Once reviled, with artists like Stormzy and Skepta grime has now come of ageby Joy White / July 24, 2018 / Leave a comment
All you need to become a grime MC are lyrical skills and the courage to perform. There are no financial barriers to entry. And at a time when the public school-educated pop star seems more common than ever, this is the beauty of grime—and one reason why it is a musical art form that matters in 21st-century Britain.
When grime first entered the public consciousness, it came with the tired stereotypes of guns, gangs and knives—just as hip-hop music was seen when it first burst on the scene in the United States in the 1980s. Like its American counterpart, as well, we have recently seen the emergence of a sharper political edge to this very British musical genre. During the 2017 general election campaign a group of artists formed Grime4Corbyn and urged their followers to vote Labour. During this February’s Brit Awards Stormzy provoked the ire of the Daily Mail when, in a freestyle rap, he called out Theresa May for what he and many other black people felt was her lack of care for Grenfell fire victims. More recently, grime MC Marci Phonix challenged Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng over the Windrush scandal.