The U.K.’s grime scene has blown up in a way that its day one fans would never have imagined. What’s more, the genre has increasingly begun to capture the attention of many hip-hop artists who have taken a curiosity to the MCs who pride themselves on spitting bars at the rate of 140 beats per minute.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest ambassadors of grime in hip-hop has been Drake, whose love for the U.K. extends into a deeper relationship by being a fan of the genre. The Toronto rapper sent shockwaves through the U.K. when he signed to Skepta’s label, Boy Better Know, early last year. Skepta’s track “Shutdown” also samples an old Vine by Drizzy. The rapper is frequently known to give some valuable shout outs to his favorite grime MCs and it's clear he isn’t afraid to work with U.K. talent, proven by the MCs like Giggs who are featured on his new More Life playlist. Kanye West, who also seems to be a fan, recognized grime when he performed “All Day” at the Brit Awards in 2015 and brought out a heap of artists onstage.
Today, it seems that the biggest rappers are showing no hesitation in working with grime MCs. Collaborations between the two genres have increased over the last few years, despite it not necessarily being a new phenomenon. Nevertheless, together, hip-hop and grime gives us a sound that shatters boundaries, goes beyond accents and provides us with something crazily unique.
We give you 10 of the best examples of hip-hop and grime creating dope music together.
"Don't Waste My Time (Remix)"Krept & Konan Featuring Chip, French Montana, Wretch 32, Chinx Drugz and Fekky
French Montana and the late Chinx jumped onto Krept & Konan’s “Don’t Waste My Time” with verses that slotted in magically despite being surrounded by UK accents. The star-studded line up certainly elevated this Krept and Konan classic.
“Ladies Hit Squad” Skepta Featuring D Double E and A$AP Nast
From Skepta’s 2016 Konnichiwa album, A$AP Nast of A$AP Mob provides a neat, seductive hook which perfectly accompanies the verses from Skepta and D Double E. This song is definitely a hit with the females.
“Where Da G's” Dizzee Rascal Featuring UGK
When grime wasn’t catching everyone’s ear, there was Dizzee Rascal putting in that work for the genre. Dizzee is nothing but his authentic self on this track despite being in the presence of two real OGs. Together, they managed to create a track that was relevant to both the hip-hop and grime scenes. Dizzee went onto collaborate with Bun B once again a few years later.
“Wanna Know (Remix)”Dave Featuring Drake
The original track here from grime artist Dave was safely destined to do well. But we all know that anything that Drake touches instantly turns to gold. As a man who understands Dave’s pain of the freeloaders all too well, together they gave us an anthem for the leaches.
“It Ain’t Safe”Skepta Featuring Young Lord
Skepta and Young Lord aka A$AP Bari came together with their experiences of growing up on the streets. Both MCs respectively give a nod to each other’s roots, as Young Lord refers to the police as “cops” whilst Skepta references New York’s Soho in his verse.
“Control It”Shystie Featuring Azealia Banks
Before Azealia Banks decided she hated the video and grime in general, she willingly teamed up with veteran MC, Shystie for this track. The beef may have surfaced after, but the fierceness of these ladies was definitely suggesting there may have been some competitive tension brewing whilst they were spitting their bars.
“Like It or Love It”Tinie Tempah featuring J. Cole and Wretch 32
Tinie Tempah raised his game by collaborating with J. Cole. But what’s clear from this cut is that each of the rappers bring their A-game with their bars to create a solid track bringing that competitive spirit.
“Knotty Head UK Remix” Denzel Curry Featuring AJ Tracey and Rick Ross
Florida rapper Denzel Curry had a track that we were all getting down to in 2016 with “Knotty Head.” With AJ Tracey in for the UK remix, his addition gave it a grittier feel with his sharp-witted lines and the visuals of London in the video.
“Put That on My Set”A$AP Mob Featuring A$AP Rocky and Skepta
Skepta seems to be so much of hit with A$AP Mob he may as well be a member. Together they paid full respect to the gang proving that Skepta is pretty much family to the crew.
“Don't Go There” Giggs Featuring B.o.B
On his rise to success, well before he was working on tracks with Drake, Giggs was still making people talk with his no-nonsense music, which candidly tells us about his times as a drug dealer. The addition of B.o.B balances out the verses with the mellow chorus.