‘2015 was the year of Grime’ - well this isn’t necessarily true. Grime has always been there; the veterans of the genre forever on the grind, crafting expert bars and cranking up an underground following. The difference is that this year people have chosen to listen. And in my opinion, it’s about time.
Here’s my take on the best and biggest tracks the genre had to offer this year – some may be obvious, but hey, they can’t be left out. Enjoy!
Skepta - Shutdown
Arguably the track to thrust Grime into the spotlight this year. An anthem on the scene and a track that shut down parties all over. Skepta has become the unassuming poster boy for Grime this year, he’s flown the Atlantic and sold out dates in North America and his success has given a wealth of Grime youngsters a platform to be heard.
JME – Taking Over? (It Ain’t Working)
For me, JME’s album, Integrity, has been one of the best releases this year. Self-produced, self-released and self-promoted - he doesn’t need any of that extra shit, he can do the damn thing himself. His flow is unique and his lyrics weave wit, comedy and expertise to produce consistently remarkable tracks.
Little Simz – Dead Body
Little Simz is so ahead of her time, it’s unreal. Her debut album ‘A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons’ dropped in September, with 'Dead Body' being the first track released. What’s venerable about Simz is how well she knows herself and her craft - that’s why she’s gaining global recognition and that’s what sets her aside from the rest.
Lewisham 18-year-old Novelist and producer Mumdance prove to be an unstoppable pairing. First 'Take Time' had us hooked and they followed it up with '1 Sec' on XL Recordings in the summer. Fingers crossed we will hear more from this duo in 2016.
Section Boyz – 'Trapping Ain’t Dead'
Their debut album Don’t Panic dropped this year, releasing addictive track after addictive track. 'Lock Arff' had us up in arms and 'Trapping Ain’t Dead' has been on repeat. Drizzy is a big fan and their sound is starting to spread far and wide - my prediction is these guys are only gonna get bigger and bigger.
JME ft Giggs – 'Man Don’t Care'
Another 2015 Grime anthem, and another gem from JME’s album. The instrumental goes hard and the lyrics are just sick - the bar got raised with this track. And one final commendation, this has definitely been the consistent soundtrack to my late night Uber rides.
Newham Generals ft. Frisco – 'BIG'
The most recent release in this chart truly is 'BIG'. One of my favourite MCs of the year Frisco joins old-timers Newham Generals to show everyone how it’s done. They killed it in November performing the track live as part of 1Xtra MC Month, leaving fans eager to hear this studio version drop.
Wiley – ‘Step 2001' (Zomby)
A lethal combo, Wiley and Zomby team up to bring us this murky track. Zomby’s productions are just straight fire - his ode to Wiley’s old eskibeat sound is always recognisable. And Wiley does what he always does, shows us why that Godfather of Grime title belongs to him.
Fekky – 'Way Too Much (feat. Skepta)'
Fekky has come to fruition this year, his biggest tracks featuring the likes of Skeppy and Dizzee Rascal. His debut London show at XOYO was in high demand, and for good reason - he invited a wealth of Grime heads to join him on stage, including Tempz and Chip. And not every MC has their own catchphrase – BUBUBANG!
Stormzy - Shut Up
Stormzy goes back to basics with this fire in the park track, spitting over Ruff Sqwad’s old school Grime beat 'Functions On The Low'. 2015 has really been Stormzy’s year, copping both Best Grime Act, for the second year running, and Best Male Act at the Mobos. This “child of grime” is running tingz.
Now it’s always been somewhat of a dreary British tradition that every Christmas Simon Cowell makes a nice little earner when the X Factor winner’s track reaches number one in the charts. But this year many are taking a stance against this commercial disaster by taking to Twitter to campaign for Stormzy’s 'Shut Up' to hit the top spot.
This isn’t the first time the British public have rebelled against this predictable custom, with Rage Against The Machine’s 'Killing In The Name' breaking a four-year streak of X Factor in 2009.
I mean, wouldn’t you like to tell Simon Cowell to shut up? Then don’t hesitate - #ShutUpForXmasNo1