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.