The Grime scene is once again booming, and with the popularity of the genre on a continuous rise worldwide, this has fans wondering what the future holds for Grime. At the ‘Industry Takeover’ event hosted by Urban Development, panellists – Big Zuu, Cheeky (Eskimo Dance), Chip, DJ Magic (No Hats No Hoods) and Rooney Keefe (Risky Roadz) joined forces to discuss the future (and past) of Urban culture.
If we rewind to when Grime first emerged back in the early 2000’s, things were pretty uncertain, despite the popularity of the genre among young teens/adults. Brands, nightclubs, record labels and even police were ‘afraid’ of the movement. So, why were industries sceptical of letting Grime in? Video Director, Risky Roadz shared his views saying – “Naivety and fear. You’ve got a bunch of youth that has crazy talent and that scares some industries. Eventually, they knew we’d just be as powerful as the scene is right now”.
Although Grime still has a stigma attached to it, since the early 2000’s the scene has been moving mountains, overcoming one challenge at a time. As DJ Magic recalls “There was just no way of surviving for these artists, whereas now it’s so much easier, even 2 or 3 years ago we couldn’t have done the gigs we are doing now, because I would have emailed a brand for a collaboration and the response would be ‘we’re not interested, we don’t care about Grime’”.
The evolution of Grime is undeniable; Grime events today are not as they were in the beginning. “Grime wasn’t somewhere you could take your girlfriend, grime was somewhere you were on edge”, “Police would warn clubs not to host Grime nights”. The consumers of grime have changed; and the fan base has broadened, as Grime strides towards the mainstream. Brands are endorsing artists; record labels are more willing.
Thanks to online platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud, Artists today are finding it increasingly easier to get their music heard, gain incredible exposure, and all without a record deal. Labels should be scared right now because artists no longer need them. The Internet is powerful enough to carry them through without the help of a major record deal. “All the label cares about is what’s going to make them the most profit”.
“Wanna’ Know how I did it with no label, no A-list songs and I told them”
The future of Urban culture is looking bright, as it has finally been given a fair hearing. Skepta leading the way for future artists, by winning the Mercury prize for his album ‘Konnichiwa’ 13 years after the last Grime nominee.
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