BRITS 2017 – Do you care? Is Grime Global?

This week saw the BRITS 2017, which in theory is meant to be the UK equivalent of the Grammy’s, as it is a celebration of UK music. Now, I profess that I did not watch the event live as I had other pressing matters to attend to, however, this does not mean it was dead. Personally, I gravitate to winners in life, so honorable mentions  from BRITS 2017 will not stand out in my mind.

In the corporate setting, one sexy female colleague was shocked that I did not watch the show, but should I have? If you hail from inner-city London like myself, was the BRITS 2017 something you were checking for?  Another angle is to look at Grime and see who were the real winners and losers on the night. I have posed the question on a Tweet before: Is Grime big in London or the UK or global? Or, as UK’s parent country for cultural influence is undoubtedly US, is it a case of #BritsTooWhite, respectively?

Wiley Kat, Godfather of Grime, pictured here at BRITS 2017

“Oh, man. It’s an honour to be here,” he said. “I watch it on telly usually. But right now, I’m here.”

Yeah? More on this later…

Winners – Best Single

Obviously, Little Mix were gonna clean up the BRITS 2017 award of Best Single for their monster smash ‘Shout Out To My Ex.’ Currently, that ‘reccid’ (tune) has around 177 million views on YouTube alone. The sales for that must be phenomenal, in the realm of some of Adele’s smash hits. You think that a song like that will not have reach in all areas of the UK? Some of you may just discard it as bubble-gum music for white girls to get down to but that is what the UK is and I respect it.

Another side note is that the video was not shot in the UK. It was shot in America as it should. It is about global appeal and Little Mix have that. More on this particular point to come shortly.

You have to appeal to Middlesborough and Newport not Lewisham and Hackney, respectfully!

Little Mix Brits 2017 winners

Beautiful women and on phenotype alone looking like most major UK city girls on a weekend night out

Who else was a noteworthy winner? The best British video award did not go to AJ Tracey or Santan Dave, all prominent Grime acts if you ask me. I mean, as I mentioned earlier, Little Mix had shot their smash hit out in America. AJ Tracey shot his video to “Luke Cage” in New York. Visually, this was hot. But do you think most people in the venue let alone in the general public know who these people are?

This is the UK! Feed the fans, don’t make music to gas your friends

Winners – Best Video

Confident with the flow. The best British video award at BRITS 2017 went to One Direction for “History” detailing their rise in the industry from X-Factor to Hollywood. Numbers wise, 254 million views on YouTube. Again global reach with these guys. Their names ring bells in America.

Man like Liam Payne was the only representative of One Direction at Brits 2017

Simon is grinning as he is holding a CHEQUE

Winners – Best Female Solo Artist

Emelie Sande, the beautiful singer from Scotland cleaned up the award of Best British Female Solo award at BRITS 2017. She has one hell of a voice and she connects to the UK audience. Ballads that really give you goosebumps along the lines of a Jennifer Hudson for those who like comparisons.

Undeniable talent and a sound that connects, is that not what music is meant to be?

Emelie Sande at BRITS 2017

A winning smile

Other notable winners included Adele for Global Success Award. Who can argue that as she was winning in the Grammy’s. Adele is not in the industry to just make up the numbers. She is the Queen of UK music if you ask me. The late David Bowie was honoured for Best Male Solo Award and Best Studio Album for Blackstar.

American and Canadian Influence

Let us connect the dots with Grime. Three of the awards are International Male Solo Artist Award, International Female Solo Artist Award and International Group Artist Award at BRITS 2017.  Drake, Beyonce and Tribe called Quest, respectively, won the above mentioned awards.

For all those disgruntled ethnics from London who may say all the winners are white, please cut it out. All three of those awards went to black artists

Best International Male Solo Artist Award!

Roadman Drake at BRITS 2017

How many grime songs have you got on your phone by way of your streaming service or iTunes? Face it, we all love US/Canada music way more than UK. Drake, Bieber, Weeknd, J Cole (the list goes on).

I guarantee you have more Drake than Ghetts. It is an unfair comparison as one has headline tours and the other does not have any hit songs without assistance on the hook. It is scathing but it comes from a place of, como voce diz (how do I say) .. love (allegedly). Ghetts is meant to be the Top Boy from the Grime scene and most of the UK do not even know who he is and that stems from having no songs. The UK know who Dizzee Rascal is and he does not even make Grime. He was used as an example but most of the scene can be used.

Again, on that point alone, do the math.

Question Time

Where does that leave Grime? I thought that was the biggest “urban” genre in the UK? How comes there is not an award for Best Grime album? How comes there is not an award for Best Grime song? The Grammy’s is notorious for shitting on “real Hip Hop” but at least they have the categories in place. Hip Hop is the biggest genre in the world, in my estimation. Is Grime global?

Wiley, the originator of Grime says he was honoured and he normally watches Brits 0n his TV. Do you think Jay Z is watching The Grammy’s if he is not in the conversation?

Again, it is a problem when a supposed big UK genre are guests in the house of UK music! Do you think Hip Hop is a guest in the house of American music?

But what about Stormzy?

Man like Stormzy did a collaboration with Ed Sheeran, which was a very good look for brand Stormzy. Gassing up your friends with a hot freestyle in the park is one thing but getting your name out on the UK stage is another thing. The guy who rapped “Duh, I’ve never won a Mobo Award” must have been gassed he was on the Brits stage and he was according to his Tweets after the event. He went from “Who is the black guy eating pizza on the floor” to the stage.

 Can Grime win?

The major criticism of Stormzy from the industry is that he raps for pale white kids in Greater London. From my earlier logic this would be a desired point as you have to have appeal beyond the inner city. However, my personal taste for music of that nature is more authentic flows as opposed to his own style. He does Grime and his flow is not Grime, if you ask me. He has a sing-a-long flow which is why he has heralded the support he has.

Now, if he continues along that trajectory will the urban audience in London respect it? Or will they say he has gone commercial? A baffling statement!

Is Grime global? In my opinion, absolutely not!

Is Grime likely to go global? I do not know. If the music was kept to its 140bpm template then I cannot see it ever blowing in the UK, which is a shame for the Grime purist. Fear not, Jeks and Rams are working on a new genre where we will be piloting artists to jump on music with a real global appeal

British and proud, mate!


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