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An Introduction to Grime and Dubstep



I am not well-versed in what constitutes today’s music scene. Do I Love Makonnen? I don’t know who he is. I hear names like Migos, Fetty Wap and One Direction and automatically tune out (no pun intended) because it is wholly unfamiliar to me – and when I do eventually get around to listening, it’s just not my cup of tea.

One of the perks of my time as a military brat was spending a few years in Europe. While there, my brother and I were introduced to genres of music we’d never heard of in the United States. To date, two remain my favorites and take up the most space in my library: Grime and Dubstep.

If you’re not familiar with either, allow me to just point you in the direction of a sampling of the genre’s leading artists so you can hear and appreciate the differences yourself.

Wiley

Considered one of the forefathers of Grime music. His debut album Treddin’ On Thin Ice (2004) remains a classic of the genre. 10 albums and12 mixtapes later, he’s still working and his last album Snakes and Ladders was released in 2014.

Pick U R Self Up (2004)


Also check out: Wot Do You Call It? and Goin’ Mad (2004) from the same album.

JME

Born Jamie Adenuga, JME is the co-founder of the record label and crew Boy Better Know with his brother Skepta and Wiley. With 3 studio albums and countless singles under his belt, he’s known for being an astute businessman and staunch advocate for veganism and has one of the most amusing bios on Twitter.

Don’t @ Me featuring Skepta, Shorty & Frisco (2015)


Also check out: Serious (2008), JuJu Riddim (2008) and his appearance on Rari Workout (2014) by Lethal Bizzle

Skepta

Joseph Adenuga - JME’s older brother – has 4 solo albums under his belt. He recently released a track called Shutdown and has a new album slated for release later this year called Konnichiwa.

Shutdown (2015)


PS: Shutdown is being remixed and will feature *ahem* Idris Elba himself – release date TBD.

Also check out: Rolex Sweep (2008) and Ace Hood Flow (2012)

Dizzee Rascal

Winner of the coveted Mercury Prize, NME and Brit Awards, he’s also the founder of the Dirtee Stank record label. His first album Boy in da Corner (2003) and second album Showtime (2004) are classics and should be required listening.

Nutcrackerz featuring Giggs (2015)


Also check out: Chillin’ Wiv da Man Dem (2009), 2 Far (2003) and Flyin’ (2004)

In talking about Dubstep, I’m not referring to what’s currently labeled Dubstep (or Brostep), which has a heavy American, and Electronic music influence. Nope. I’m talking about the original, heavy bass wobble, speaker-shaking Dubstep from the UK. Where Grime features beats and lyrics. Dubstep is typically instrumental, minimalist in style and has experimental foundations from which the now-global sound has grown.

Coki

One half of the duo Digital Mystikz, Coki is one of the most elusive recording artists out there. His releases have been limited one-off recordings and “Dubplates,” rare mixes of songs not publicly released except to radio stations. iTunes does have a decent catalog of those rare releases and what’s there is innovative and memorable.

Red Eye (2007)


Also see: Animal (2011), Prototype (2013), Volvic (2007)

Skream

Midnight Request Line (2006) was the song that put then 19-year-old Oliver Jones on the map. Since then he’s become one of the genre’s most prominent producers, released 2 full-length albums, 6 free albums, 13 EP’s and 24 additional single releases. He’s also 1/3 of the Dubstep super group Magnetic Man with fellow Croydon denizens Benga and Artwork.

Exothermic Reaction (2011)


Also see: Rutten (2006), Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dumb w/Trim (2011) Abstruse (2011)

Benga

Got his start making music on his PlayStation then released his first single at age 15. He’s considered one of the leading producers during the genre’s infancy stage leading to 7 EP’s, 3 albums and dozens of collaborations with Grime and Pop artists. He has partnered up with Skream on numerous productions and side projects like the group Magnetic Man and is currently working on his fourth album after a brief hiatus.

Crunked Up (2008)


Also see: Eye Tunes (2010), Go Tell Them (2008) and Baltimore Clap (2010)

Honorable Mentions:

Kutz - Spontaneous

Nero – Night Thunder

Stinkahbell – Switch Up The Gears

Rusko – Cockney Thug (Caspa Remix)

Caspa – Floor Dem

Trim – Bogeyman (featuring Wiley & Riko)


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