "Hip Hop" MCs much in the same way as Nasty Crew, Ghetto, Kano, Doctor, Unorthodox currently lay down their version of Grime music, among them all, none of them like/promote the "Government name for UK" street music.

They don't like the name "Grime" or "Urban", so soon the name will no longer be called Grime, due to the fact that the London scene is saying no to "Grime".

Two figures stand out as being instrumental in the publicising of the genre now known as grime. MCs Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, members of the "Roll Deep Crew" were the first to bring the genre to mainstream airplay with their albums Boy in Da Corner and Treddin' on Thin Ice. The 2004 track Wot U Call It? by Wiley perhaps signalled the real split of grime from previous musical genres whilst mocking media attempts to classify the new sound.

Although Dizzee and Wiley are rightly credited with being two of the most significant ambassadors of the grime sound, we can see the progression of UK Garage to grime by looking at earlier tracks such as So Solid Crew's "Dilemma" and "Oh No", More Fire Crew's "Oi" and Sticky feat Ms. Dynamite's "Boo". UK Garage gradually got darker and the first tracks to be recognised as grime were "eskimo" by Wiley and "Pulse X" by Musical Mob. Many non-mainstream artists and crews are trying to create new sounds within the Grime genre, such as Flirta D and Bruza.

An interesting note is that some major names in Grime have released albums on labels otherwise known for being major IDM record labels, an origin often overlooked with Grime. Both old-school flowing / ambient melodies and glitchy rhythms have had a notable influence on some Grime releases, in particular the early ones.

The Plastician (formerly Plasticman), Mark One, Virus Syndicate and Slaughter Mob released the album "Grime" on Rephlex Records, owned by Aphex Twin, while Mark One and Virus Syndicate have released their own full albums on IDM label Planet mu, owned by µ-ziq and which typically has releases from artists like Venetian Snares.

A lot is being done take "Grime" and place a more suitable name in its place, due to the obvious marketing issues this name carries. Some large scale "street music" movements with headquarters in the UK, mainly based in London intend on changing this brand to something more appropriate in order to compete its full international transistion.

The international music markets have already rejected "Grime", as it has been quoted as "starter pack" music by many music producers worldwide. "Grime" is music made on mainly starter PC based computer music packages such as "Fruityloops" "Music 2000" and "Reason", early "youth produced" Grime tracks were created using "quantising" a process in all music software packages which automatically structures unorganised sounds.

Grime has received a lot more airplay thanks to television stations like Channel U, digital radio station 1xtra as well as the influx of online radio shows, who showcase Grime MCs and DJs. However, despite Grime's progress it is yet to be recognised as a music genre by the influential popular website MySpace.


The BBC News website [1] picked up on the growing success of what it called Brithop, a term used to describe the growing number of urban, hip-hop and grime acts emerging in the 21st Century. The BBC article followed the success of rapper Sway at the MOBO awards. Touch Magazine also had a leader article on the UK hip-hop scene in November 2005.

French Grime

The grime scene is growing in France as well. The major UK players started coming in for some hectic sets during the end of year 2005. Some crews initially from the hip hop and the garage scene are producing tracks & releasing mixtapes: EGO6 , Audiomicid , ResoFantom/Dj Absurd , DJ Alsott. RAW-T are massive in France compared to their home town.

World Grime

This music has entered countires and states all over the world, due to the 679/Warner "Run the Road" releases, Artists in the UK now have recording agreements spanning the USA (Atl/NY/Miami/Philly), all the main regions of Europe (Holland, France, Germany et al) and even some remote parts of Asia, Australasia and Africa.

Dizzee, Kano , Ghetto, Jammer, Wiley, Riko, Nasty Jack, Nolay, G.Kid have all been across the US and Europe promoting their various movements, but only Wiley and No Lay from Unorthodox seem to have their own alternative names for this Genre.

Music Sample

  • I Luv U (sample)
    • Short sample of I Luv U, by Dizzee Rascal. This is both a major early grime single and a typical example of the genre.

See also

External links

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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