Global Music

How Grime has been localised to suit Londons issues and concerns.

Grime is an electronic dance music that emerged in London in the early 2000’s. Recognisable names in the Grime scene come as Wiley named as the “Godfather of Grime” and Akala both highly influential members in the rise of grime as they represent the true essence of it.Grime enabled low socioeconomic status to express challenges and  hardships faced within their community. Wiley as mentioned above, emerged from the underground being self produced to making his music and genre the most popular. On the other hand Akala is not only a foundation of the genre of grime but also a strong activist using his platform to spread awareness on racism due to his struggles growing up as a mixed race in British society.

Grime is a perfect example of a genre of music that has been localised across many cultures to serve as a voice to that community issues and concerns. Adams (2019, p.439) reflects on the diversity and inclusion in Grime, as London is a multicultural city, “Although a predominantly black musical form, grime does not preclude an “authentic” white (or other ethnic) identification; both musically and lyrically it illustrates a process of cultural blending, which creates new modes of identity and expression.”

The Repercussions of Appropriating Cultures in Music

Cultural appropriation is the act in which a person adopts a culture from another without permission.The art form of Hip hop became particularly popular in the music world and was being adopted by white artists and celebrities as a trend. In the early 2000’s we saw many R&B stars were seen to be styling their hair in cornrows as a fashion statement, although in black culture cornrows are practicality. Black women use cornrows to settle their hair this everyday practice affirms their culture and self identities. Thus celebrities who have no awareness of the deep significance these hairstyles have is highly problematic. Artists such as Madonna, Gwen Stefani and Miley Cyrus have all been seen to adopt black culture, as displayed in Cyrus’s 2013 music video “We can’t stop” is shown twerking and using black women as props.  what these celebrities fail to do is when cultural appropriation comes about. Another detrimental effect of Cultural appropriation is when artists started profiting through the culture they are adopting, in this case ‘hip hop’ although during this time when hip hop was on the rise the black people matter movement began. The movement was prompted by the multiple acts of police brutality, protesting, media coverage and celebrities all used their platform to spread awareness on these issues yet many of the artists who adopted black culture into their art form failed to do so. So when members from another culture choose to adopt black culture without acknowledging or understanding the everyday hardships that culture faces but is happy to flaunt that cultures attributes as well as profit becomes a serious repercussion on that cultures progression.

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