Get into UK's Grime Scene with 5 Documentaries on YouTube

Explore Grime – a genre with influences from jungle, UK garage, R&B, hip-hop, and EDM and the latest hype in the UK & US!

Get into UK's Grime Scene with 5 Documentaries on YouTube
© Siam2nite

Ask people to name an American rap track, and we think many can come up with several right away. But how many could do the same for the British rap scene?

In the UK, one particular genre has been making a comeback and gaining momentum in terms of influence. At this moment, you’ll find no king of the UK music industry other than the grime genre.

In its first iterations, grime combines characteristics of reggae, jungle, UK garage, R&B, and hip-hop. The tracks are typically fast-paced at 140 BPM and feature Emceeing (by rappers) as the key element. At the same time, the lyrics often talk about the struggles one faces while living in London’s seedy neighborhoods.

However, since after 2007, artists begin to introduce EDM elements to grime, eventually transforming the genre into the highly distinctive sound we hear today.

Among the artists who brought grime into the spotlight and mainstream are Dizzee Rascal, JME, Wiley, Kano, Frisco, Skepta, and Stormzy.

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To let Siam2nite’s followers get to know a different kind of hip-hop from the UK, we’ve brought you five short documentaries (10-40 minutes) on YouTube. In each one, you’ll be exploring the many facets of grime, including the artists and the scene itself!

A.Dot's Story of Grime

An episode from BBC’s Black and British, the show takes you on a journey through the grime scene with A.Dot, a female rapper from South London.

The episode explores the origin and history behind grime through its core element, rap battles, referred to as ‘clashes’ in the scene. When MCs face off at clashes, they’ll rap about their lives as much as they diss their opponent.

A.Dot's Story of Grime: The Battle Begins features many famous artists as guests. Hear Jammer, Wiley, Ghetts, Logan Sama, and many more share their experience of what it’s like to be in the scene.

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Don’t Call It Road Rap

Noisey, a music platform created by Canadian online media Vice, produces a short documentary to find out what’s behind the hype around British rap.

The show includes several interviews with well-known grime MCs, like Section Boyz, C Biz, 67, Corleone, Potter Payper, and Skore Beezy, about their work and career in the music industry.

On Don’t Call It Road Rap, you’ll be exploring UK’s hip-hop scene with Mike Skinner – a British artist who’s been in UK’s music industry for over two decades.

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From Pirate Radio to Mainstream

Grime was invented by artists who lived in East London – one of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden areas. It’s how MCs were able to tell their life stories, where issues like violence, conflicts, crime, and drug use are everyday occurrences.

With such explicit content, mainstream radio stations weren’t able to give grime artists their airtime. Pirate radio became the sole channel through which the audience could be introduced to the genre.

From Pirate Radio to Mainstream is the story of grime’s rise to popularity – from its humble origins under the wings of pirate radios to finding its place in the mainstream. Hosted by MCs Frisco and Risky Roadz, the show features interviews with several of UK’s hip-hop icons as well as their insights.

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Skepta: Top Boy

When asked to name a grime MC who’s become world-famous, Skepta is the name that many would give. In Skepta: Top Boy, we follow the artist as he hits another milestone of his career: his east coast tours in the states and Canada. It feels like going on an exclusive road trip with Skepta himself.

Skepta introduced thousands of fans to grime at his live performances in Brooklyn, Toronto, Boston, New York, Washington DC, and many more.

His shows often feature guest artists and MCs; Shorty, Jammer, Frisco, Maximum, Novelist, and Drake, to name a few. Drake, who works with the same record label as Skepta, had performed with him at the OVO Fest in Toronto.

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The Business Of Grime

Produced by British GQ, The Business of Grime features interviews with artists, both the up-and-coming and the veterans, and people behind the UK music industry.

The topic? The culture and backgrounds surrounding grime – a genre that has spread into the mainstream and been embraced by a worldwide audience. On the show, you’ll be looking through the lenses of artists and MCs such as Lethal Bizzle, Jammz, DJ Argue, Ratty LOTM, Ruff Sqwad, AJ Tracey, Prince Rapid, Cheeky, and XTC.

Find out about the work and process involved in running a record label. Here, you’ll see how technologies and artist collaborations have helped grime become the industry’s favorite that it is today.

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