Boiler Room Grime & The USA Roundtable Discussion
There is hype about grime’s relationship to rap wherever you look right now. Of course we just threw the party of the year with the A$AP Riot Rave where we saw an interesting contrast between A$AP Mob’s hollering and UK MCs’ tightly disciplined bars – and that was not the start of A$AP‘s relationship with grime by any means. Of course Kanye’s gathering of London’s finest for his Brit Awards performance and Koko support has got everyone gassed too, and Drake has been co-signing the grime scene to boot.
But what lies beneath the hype? There’s been an uneasy relationship between UK underground culture and the behemoth that is hip hop for a long time – witness early UK rap MCs putting on American accents, or awkward (and sometimes brilliant) attempts to fuse jungle and hip hop. More broadly we as a nation are inevitably influenced by American culture at a deep level: we watch the TV, wear the streetwear, eat the fast food and absorb the pop music. And perhaps most importantly, it’s the biggest music market in the world. What musician can honestly say they haven’t at least given a minute to thinking about “breaking America”?
So is anything different happening now? To try and give some context to all of this, we gathered some of grime’s sharpest: DJs Logan Sama (who of course is coordinating our series of grime broadcasts with the ICA), Elijah Butterz and Sian Anderson. You can hear their full discussion – and trust us, it goes deep into the very nature of grime and the UK underground
Esteemed New York rap journalist Kathy Iandoli gives her own personal perspective on the changes that have happened within rap over the years which might just explain some of its current curiosity about grime.
25th April 2015
w/c 20th April 2015