Grime has re-emerged from the commercial doldrums to storm the UK charts. With artists like Skepta and Giggs embraced by North American rappers, the genre is moving in a strong direction. British artists, unlike their American counterparts, prefer tracksuits and casualwear to designer. We’re going to look at the most iconic tracksuit moments in British rap, each moment tied to a critical event in the genre’s history. Let’s start with Skepta announcing his rejection of upmarket brands:
Dizzee Rascal’s 2003 debut album Boy In Da Corner codified Grime and marked it as a commercially viable sound. His project captured the zeitgeist for the black youth, and became a generation-defining work. Dizzee appeared on the cover dressed in a black all-in-one tracksuit, with a pair of Nike Air Max. 14 years later, British rappers dress much the same. Continue reading →
We’re looking at UK Grime and how the genre has permeated the British chart, creating a time of unprecedented chart success. Interestingly, many of the prominent artists are signed to their own independent labels; finding success away from the major labels.
They have total creative control over their output and have blossomed away from the powerful distribution networks of the big boys. Consider Giggs, who never had an album reach the Top 20 until he went fully independent and hit #2 with Landlord.
We’re going to take you on a journey through the history of the genre and how we got to this stage. But first let’s quickly explain what Grime is: Continue reading →
Like we talked about last time, rapper’s stage names usually fall into two categories:
Boasts = Mos Def
Name-based puns = Nelly [first name Cornell]
We’re going back to the well to look at more of these ridiculous names, and shatter the illusion that rappers are cool. I mean, there’s a dude on Dr. Dre’s label who goes by Jon Connor; he literally loves the Terminator films so much, he named himself after the worst character in the franchise.
We’ve all been there when the latest band comes out and their debut album is fucking lit. I mean, seriously these guys are going to be next big thing. I can’t wait to tell my friends about this new artist I discovered. Now whenever they are on TV I can smugly tell people that I heard of these guys before everyone else. That’s what’s important to me – people thinking that I discover new bands and help catapult them to fame.
But sometimes, the good times stop rolling and the band can’t follow up their smashing debut with anything even remotely as good. It’s like when M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed Unbreakable, everyone thought he was going to be the guy. Now people only remember him for ruining the Avatar film.
Despite this, we keep coming back to the band, hoping that their next project will finally live up to the expectations of the debut album. It never materialises. We all have personal tales of having our hearts broken with each successive disappointment. Continue reading →
Jack Kavanagh and Gigi Hadid walk across the stage and take their places at the podium to scattered applause from both audience members
Hello and welcome to the first annual Culture Hash Awards for outstanding boobery in the world of entertainment in 2016; the show where the awards are made up and the winners don’t matter. I am joined by my lovely co-host Gigi Hadid.
Thanks for having me, it’s great to be here! I haven’t seen this many yellow faces since the great Jaundice epidemic of ’98! Continue reading →