- Text by Grace Shutti
Grime for me has 100 per cent made me so unapologetic in who I am and how I work,” says Sophia Tassew, an art director working for Ogilvy & Mather. After listening to a 16-bar from any of grime’s best, it’s easy to understand why.
Over a decade since its inception, the history of grime has been well documented. The founding heroes are finally getting their due after an unexpected but much-hoped-for revival that has every major publication scrambling to prove its support. Now follows the generation who were watching.
But it’s not just upcoming MCs who were influenced by the sound. Many who saw grime grow from the start witnessed it through mp3s sent via Bluetooth and makeshift studios in the bedroom of a friend — with no intentions but appreciation. Years later they’re students, DJs, radio presenters and artists like Sophia, who are paying their respects in their work and everyday life.
“If you don’t have something, you better just make it,” says Julie Adenuga, founding Beats One presenter and driving force behind Skepta’s Greatness Only documentary. “There isn’t any other way.”
And that’s exactly what the subjects of this film do. Whether it’s a university campaign or a Bollywood/grime/hip-hop art mashup – the crux of the culture might look a little different, but the energy is the same.