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UK Grime’s Top Ten Moments

Posted By: rbellion On:

10. So Solid Crew

The now thriving UK Urban/Grime/Urban Pop/DubStep/WhateverYouWantToCallIt owes homage to the South London crew who took a sound that was very much underground and exposed it to the mainstream masses.  For a long time the traditional media outlets took pride in sweeping the UK music scene under the carpet and stating that it was sub-par to its American cousin. Now that the white elephant was in the room and fearing that the UK would imitate the gang culture of America, the mainstream media attempted to kill Grime and its culture by seemingly connecting its emblem-the So Solid Crew- with everything wrong in inner city London; subsequent concerts and PAs from the crew were cancelled by the police in fear of suspected trouble.  It wasn’t long before the crew lost it popularity but the motions had been set for the UK scene to thrive more than anyone had ever seen before…

9. Channel U

Now called Channel AKA, Channel U was launched in 2003 and became the go to place (pre YouTube) for music videos from the UK urban scene. Sick and tired of the slick and over polished productions of American music videos on other big media channels, Channel U refreshingly (or embarrassingly, whichever side of the fence you were on!)  profiled music videos from the lower ,as well as higher, budget side of the UK music scene. Love it or hate it, Channel U takes prime spot in the UK urban scene’s hall of fame.


Channel U Memory Lane (some Channel U classics…)

8. POW! (Lethal B, 2004)

There wasn’t a club night which wasn’t complete with one of the most iconic songs of our generation. Its high energy and fast paced lyrics, dominance on Channel U as well as an all-star cast ensured that this song became one of the highest charting Grime songs in the UK charts. Such was the energy of the song that some clubs advised DJs not to play it during the night as music fans went berserk every time the song came on.  A sequel was released by Lethal B in 2011, but like any great original it was a hard act to follow and the original remains the best.

(Another worthy contender for the greatest track in Grime is Low Deep’s Get Set)



7. Wiley and Jammer

Richard Cowie and Jahmek  Power respectively have been the ubiquitous figureheads of the UK grime music scene for the last ten years. The controversial figures have been part of crews such as Boy Better Know, Pay As You Go and Roll Deep and have been instrumental in establishing and nurturing new talent in the scene.


[Remember to check out more Afrobeats tracks from our website by clicking on the map below]

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6. SB.TV

As music fans shifted to discovering new music online there were a spurt of online new media outlets that provided information to music fans on the UK scene  such as RWD Magazine and Grime Daily. However more often than not they often profiled already established acts from the scene, there seemingly wasn’t a significant platform for those starting out to be heard by the internet masses. Started by Jamal Edwards in 2006, SB.TV has become the leading figure for discovering new talent (as well as established talent) in the UK through its A64 and F64 video formats.


5. Controversies.

From OG Nicki’s public announcement of her sexual exploits to beefs between Lethal Bizzle and N Dubz and even earlier beef between Dizzee Rascal and Crazy Titch (remember him?) Controversy has been an integral part of the Grime scene- such is its importance that some beefs are even artificially created between the artists to gain publicity respectively for their careers and forthcoming releases. Some argue that without controversy the scene would be dull and stagnant whilst other say artists should let the music do the talking.


[Remember to check out more Grime tracks and music videos from our website by clicking on the map below]

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Dizzee  Rascal v Crazy Titch

OG Niki

4. Pass Out (Tinie Tempah, 2010)

Tinie Tempah and Labrinth’s ‘Pass Out’ released in 2010 marked a new creative direction in the UK scene. Tinie (a long time resident of Channel U) had now been signed to a major label however his style remained very experimental and, crucially, British. The single charted at number one in March 2010 and started Labrinth and Tinie’s career in the mainstream. This new sound helped (albeit was not the only factor) that allowed British artists to heavily experiment with their music on a mainstream level and keep their British sound. A utopia that is being embraced by music fans globally.


Tinie before ‘Pass Out’

“Give me a couple years Ill have some MOBO’s a brit and a VMA”….that boy wasn’t lying.

3. International Collaborations

From Tinie Tempah and Wiz Khalifa, to Chipmunk and Chris Brown to Taio Cruz and Ludacris and many more besides, collaborations between British and American artists that seemed almost impossible ten years ago are common place today. And it’s not just with the Americans. With the emergence of the Afrobeats movement, British acts are now seeking to collaborate with African artists. From Donaeo’s African influenced hit ‘African Warrior’ to the announcement that the ever creative M.I.A is to work with Afrobeats artists, as well Dbanj’s ‘Oliver Twist’ video being peppered with cameos by British artists such as Sneakbo it’s only a matter of time before the Afrobeats and Grime marriage gets stronger…(read Top Ten Moments In The Afrobeats scene here)


2. BET Awards

The UK music industry (Grime or otherwise) is one of the most influential music scenes in the world and the most influential music scene in Europe.  However aside from  underground blogs, magazines and publications not much recognition and/or appreciation was directed towards the UK Urban/Grime scene. With the invention of a new category at the BET Awards (Best International Act: UK which led to the likes of Sway and Tinie Tempah winning the award in the last couple of years) the UK urban scene is starting to get the critical acclaim it deserves.


1. Internet

As ever the internet will remain the driving force for the foreseeable future. With more music being consumed than ever before and with music fans seeking to find new music outside the four walls of their own countries, companies such as Noisey, Spotify and Rbellion are leading the way for new music discovering so that Grime can now reach an even bigger global audience!

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