Can you remember that feeling when you first heard ‘Shutdown’ by Skepta? The beautiful Britishness of the video, the all white tracksuit, Drake’s iconic ‘trust me daddy’ in the intro. Grime was alive and in full force, everything about the song felt iconic, like it was destined to make history. Just a few years prior, Skepta kicked off what I believe was probably the best era for Grime since the early years of the genre with ‘That’s Not Me’. Accompanied by his brother and fellow Grime superstar JME, ‘That’s Not Me’ was another fantastic addition to Skepta’s extensive catalog.
Or what about JME’s banger featuring Giggs ‘Man Don’t Care’? This song was setting clubs alight for so many years, it was an absolute madness every time I heard this in any function. There are so many other great Grime songs that came out between 2010 – 2016 (‘German Whip’, ‘Know Me From’ and ‘3 Wheel Ups’, just to name a few). It’s also important to mention how many captivating beefs were happening in the scene during this time. Chip vs Bugzy Malone will easily go down as one of the greatest beefs in UK history, involving not only them but also Yungen and Tinie Tempah. It gave us so many memorable moments and songs; Chip’s ‘Pepper Riddim’, ‘Run Out Riddim’ and ‘Michelle Riddim’ and Bugzy Malone’s legendary ‘Relegation Riddim’. We also had the pleasure of watching Skepta and Devilman rekindle their long-standing beef, culminating in Skepta’s cold-blooded diss, ‘Nasty’, one of the best disses ever from the UK. Alongside this, there were many Grime rappers on the come-up trying to establish themselves in the game such as Novelist, Izzie Gibbs, Sox, Kamakaze and Eyez. The Grime scene was very healthy.
It’s clear that times are different now, things have changed. I honestly can’t remember the last Grime song that was as impactful as any of the other tracks mentioned in this article. The last Grime song that excited me was Slowthai’s ‘T N Biscuits’. This brings me to the main point of this post. Drill is the new Grime.
It feels as if the rise of Drill was the major factor in Grime’s diminishing popularity. It seems like the younger generation have much more of an affinity for Drill rather than Grime simply because they have lived through, and fully experienced, Drill’s rise to prominence in the same way that we did with Grime. Songs like; 67’s ‘Let’s Lurk’, ‘Take It There’ and ‘Skeng Man’, Reekz MB’s ‘Blueprint’, Harlem Spartans’ ‘Kennington Where It Started’ and ‘Call Me A Spartan’, SL’s ‘Gentleman’ and more recently, songs such as Headie One’s ‘Know Better’, Unknown T’s ‘Homerton B’ and Russ’ ‘Gun Lean’ have established Drill as a genre that is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Numerous Drill songs have now charted, and the excitement and vigour of the genre appears to be unfading.
Perhaps the release of Skepta’s new album ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ will give Grime a much-needed resurgence. However, I think it’s safe to say that Grime is dead…… for now.
What do you think? Do you think that ‘Grime is dead’ or that ‘Drill is the new Grime’? Let us know on Twitter @sickavision.