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Grime, a derivative of Hip-Hop, has come to rule the British urban scene with its display of characters and wordsmiths like no other movement.

With regular sold-out shows (not just in the UK but overseas, from an array of Grime artists both old and new) the scene has shed new light and interest since it first broke out back in 2002.


Following on from yesterday’s article on Grime’s Rise, Fall and Resurgence, we take you through the five essential tracks that shifted the direction of the movement and made huge repercussions.

Wiley Kat: “Eskimo”

When this tune dropped in 2002, it changed the direction of urban/alternative music and ultimately coined the phrase ‘Grime’. That repetitive bass heavy wobble became synonymous with not just Wiley but the genre as a whole, influencing probably every single producer post-2002 in Britain.

The thing is, even today it still sounds fresh to death and consistently goes off like an atomic bomb through a siren when it’s dropped at a party.

Wiley (Wiley Kat back then) knew full well when he made this track, it was a game-changer.

Lethal Bizzle: “Pow”

Back in the day this tune regularly used to close places down, people went too mad and fights broke out, resulting in it being banned by many a club owner inciting it’s glorification of gun culture on a mass scale.

Despite its obvious downfalls, no one in his or her right mind can doubt the pure heavyweight punch this song inherits and provokes. This is when the self-proclaimed ‘East London’s finest’ was at his peak.

Ironically, it’s a slower tempo beat compared to the archetypal Grime track (which usually clocks in at 140BPM) but it makes up for it with hard hitting, bad to the bone wordplay by a whole squadron of guest rappers.

Also, the video is hilarious.

Musical Mob: “Pulse X”

Along with ‘Eskimo’, this basically set the foundations of Grime; it was a boundary breaker in every sense of the phrase. A single 16-bar loop with a penetrating snare and kick, nothing more, nothing less. It’s simplistic and repetitive yet at the time utterly revolutionary, somehow creating the basic element for a whole host of rappers and producers to gain notoriety in the following years.

No one should forget this is where Grime started, which came to dominate the underground and later British mass media.

Skepta: “Shutdown”

“Shutdown” in all honesty reignited the scene in 2014, which everyone thought was dead, in absolute ecstatic fashion creating an anthem of pure Grime nostalgia.

That eerie yet destructive production coupled with Skepta’s conscious flow and rhythm brought us straight back to the golden age of 2003-2008. It’s a tune of personal reflection, focusing on Skepta’s approach of not succumbing to a major label or selling out and fundamentally keeping his belief and passion alive. Salute to one of the pioneers.

Dizzee Rascal: “I Luv U”

To be absolutely honest, any track off this whole album (Boy In Da Corner) could’ve made it on to the list. It’s Grime’s definitive masterpiece/magnum opus and showcases a rapper who merged the promising attributes of Grime with traditional Hip-Hop flavors to create a sound that made gigantic waves on mainstream media and brought Grime to a larger more respected audience.

It was the first era-defining album in post-millennium Britain and this track perfectly highlights why; a catchy spine tingling beat with solid intelligent 3rd person narrative spitting. Pure genius.