“GRIME, GRIIIIIIIME” – The words shouted by Lethal Bizzle over the intro of Pow 2011. But between that release and 2014, it seemed like not many were shouting about the UK underground genre with as much excitement as the ‘Dench’ pioneer. But with 2014 came Meridian Dan’s chart-hit ‘German Whip’, Skepta’s collaboration with A$AP, ‘It Ain’t Safe’ and the phenomenal all-star remix of ‘That’s Not Me’, ushering in what has since been dubbed as the “resurgence of grime.”
But a genre that has its roots in clashes between artists involving the sort of violent attitudes frowned upon in JME’s ‘Serious’ seems to have shed some of its tough skin. The old serious battles have instead been replaced by the likes of football’s Yanick Bolasie and Bradley Wright-Phillips clashing for Lord of the Mics VI. Along with this, any geographical barriers in Grime seem to have fallen, with artists from outside of London being thanked for their contributions whilst those in the capital had “lost hope” in the genre’s success, as said by Big Narstie.
That isn’t to say that serious clashes are completely extinct. They can even be healthy for the scene, as displayed by the current bad blood between Chipmunk and Tinie Tempah. Following Tinie’s “Fire in the Booth” session from January 2014, just over a year later Chip went in to the same studio to pick a bone with Tinie over his words. And the tibia seemed to stem from Chip’s belief that Tinie hasn’t been doing anything to help out the Grime scene, and instead being antagonistic towards those who haven’t been successful.
But overall, the past year has been filled with a great sense of togetherness within the Grime community. With midlands MCs joining the London-based BBK on tracks, the likes of JME and Noisey’s documentary on Police vs. Grime, and the constant support for other artists on releases, it’s clear to see why Grime looks like it might be sticking around this time. The artists are getting together to ensure that Grime gets its spotlight in UK Media. The likes of JME and Big Narstie have been a big help to this, with their determination to ensure the Just Jam event could eventually be hosted at London’s Barbican despite the police’s ardent attempts at preventing them. Maybe that’s the key to a long-term success for Grime, to cut out the beef (like JME’s vegan diet) and stick together. Hopefully this spirit can remain and grow in Grime throughout 2015 and beyond. If so, maybe keeping its popularity up will be, as D Double E himself would say, easy.By Elliott Ball