A Guide To UK Music Scene. Grime & UK Drill 101

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Posted: October 28, 2019

The U.K music scene has always had popping artists. From the likes of the Spice Girls, Elton John and Queen to the current hip hop stars like Lady Leshurr and Stormzy.

We hear about these artists if we actively look for them or if they are played sometime on the radio.

Let’s get grimey. Here we will be going through the UK Hip Hop scene. Just like in the United States, hip hop began through graffiti and break-dancing. Unlike Hip Hop in the U.S.,  UK is split into two popular  types- Grime and UK Drill.


This is described as electronic music with a derivative of UK garage with a touch of jungle and inspired by dancehall and hip hop. It started in in the early 2000’s. Its origin is tied with pirate radio stations i.e Rinse FM, Major FM and many more.  The stations acted as the first platform for grime artist and it allowed them to build a fan base. Grime’s progress can be credited to UK garage groups like So Solid Crew and Pay As U Go. They collectively popularized ‘dark garage’. Which saw them shifting the sound from RnB vocals with dance to a more MC oriented sound.

Looking into grime now, which boasts of artist like Skepta, Stormzy, The Streets and etc. They gave grime a more international impact resulting in different types of grime emerging, such as Chinese and Australian.

UK Drill

Drill is more of trap music originally from the south of Chicago. It can be described as dark and violent lyrical content with trap beats.  It was made famous by U.S artists like Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Lil Reese and SD. Drill became unstoppable once it was introduced into the UK. It rose to prominence in Brixton in 2012.

UK Drill is highly linked to road rap, the equivalent to gangster rap in the United States. The pioneers of drill include crews such as 67, and 86. Since 2016, more drill groups have merged i.e. Silwood Nation, Block 6, Y.ACG and etc. UK Drill artists relied on internet platforms such as YouTube to distribute their music.

UK Drill has made its impact on the world, as artists from Spain, Australia and Netherlands have been influenced by the UK Drill style.

More recently, UK Drill received more recognition when comedian Michael Dapaah released the catchy tune ‘Mans Not Hot’. The instrumental was made by UK Drill producers GottiOnEm and Mazza. The song was first used by drill group 86 on the song ‘Lurk’.




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