Iconic artists in the grime scene such as JME, Wiley, Stormzy and Skepta plus newcomers to the grime industry Bonkaz and Bugzy Malone and many more are up for 27 nominations for the relatively new genre that emerged just over a decade ago.
Grime first came to the music scene in England in the late 90’s/early 2000’s and was seen as a combination of drum and bass, UK dancehall and garage which was developed into what we know today as Grime. It quickly garnered interest from fans and critics alike with it’s icy synths, lyrically sharp bars and interesting use of bass – it was new, exciting and inspiring as it was seen as a form of expression against the oppression the young voices of the time faced daily.
The artists mentioned before have risen from performing at pirate radio stations, raves and youth clubs to sharing a stage with Kanye West and Drake to crowds of thousands who share the same passion for their music. And now the time for the recognition they deserve has come as the British artists who pioneered the genre as they receive their biggest public encore at the MOBO Awards.
The MOBO Awards which will take place on Wednesday night, is a night of celebration for the music of black origin and was established in 1996 by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell. The MOBO awards are held annually in the UK to recognise artists performing music of urban roots and is continuously growing into a highlighted awards show. For the first time since it was created, the MOBO’s have created their own documentary following their history. Since it came to place, the award show has not recognised grime to it’s full extent until 2014 when they introduced a specific grime category, won by Stormzy. However now 2015 is believed to truly be the year for the revival of grime.
Nominations include Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’ nominated for best song, while Lethal Bizzle’s ‘Fester Skank’ and Stormzy’s ‘Know Me From’ are both nominated for best video. Early pioneers of grime Skepta and JME are up for best male act whilst Wiley and JME have picked up nominations for best album. Wiley is also guaranteed to receive the MOBO paving the way award – a recognition to his ongoing influence as one of the founding members of grime. A full list of the nominees for MOBO awards and more information on the MOBOs can be found in a previous article done on mxdwn which you can find here.
Earlier this year, an iconic moment was shared on stage at the Brit Awards as Kanye West was joined onstage by Skepta and twenty-five grime MC’s during his performance. This was seen as a step in the right direction as grime was getting recognised not only on stage with an iconic artist of this time but also at a prestigious award show. Now, with the nominations of these grime artists, grime can finally be seen as a genre worth categorizing.
Croydon-born rapper Bonkaz – nominated for best newcomer at this years MOBOs stated his opinion to the guardian, saying how he felt it was “about time” the impact of these artists was acknowledged by the awards panel.
“I think it is amazing that grime is being recognised and I think it is very necessary for UK culture as a whole,” he said. “If we are going to tell the story of the UK in 20-30 years then there’s no way we could miss out the story of grime.
“It is important that these people – JME, Wiley, D Double E, so many more – are getting the recognition they deserve and the props for what they’ve done for the scene and for UK culture.”
Grime started to go downhill in the music industry when grime artists were signed and given a more commercial sound alongside the fact that raves and pirate radio stations that pioneered grime were shut down. However over the past year, a wave of revival has surged across cities in the UK from London to Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham for the genre as old and new grime artists return to the roots of the DIY genre. Now you can hear the likes of JME and Skepta when you walk into your local shopping centre and on the radio constantly which proves that grime is definitely setting its place in the music industry.