UK Rap: The Genre That Continues To Grow

The UK rap scene has been developing massively over the past decade, with new sub-genres developing like grime, afro swing and drill.

By Devano, London · June 3, 2019

Pic: Unsplash/ Jan Střecha 

The UK scene has always seemed to be in the shadow of the US, but with the development of new sub-genres and rappers like Stormzy, Dave and J Hus, we have finally managed to step up.

Spotlight on: Grime

Grime originated in London in the early 2000’s and is seen by many as the forefather of UK rap. Those who are not British, for instance Americans, often confuse all the genres of UK rap and bundle them into one category by calling them grime. However, it is more complex than that.

Grime is a form of electronic dance music where a key a part is rapping. A key difference between Grime and other forms of rap within the UK is the use of a breakbeat around 130bpm, which stands for beats per minute.



Spotlight on: Drill

Drill music originated in Chicago in the early 2010s. It was then adopted by South London, originally by the groups 67 and 150, which then led to the spread of the genre across London and then the UK.

Recently, however, there has been a fight against the production of drill music from the media and the Metropolitan Police. This has led to certain songs getting removed from platforms, due to certain violations of policies.

A key victim of the fight against UK drill is the artist CGM/1011. They have had numerous videos taken down and many of lyrics are blurred out. You could argue that this is against free speech, but you could also argue that it incites violence that is happening within the streets of London.

However, drill is also seen as a way for the young people of London to seek a way out of violent lifestyles. Some argue that making drill music illegal would lead to a lot of young people back into drug dealing lifestyles to survive.

The people behind the musicians

A lot of rappers have people behind them that put them in the spotlight. For instance, Charlie Sloth has helped build careers for young rappers with his BBC 1xtra Fire In The Booth segment. Musicians like Chipmunk, Dave and Dappy have featured. Producers also help support artists, as the beat for a song is usually what makes the song blow up and become very popular. Producers like Steel Banglez have made great afro swing beats and link ups. Meanwhile, Carns Hill and M1ontheBeat who have pushed Drill into the forefront of UK Rap.



The future of UK rap

The UK rap scene, and its sub-genres of grime, drill and afro swing, could grow to new levels as it chooses to differentiate itself from the US music scene and strives to constantly create new sounds.