My Problem With Grime Press

I have been a Grime fan for a few years now. I was a hip-hop head before that, a metal head before that and a dance-music head (if there is such a thing) even before that. I started reading Mixmag at 13 and since then, no matter what music genre I’ve been listening to, I’ve kept in touch with the corresponding press – Hip-Hop Connection, DJ, RWD, Touch, Kerrang etc…

Therefore, as someone that has read across the spectrum of music press, it may come as no surprise that I’m shocked at the lack of objectivity, insight and writing talent some of Grime’s journalists have to offer. Naming no names, it seems that a lot of written Grime coverage is flippant, unsubstantiated and offers no critical insight into the music or scene.

Music Journalism should be insightful and sensual – speaking to the heart as much as the mind. It should offer titbits of obscure knowledge, history and critical analysis that readers and like-minded people can discuss and debate. It’s half the fun. These days it seems that where Grime is concerned, ‘crep-checks’, type-as-if-man-was-like-talkin-to-ya language and sneering cusses take priority over substance.

Interviews and reviews I write and send to scene figureheads get ignored. As a relative newcomer to the game, I find myself torn between writing decent, informative pieces that I would want to read, and the chatty crap that gets all the hits. Although, it seems that the audience’s desire for the latter may be diminishing.

Take Grime Daily as an example. Granted, it was never a pillar of journalistic endeavour, but it fulfilled an audiences’ craving for new authentic material. However, its recent decline seems to be down to it producing gossipy, wishy washy, sexed-up content over solid cultural ‘artifacts’ like freestyles, performance footage and interviews, that have real relevance and value.

With the work of Martin Clark, Dan Hancox and Elijah aside, you’d be hard-pressed to find much more objective Grime journalism on the internet. Grime blogs, whilst numerous, are on the whole too favourable and loyal to MC’s. Magazines are clique-y, perpetuating the same old ‘street’ cliches and rarely show interest in features that aren’t ironic, jokey, in-yer-face-dumb or fashion-related.

Maybe it’s the interactive and A.D.D. inducing nature of the internet that is to blame; fiery user comments and opinions battering Grime journalists’ egos so that they assume the same predictable outlook of their loudest readers. Or perhaps it’s that Grime journalists get too close and matey with MC’s and producers. Whatever it is, if Grime is to wrestle media attention back from – and let’s face it – less deserving and less talented genres then its commentators must stand firm and write with real flair, authority and integrity.

REAL Grime press:

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One Response to “My Problem With Grime Press”

  1. Nick Says:

    A very good read and would tend to agree with you wholeheartedly. As a ‘blogger’ I blog about UK street music and the like on a US blog based in Atlanta – and have never seen or pretend to be a journalist. I think for quality writing the guys above are really the only people to peep alongside, FACT, XLR8R and The Fader.

    Keep up the good work really like your blog, keep writing pieces like these and you’ll get where you need to be.

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