Questions about grime vitality have been a major talking point online recently, and as a platform that has been a strong advocate for the genre over the years, we’ve taken the initiative to address some of them.
The sound’s popularity, outside of the hardliners, has fluctuated as much as any genre, but with the possible exception of British funky, the naysayers determined to sound the death knell seem unique to grime. However, we have already heard it all. It happened in the late 2000s before MCs like P Money and the Birmingham lot – as well as Butterz’s instrumental-led crew – gave him a shot in the arm, and then a few years later. late right before Meridian Dan, Skepta, Stormzy and a whole new wave of hungry young MCs and producers took over the grime world.
This mid-2010s explosion was arguably the largest of the grime to date. It was a heady and incredible time, so when the exercise lifted and mainstream attention shifted away from the grime, it’s understandable that there was a degree of bitterness. But almost a decade later, and in some corners of the internet – that is, on Twitter spaces, such as #HarshRealityNosis and #NOBIAS – these wounds look fresher than ever and there is a contingent loud and vocal eager to rub the salt in the wound and declare the filth Dead and buried.
Granted, there aren’t as many eyes on the scene as there have been in the past, but since when was that a sign of quality?
Grime is now in its 20th year of existence, and artistically things are looking better than ever. We have innovative MCs like Manga Saint Hilare and Novelist, producers like WIZE and Preditah, and DJs like Spyro and Oblig constantly pushing things forward. We also saw elements of Afroswing, garage, jazz and more, and no one can deny the influence of grime on drill. The Wrong And Strong team are of course entitled to their opinions, but the grime can’t die at this point – their culture lives on in everything from exercise to Boy Top– and musically, gems can be found if you look closely enough.
Here are 22 MCs taking grime into the future.