Grime is a Black British musical genre that has altered the soundscape of popular music in the UK.  What started out as a niche practice articulating the lived experience of young Black men from a particular place, is now an endeavour that attracts a national and international audience. A diaspora cultural form, Grime has been nourished by its black Atlantic flows to and from the Caribbean, Africa and North America.


Its sonic origins flow through the musical practice of the Black diaspora; Hip Hop, Reggae, Jungle, and UK Garage. Jamaican and UK sound system culture and practice also had a significant influence. Pirate radio stations such as Rinse FM, Deja Vu and Freeze, had a central role in showcasing Grime.


As with any real-life tale, there is no single story of Grime, it is layered, nuanced and complex. What we do know is that from the early years of the 21st century, the Grime music scene has been a key feature of London life. 


Using a distinctive flow and regional accents, Grime MCs rap or ‘spit’ over 140BPM.  In many inner-city areas throughout the UK, Grime forms part of the everyday soundscape. Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, and Nottingham, for example, all have thriving Grime scenes. From everyday encounters in ordinary spaces such as Stratford, Plaistow and Canning Town, Grime is produced through the convivial endeavours of young people of Caribbean, African and English heritage. 


The Grime Archive is a home for grime related content – past and present. It is a place to share your stories, images, and sounds.

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