I find myself constantly searching for new music to listen to, probably more of my time is spent on researching artists than doing my uni assignments (oops). I’ve come across some artists that have emerged in the scene recently who definitely deserve more recognition than they get. Here are my 5 must-listen-to grime tracks that I think everyone should stop sleeping on:
- Crooked .Bad — 808INK
808INK are a trio based in South London who embody the new grime wave movement. Their songs have a consistent wave throughout the pieces they create, even bending genres by sampling different songs in their productions. This song is probably one of my favourites by them, the cleverly devised art visuals to the consistent brutalist beat of the song. 808INK break the boundaries as they sample London Posse intro from How’s Life in London (1993), showing their groundbreaking attempt at sampling and mixing different genres. The new grime wave is experimental, the group indefinitely possess abilities to mix British hip-hop into the grime scene, giving it a blast from the past. The visuals themselves have dark colours, smoke and jerky movements, something which is seen in grime music, however, the trio clearly depict their creative side in the song, which many grime artists don’t usually do as they follow a certain routine throughout their songs. This group is most definitely slept on heavily, the clever sampling of different genres and influences is giving grime music a different sound.
2. Elevate — Othasoul
Othasoul are a duo of producer and MC from North London. Just like 808ink, they show clear hip-hop sounding bars, possibly less brutalist but a soft, upbeat consistent track throughout their project The Remedy. This song is my favourite one out of their project as it shows the futuristic beat in the beginning swiftly changes into a clear and traditional hip-hop beat that sounds like a record scratching, this is what to me defines the new grime wave. The weaving of rhymes through the beats in the song works so well, that the whole song is so harmoniously produced. The rhymes of the constant battle between people and their fight with the injustice system in the UK depicts their clear agenda, it’s not the typical grime song.
3. Wings — Little Simz
Possibly my favourite female grime MC, Little Simz has definitely opened the door for many female MCs to dive into the the grime scene. The Islington-born artist embodies the traditional grime, creating rhymes that show more of her political views than the typical concerns of street violence. This song in particularly has been written to empower herself and uplift her abilities, letting her be known not to be undermined. Little Simz is subjectively, and perhaps objectively, too, better than most male MCs in the game. For a female such as Little Simz to enter a male-dominated genre and rap better than most of her male peers really is inspiring, allowing more women to explore grime and help create a gender neutral genre.
4. Skwod — Nadia Rose
Nadia Rose is an artist I will defend and be biased against, since she is a born and bred south London girl like myself. Nadia Rose came into the game with witty riddims and gun-finger funk tunes. Skwod was the first song that I had listened to by Nadia, it grabbed my attention with the upbeat flow, the choreography that not only complements the bars in the song but also embraces the current London culture of creating fun-choreography, a group of friends (otherwise known as a squad, or a more familiar term with Londoners ‘mandem/galdem’) all dressed in Adidas tracksuits.
5. Footsteps — Kojey Radical
Kojey Radical is a London based rapper who meets heavy-hearted soul with grime music. His songs consistently hold tones of anger against systems in power, expressing his raw passion for what he believes in through his visual art work of his videos and the profound bars in his songs. This song particularly strikes me with the religious imagery and the raw anger against how the religious and political system in London aren’t helping the youth, they are shutting community centres down which increases more and more gang violence rather than decreasing. His voice is ponderously raw, he manages to stress the resentment he has against these authorities that are detrimentally damaging to the youths growth.
Let me know in the comments below which one of these artists you think will blow up in 2017.