Grime #Music has come a long way in the UK: from a small genre that started off in London, having its origins in Garage and Jungle music, and being played on pirate radio stations, to a movement that is finding its way to the forefront of urban and arguably music in the UK in general. BBC 1Xtra hosted the “Grime Symphony” a special edition of the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, which was a celebration of grime and urban music in the UK. It starred Wretch 32, Stormzy, Little Simz, Fekky, Krept and Konan, Chip, Lethal Bizzle as well as guest appearances from Shola Ama and Kano.
This step was a huge one for the genre; BBC had previously invited Dizzee Rascal, a pioneer of the grime genre to perform but they had never gone the full way by having a whole show dedicated to it.
The impact that grime has had on the UK was very clear throughout every performance as it was very engaging from start to finish. Stormzy opened up the show with his song ‘Know Me From’ before getting the crowd hyped up for ‘Shut Up’, a song that’s managed to get five million views on YouTube in the space of three months. Every artist that appeared for the show was greeted with a rousing applause and they really erupted when Lethal Bizzle played his legendary grime song ‘Pow.’ The UK hip-hop scene also saw its reputation enhanced, as there weren’t many people there that didn’t engage with Krept and Konan, Chip and Wretch 32; the Royal Albert Hall is used to quiet as classical music plays but the change for the grime symphony was a welcomed one..
It was mentioned just before the show by Mistajam that the queue stemmed around the whole building, and that was a very clear indication of the following that grime has picked up since its humble beginnings. Over the years, grime hasn’t had many ways to get noticed; the nature of the genre isn't commercial and therefore was shunned by channels such as MTV and Kiss. The only one that stayed true to grime was Channel U, now known as Channel AKA. Songs such as Pow and Fix Up, Look Sharp made it into the charts it seemed to do more for the respective artists than the genre.
Grime and rap artists in the UK have worked tirelessly to get credit for both genres and this was noticed when Kanye West brought out the UK urban music scene and thanked Skepta, an influential grime artist; the BBC Proms is a huge step for the grime legacy, especially given that it was considered a dead genre a few years ago.