Are there Grime Scene Culture Vultures?
What is it that makes you want to dance?
Well its that crazy beat that's making us move, Come follow me, come follow me now. Don't Make me laff, you fancy a song?
Alright, dig your ears round this....
And with that, off goes arguably the grimiest track of all time. If you know, then you know. Grime, the genre of music or the culture of inner city London, however you look at it, Grime is the hottest thing out right now, there is no excusing that. Every where you turn, is Grime. Whether that's for the fire music that's been put out, or the American co-sign, there is one thing that's played at the back of my mind as a avid grime supporter and a kid who grew up during the rise of Grime in East London in the early 2000's.
Since when did " they" all love grime. And by "they" I mean, the middle class self proclaimed hipsters, the quirky magazines, the boiler room addicts, and to an extent the Vice networks and such and such. Since when did a music scene from the slums of east London relate to the upper middle class realms of Hipster-dom?
Hip Hop icon and entrepreneur Dame Dash, has been a vocal speaker against "Culture Vultures" before and through watching his sit downs with Hip-Hop motivation on YouTube, it led me to wonder, who are the 'culture vultures' in Grime?
What is a culture vulture you ask?, well by urban dictionary definition it's 'A scavenger, circling the media, looking for scraps of originality to add to their conceit '. With that definition, I began to apply Grime into the equation. Who are the scavengers? Who crept up unknowingly from behind? Who's in the media? circulating looking for originality to add to their conceit?
And when it came to grime, I thought of three it could be your Vice's, a bit of your Complex's, a dash of your pigeons and planes, and similar 'outlets'. If your not familiar with Vice or their influence, they are a Canadian media conglomerate who were the voice of the unheard in the late 90's culture BUT, and it's a big but, they only started expanding their digital content in 2007. 8 years ago. ( Grime is 13 years old depending on who you ask ) So from 2007, we saw the launch of 'Noisey' the music branch of the Vice network, then by 2013, we had a $70 million investment by FOX, yes FOX into the company, giving it a 5% stake in Vice.
I can c u, U can c me
Now here's the thing, can you trust any company that Fox invests in? FOX owner of Fox news, the biggest perpetrators of anti-urban propaganda in america, yeah they could mean well, couldn't they? The only thing FOX would of saw in Vice, was the money. dollars. yen. deniro. pesa, whatever you want to call it. And guess what? that's probably how Vice would see this re-emergence of the Grime scene.
Then there's Complex Media, oh good old Complex with their quirky reporting and love for apparent pop culture. Who are complex? Complex media was created by Marc Ecko, remember Ecko? the jeans, loved by so many back in the early days of Grime? Yeah him.
Complex Media started in 2007, just like Noisey and by 2012 already had advertisement deals with mcdonalds ( yes McDonalds), Nike and Adidas. From there, they went on to create millions ( not literally) of other little media branches and sites, if you look up 'Complex media' they basically formed half the 'trendy' sites visited in the US & UK today.
'I'm a big mic man, your any geezer'
Which leads me back to Grime. How could networks funded by FOX be interested and so invested in a "gang culture" scene like Grime. How come many of these outlets love reporting everything Grime? how come there's boiler room grime sets but the crowd look like they were hand picked from Eton for a silent rave?
Why is it EVERYONE is in love with Grime? Then I realised, there nothing to eat before, there was no food for the vulture. In the past 2 years, but mainly the last 8 months, Grime has seen itself go from losing a battle with UK rap to winning the hearts of the biggest and best in Media and Music. Drake, Kanye, ASAP, Vic Mensah, they all have spoken or showcased their " love " for Grime and its culture.
They all love a bit of Grime now, a bit of Skepta, easy, Oh Stormzy, I love his tracks!..but do you mate? do you really? or do you love that buzz around their name and the buzz around your name when you co-sign these artists? or the feeling of inclusion to a sub-genre you secretly would never go deeper than the surface for?....Or is it the 154% rise in website hits per month since you found some originality in Grime to continue your conceit? I have no problem with taking part and contributing to Grime, I love that, many have done it before but can we realise that sometimes, just sometimes, not everyone is our friend.
Grime is more than just music, this our lifestyle, our day to day and when the going gets tough, it will be the ones who held abuse for listening to grime in 2010, it will be the ones who couldn't get any radio play because it was "too violent", it will the DJs who couldn't put on grime nights because of negative stereotypes, who keep grime beating. When you hold value, isn't it funny how you get more attention and more girls who were never interested in you before saying "hey stranger"?
Well the same applies to Grime culture. VICE are just saying " Hey babe, long time. " and Complex is liking all your photos and re-tweeting all your tweets and boiler room is DM'ing you their number but I'll tell you what, as soon as you lose that fame, that money, those YouTube views. Your inbox will be empty.
Don't say I didn't warn you.