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Street Stanzas – Grime Rhymes?

Grime really isn’t my kind of thing, I’ve got into Eminem and Public Enemy but the rap and hip-hop style is largely a mystery to me, and if I sound a bit uncertain about what lies in each genre, then that is because I am.  I’d say Eminem was a rapper, and Public Enemy were Hip-Hop, and Grime is kind of similar, but more urban – if I’m talking crap feel free to tell me, I’m not hiding my lack of knowledge, or pretending I know about this stuff.

Having said that and accepting my ignorance in this area, I’m not one of those people who thinks that if I don’t like or understand a style of music it is therefore a load of crap.  If it’s new and it is the way people are expressing themselves then it’s worth some respect.

I noticed this article in The Guardian Music section today…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/dec/15/grime-stanzas-on-the-street?intcmp=ILCMUSTXT9388

The article is talking about the lyrics in grime, and if they can be considered poetry.  Eminem’s lyrics seem to have been accepted, but grime is still a non-commercial style, the big record companies haven’t tied it down and watered it down yet – so it’s a bit dangerous and the powers that be don’t like it.

Personally, I think the only distinction between poetry and lyrics is that lyrics are written to be performed with a musical backing, but I don’t see why that should mean they are valued less by anyone or are in any way a lesser art form.

To me, poetry is where words are arranged carefully in such a way as to communicate a  message or a feeling.  There’s no reason to say that Grime, Rap, Hip-Hop, or Industrial Metal lyrics are any less valid as poetry than any other form.   Many of the poems I write are composed with music in my head – I sometimes re-write a lyric, sometimes I create my own.

So, I think Grime is poetry, it may be streets away from Wordsworth, but if Byron was alive today, I think there’s a fair chance he’d be on the edge, and grime may well have been his chosen style.

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This entry was published on December 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm. It’s filed under Music, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Street Stanzas – Grime Rhymes?

  1. very cool, thanks. I’ve listened to one or two of the artists mentioned in the article but had always thought it was rap and/or hip hop and had never heard of the genre “grime” . . . but your definition of poetry sounds good to me. What do I know about grime since I just learned the term, but Byron…hmm, I’d say maybe more emo? emo-grime? cheers,L

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