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Playlist: ten titles to understand (and adopt) grime

The Grime had to struggle to find its place in the industry. Today, this musical style from East London is at the top of the charts.

Grime is a musical style born in the poor neighborhoods of London. Literally “dirt” in English, it is defined for (very) short as a clever mix between uk garage, hip hop, drum & base and dance hall. His instrumentals are recognizable by the very jerky rhythm on which the MCs pose.

According to the history books, grime was born in the early 2000s in the neighborhood of Bow, east of London. The English rapper Wiley would be the founding father and would have created with his crew of the time the Pay As You Go Cartelthe very first piece of grime Of the history.

Self-claimed as underground the grime is quickly carried by headliners of English rap such as Dizzee RascalKano or Skepta. At first it struggled to expand beyond its niche audience, as much as to export itself elsewhere than in England. It was not until 2012-2013 that it experienced a new lease of life, in particular thanks to the emergence of a new generation of artists whose resounding success made it possible to discover the grime to the general public.

Today, even if he keeps his label underground, grime is becoming increasingly popular. Highlighted by rappers such as Kanye West or Drake, it is now one of the recognized musical styles of the hip hop scene. mainstream and its influence goes well beyond English borders. In France too, certain groups proudly represent its colors, such as the Perfect Hand Crew.

To really understand the craze around the grime, just listen to it. Here is a selection of ten songs to enter this universe as it should. After that, this current made in UK will never leave you indifferent again.

1. Wiley – “Eskimo”

To lay the foundations, what better way to start than a classic of the genre? In the early 2000s, when the grime Wileyone of its leading figures in the movement decided to create “the eskimo” Where “eskibeat”. A completely crazy new sound style characterized by deconstructed bass lines and a beat on steroids. Many of the productions of grime will moreover be inspired byeskimo.

2. Skepta – “Shutdown”

We continue this journey in the cellars across the Channel with another dad from grime. This is the rapper Skepta, one of the standard-bearers of the movement, if not downright English rap abroad. One thing is certain, today he is the most popular representative of grime in the world. With “Shutdown” the rapper offers a 100% production grime explosive and dancy and offers a real demonstration of his skills as a kicker.

3. Dizzee Rascal – “I Luv U”

Despite the title, don’t expect to listen to anything romantic with this sound of Dizzee Rascal. “I love U” is the artist’s first single, which he self-produced. A pure piece grime which reflects the universe in which the rapper was evolving at the time. Accent british well assumed, with “I love U” the one who posed on Orelsan’s album returned with this title, in the dream team grimeurs.


This collective simply rocked the airwaves with their track “Pow”. A hard flow, a violent text, an incitement to uproar which reflects the good aspect dark of the musical style we are talking about. It also earned the group LETHAL BIZZLE to see his title banned from all London clubs. Moreover, for several years the radios refused to play it. Can we do more underground only that ?

5. Stormzy – “Shut Up”

Stormzy is known thanks to his series of freestyles, whose star song is “Shut Up”. The success of the sound marks the beginning of its meteoric rise and at the same time the gain in popularity of the grime. No explosive production this time, but an undeniable make-up flow. We still remember his exceptional visit to the Trianon at the start of the year, before the Covid came to put a big high-kick in the live performance industry.

6. Kano – 3 “Wheel Ups” (Feat. Giggs)

We take a little step back with “3 Wheel Ups” by Kano. The former member of NASTY Crew is also one of the greats of the grime. The rapper with an incisive flow delivers with this piece a raw sound, carried by a catchy instrumental and punctuated by the notes of trumpets and saxophone. Less of houseless of dance hallbut also grime.

7. Dave – 100M’s (Feat. SG Lewis)

We return to the side of the new generation with Santan Dave. On the track “100M’s” featuring SG Lewisthe young rapper from Brixton mixes styles grime and electro. The sound offers something so catchy that it takes no more than 20 seconds to remember the chorus.

8. Skepta – “That’s Not Me” (Feat. JME)

In this second title of Skepta the interpreter of “No Sleep” returns to the recipe that made him successful. More than 10 years after his first sounds of grime, the artist whose fame and money has made his head spin (if we follow his words) rejects the lifestyle and the artistic choices he has adopted. He poses on a pure prod grime, with a destructured beat as we like them. He thus proves that the latter, like his flowis far from over.

9. Yizzy – “Don’t Feel A Way” (Prod Dizzee Rascal)

For this new track OG and new generation meet. Indeed, the young rapper Yizzy chants his love for the grime in his new single “Don’t Feel A Way”, with the prod Dizzee Rascal. Just that. Listening proof that the one who calls himself “the prince of the grime” took enough gallons to eat at the big table.

10. Stormzy – BIG FOR YOUR BOOTS

We end this musical stroll across the Channel with the piece of Stormzy “BIG FOR YOUR BOOTS”, taken from his first album Gang, Signs & Prayerreleased in 2017. More than an album, it is a real revelation for the artist and the grime. Indeed, the following year, the latter won the prize for best British album at the Brit Awards 2018. His project then became the first album of grime to obtain such a reward.

Flow we pointlicked prod, “BIG FOR YOUR BOOTS” is the sound grime of the album that will make everyone agree. And it is not its 800,000 views on Youtube in 24 hours that will say the opposite.

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