A Little Like Spelling Bees, But Louder

Sasha Frere-Jones: “In the past three years, grime producers (who make the beats that m.c.s rhyme over) have developed a fierce, antic sound by distilling the polyrhythms of drum and bass or garage—the music of choice at many raves—to a minimal style sometimes consisting of nothing more than a queasy bass line and a single, clipped video-game squawk. Today, the music’s choppy, off-center rhythms are blanketing London. Some tracks are beginning to show the influence of American hip-hop genres like crunk, but the m.c.s’ cadences are unmistakably black and British, indebted to Jamaican dance-hall music and West Indian patois. ¶ Grime exists largely in an informal economy. Some artists make their débuts on homemade DVDs, which feature shaky footage of competitions between m.c.s—a little like spelling bees, but louder.”

Chantelle Fiddy's World of Grime which features short commentary about up-and-coming grime artists (with occasional photography) and the people she links to in her sidebar, Livin' in the Grime with black-and-white photography of the competitions Frere-Jones talks about, and a PubSub feed of 'Dizzee Rascal' (just to watch the bloggers who compare up-and-coming grime artists to the most famous one) are good resources to keep track of the grime scene.