Grime: Brit hip-hop or not?

WOEBOT: “If Grime came to be understood as UK Hip-Hop it’d be a disaster. Why? Because, put simply, Brit-Hop has never managed to get over being a inferior version of American Hip-Hop (Grime on the other hand seems mercifully oblivious of America).”

Excellent, excellent piece on this topic from Matt. Excellent because he’s not just commenting on articles in the mainstream press, he’s actually engaging with the authors. Excellent because he develops his point through detailed examination of specific, key records. Excellent because of an almost anthropological reportage on Mr Bongo. His argument is in essence that Grime shouldn’t be tarred with the UK Hip-Hop / UK-Rap brush because those genres do, basically, suck.

And quite right too.

However I feel that Grime can fruitfully be seen as being, at last, a decent British response to US Rap. As he was kind enough to point out, my view is that Grime and US hip hop are structurally similar — emphasis on the vocal rather than the backing, Black urban culture as the source, all that stuff. And, while Matt undoubtedly knows more than I do about Grime, it seems to me that Grime people do have US rap reference points. This is scarcely new. Plus uk garage crews went r&b as soon as they got popular — So Solid, obviously. Champagne garage and US R&B have always gone together.

The music doesn’t sound like US Rap though. It’ll get closer though. As I think I mentioned here before, Cameo is dropping grime tracks with girly choruses already — I preferred this to a lot of the more banging stuff FWIW.

* Cha Cha Slide looked great on the telly too.

* Oh, and great to see the Gothic Futurist article coming out, it’s fantastic. Essential post punk too.

Love, actually

WOEBOT: “A surprise and a delight, here.” Getting bigged up on Woebot is like getting an Oscar. Certainly more valuable than getting a bloggy or whatever BS award is being invented.

“Here’s one for fans of my discomfort.” Shit, that must be irritating. I guess a demanding fan can be pretty critical. For a fan of woebot is what I am — it’s the best blog out there, certainly the best music blog, even if he doesn’t like Jurassic 5 (what is he LIKE?). He’s one of a select group of blogs I try to check every day while feverishly checking UK-Dance. The rest of my blogroll:

1. Uncarved, for the crispest writing: Woebot can be fast and loose — and is all the better for it. More importantly, Uncarved does two things: he writes about more than just music, and he goes off and digs stuff out that you simply will not read about ANYWHERE ELSE. Because “Real Life” still has a thousand times as many stories as you will find on the Internet.

2. K-Punk. I don’t always agree with him — he’s far too much of a hipster-intellectual for my views to always chime with his — but he’s essential reading.

3. Reynolds for the same reasons as anyone else — i.e. his obsession with 80s scratch’n’sniff cards, the endless JPEG self-portraits of his red-white-and-blue mohican, and of course the engagingly-written recipes for rollmop herring.

Other than these three I just surf around the link side bars like everyone else.

“Nice to see so much going up big feller.” Yeah well there’d be a lot more if I wasn’;t spening every spare hour trying and failing to get this FAAAAAAARRRRRRRKING blog system working. Otherwise you’d have a series of articles about leylines in Dore (Sheffield suburb on the edge of the Peaks). Seriously.


PS – the gutters here have just filled with hail, but there’s blazing sunshine. Must be symbolic.