It wasn’t that long ago when people were claiming that grime is dead. As per usual, the fickle nature of both public opinion and most of the media, both mainstream and niche gave way to such ridiculous claims. There really wasn’t much support for the music up until the last couple of years, but those at the centre of it kept strong. Here at DLTM, we’ve been listening to grime since before it was even given that genre label and we’re very pleased to see that people are finally giving the music the appreciation it deserves. Just recently we hit two events that have grime at their foundation, Yung and Jack’Em, here’s a little bit about both nights…
Run by Aesthetic Kid, Yung is a fledgling event that focuses on grime, trap and wave, with an emphasis on the former. Only very recently launched, Yung is centred around a collective of musicians and visual artists, photographers and associates – all highly creative, technology-savvy and musically diverse in their tastes. The first event, a free-entry showcase, was held at Hub16 in Stoke Newington, with their ‘club nights’ taking place at The Nest.
Having the two public outlets allows Yung’s organisers to cultivate two different but intrinsically-linked events; the showcases allow for more experimental music, with an earlier closing time (11pm) and a more intimate atmosphere. Here we saw wave represented to the fullest, as well as grime.
The club nights are more energetic, with more of a focus on grime. At The Nest, heads like Ducati Boi, Glacci, Break and Vacant were joined by a gaggle of MCs who all pumped the space full of rowdy vibes; from more recent stuff to older classics. The crowd was young, fashionable and a good ratio of male to female, which was a surprisingly refreshing sight.
Still in its infancy, Yung definitely has the potential to grow into something a lot bigger. For the moment though, the heads behind it are allowing it to build organically, trusting in the power of the music and their creative energies to attract a strong following. The foundations are already in place, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on this little shindig.
Just down the road from The Nest and Hub16 is Visions, a basement club that has been open for about 20 years. One of those late-night places where you always wind up at about three in the morning, trying to squeeze a few more hours from your night out. It’s also the setting for a new night called Jack’Em being put on by 1Xtra selector Sian (pronounced Sigh-Ann) Anderson, a powerhouse within the grime world who’s been working like a trooper for a long time now supporting the scene, promoting artists, writing about them, and generally being an all-round don.
Jack’Em’s heart beats to the riddims of grime, though it will be hosted at different venues around the capital, the basement at Visions certainly felt like a home for the night. We were there to catch some of grime’s new breed in action, including the excellent Alia Loren, who warmed things up neatly. Other young bucks putting in the work at the party were Jack Dat, NTS’ A.G and Sian herself.
A few familiar faces were knocking around the venue while we were there including P Money, who got on the mic quite early on, and Maximum – DJ from the world-conquering Boy Better Know crew. Sadly we had to duck out early, though the night was on until 6am, but we could tell it was going to be a banger of a night from the few hours we spent there. Again, there was a good ratio of men to women, which we believe is crucial to the ongoing success of these nights… regardless of the music that’s playing, too much testosterone in a venue is never a good thing. This was not a problem at Jack’Em or Yung.
Nights like these are of huge importance to London’s club industry, particularly because grime events have been shut down time and again by the authorities over the years, limiting the progress of the genre, which is undoubtedly one of the main voices of London’s inner city. Now that it seems as though grime is being accepted by the mainstream media, DLTM hopes that the scene will flourish and nights like Yung and Jack’Em will become hubs for the DJs, MCs and ravers who make grime such an exciting form of music.