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…
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.