One of the most unexpected media storms of the 2017 general election was over the hashtag #Grime4Corbyn. The hashtag started trending after a string of Grime MCs–from doyens of the scene like JME and Saskilla to the up-and-coming young'uns AJ Tracey and Novelist–publicly declared their support for Jeremy Corbyn.
But if all the fuss over #Grime4Cobyn passed you by, or if your only experience of London's greatest musical export of the past decade is seeing Stromzy on Jools Holland, then we've got you covered. In this extract from The Wire Primers, acclaimed music writer Simon Reynolds takes us on a tour of Grime's seminal records.
For the young daydreamer Ta-Nehisi Coates
, now hailed as the "James Joyce of the hip-hop generation," the sounds of hip-hop were seductive diversions from his father's strict programme of study. But in the summer of 1988, Ta-Nehisi's Consciousness bloomed to KRS-One and Public Enemy. Hip-hop, for young Ta-Na, boosted the words of his father, a Vietnam vet who rolled with the Black Panthers, an old-school disciplinarian and believer in free love, an autodidact who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization.
To mark the publication of The Beautiful Struggle,
an extraordinary coming-of-age story by the author of the NYT bestseller Between the World and Me,
we present a playlist of the music from the book, annotated with extracts. Set in Baltimore during the 1980s, hip-hop is the main soundtrack to Coates' youth in a city on the verge of chaos where a boy needed to learn The Knowledge fast.