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The UK’s emerging rap scene

By Raman Mama

As I've traveled all over the world, one of the things I've learned is that the best way to learn about the culture where you live is to examine the art, whether it's theatre, comedy, or music.

One of the most interesting and exciting aspects of the UK scene I've learned about has been the grime culture, which is a form of rap.

It's cool to see that grime is so big, because rap is a form of art that emerged in the United States, but has spread rapidly. Individuals in the UK have embraced it, and they even are beginning to sound a bit American, but clearly have shifted the genre in their own way, which I find fascinating.

Rap is mainly a way that black individuals were able to cope with the struggles of violence and poverty which have suffocating effects in inner cities. In the UK, rap has served a nearly identical purpose, and the rappers here are rapping about nearly the same things that Americans do.

Furthermore, I've learned a lot about the struggles of UK inner-city dwellers based on the music. There is just as much tension between minorities and the police, which is interesting, but it manifests itself n different ways.

Some of the top voices in grime are Bugzy Malone, Chip, Stormzy, Skepta, etc. The list goes on. Grime has also developed into a political tool, allowing people to use their voice, and express their dissatisfaction and pain.

My favorite part about the music is that I get to sit down and theorize about the meaning of the songs with friends of mine while we relax, which teaches me a lot about their ways of thinking, as well as helps me to develop a greater appreciation for the form.