News 24 February 2016
Author: Sam

5 Grime fans you will never expect

Author Sam
24 February 2016

From Kanye at the Brits, to Drizzy Drake saluting Skepta at Wireless and OVO Fest, there is no question that Grime is getting mainstream recognition alongside some of the World’s biggest rap stars. And while the love from these global stars has undoubtedly showcased our scene to a new audience, it isn’t all that surprising for MCs to show love to others within their craft.

As the genre’s audience has grown, however, some truly unexpected fans have emerged out of the woodwork. Here’s five.

Justin Bieber

JB spent 2015 converting many bonafide I-would-egg-that-yute haters into Beliebers with his ‘Purpose’ album, but it turns out he is also a grime convert.

Maybe it is tenuous, but in my book posting a picture of yourself with Big Narstie and his catchphrase is sure-fire fandom. As fate would have it, in an unexpected role reversal, it was Big Narstie who didn’t recognise Justin (possibly more famous than Jesus).

“Rah, swear down cuz, all that time I’ve been with man cuz”, stated the BDL big man, “I didn’t even know he was Justin Bieber cuz.”

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has changed up his style substantially in the last few years. From a look that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Inbetweeners, the F1 champ is now more likely to be seen in shades, jewellery, headphones and a snapback.

You might attribute this switch to his success, or A list girlfriend, or his LA lifestyle, or you might credit a recent love for all things urban.

Over the last few years, Hamilton has taken to writing his own bars. In his own words, he’s “very serious about it.” He has spent considerable time in the studio with Angel, who said the pair had “written twelve songs together.” Hamilton even claimed he had played his tunes for Pharrell and Kanye, who we can assume gave an honest opinion.

So could there be a Rosberg diss track on the way? Or a Nicole Scherzinger heartbreak riddim? On the basis of his nightclub antics, let’s hope not.

Lily Allen

For many of his original fan base, the moment Dizzee Rascal collaborated with Lily Allen (over what would best be described as the PG13 Mary Poppins riddim) signified the end of the real Raskit. It deaded the first ‘Stop Dat, Start Dat’ wave of grime, and started a trend of MCs making their name on the scene, and then making their money, or not, on crossover tracks.

However the collaboration, on Lily’s part, signified her love for Grime at an early stage in the genre. Her continued support has not gone unnoticed, these days you are likely to bump into her skanking at your local show/rave.

In response to the most recent Brits nominations, Allen wrote online, claiming that the only reason independent artists like JME, Skepta and Stormzy were not nominated was because they posed a threat to music industry figures. She wanted to bring grime to the Brits forreal. And that is a noble cause.

Annie Nightingale

Annie Nightingale MBE was Radio 1’s first female DJ and is still going strong on the radio station after 46 years, at the age of 75.

In many ways, she is a pioneer in music, and so maybe her grime fandom is not quite so surprising. In an interview with the Guardian, Nightingale said, “just look at grime; it’s unique and original.”

Joey Essex

Last up is the white-toothed golden boy, who apparently harbours rap dreams. Joey has reportedly been in the lab with none other than the legendary Murkle Man, Jammer. The Sun claimed the two were working on a rap project together, and Jammer went on to confirm the hype.

“U can’t hate on @JoeyEssex_ his a guy”, he wrote, alongside “Joey Essex is nang on the roads.”

He could be. But Jammer’s going to have his work cut out based on Joey’s jungle bars.