Mr. Hudson feat. The Grime Scene

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Tuneful albino Mr Hudson is hosting a competition to get a UK MC to record a verse on the digital version of his ‘Anyone But Him’ single due to be released next year. Peep the details here.

Just as Nas got the woefully misnomered Rising Son to record a verse on the European release of his ‘Street Disciple’ set in 2004, Hudson is looking to the Grime scene for some much-needed street cred in European territories.

As a seemingly golden promotional opportunity, I’m sure many Grime and Rap MC’s are recording their versions as I type. And why not? To be featured on a major label release – even if it’s just for a guest verse – not only widens an MC’s scope, but provides a glimpse of the ‘big time’ which can be an important morale-booster for relatively unknown MC’s on the grind.

However, the danger is that Grime, like many other street-based subcultures, seldom recognises the value of its own cultural capital (music, slang, dress codes, multimedia etc.) Nike, Adidas, Boxfresh, Nandos, iPhone, Blackberry and JC:DC have all benefited financially from the Grime scene, either through direct sponsorship/collaboration with artists or loose cultural affiliation with fans.

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Hiphop luminary Nas with UK rapper Rising Son

For sportswear companies like Nike and Adidas, their leisurewear brands depend on it.

And yet, all Grime artists (the bastions of its cultural capital) can expect to receive is some free garm and a photoshoot, and fans a free download or music video. In Hudson’s case, a competition like this gives him a cheap credibility boost in the UK which is starting to disregard frumpy American culture in favour of its own.

Grime still hasn’t been given its dues for shaping the pop music renaissance Britain is experiencing right now. The commercial successes of Dizzee, Chipmunk, Tinchy, Ironik, Jay Sean et al is partly due to the fact that they’ve each taken ownership of their capital and used it to produce clothing lines and collaborate with artists on equal terms.

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From left: Dizzee Rascal, Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder, Ironik, Jay Sean

Now, teeny boppers, ravers and downloaders across Europe are dancing and nodding to a distinctly British beat. Rising Son is now nowhere to be seen.

Kristian

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