Celebrating the birthplace of grime

Emma Betts from Beatroot Creative introduces a new project exploring the history of a musical genre

Jammer and Lord of the Mics

Jammer and Lord of the Mics (credt David Emery for LOTM X Phire Wire)

This autumn we are excited to present a programme celebrating the local people who helped develop grime music.

The story of grime, now one of our successful international cultural exports, began right here in East London at the beginning of the Noughties. It was developed by young working class Londoners expressing their anger and frustration at a system that had let them down – exemplifying a do-it-yourself approach of the kind formerly associated with punk.

MCs from Waltham Forest included Bruza, Diesel D-Power, Jammer, Lady Fury, Lethal Bizzle and Mizz Beats. More Fire Crew, one of the first crews in the grime scene, was created by Lethal Bizzle, Neeko and Ozzie B while at college; their grime single Oi! charted at number seven in 2002. Lethal Bizzle, from Walthamstow, went on to have solo success with his debut single Pow! charting at number eleven in 2004.

The basement of Jammer’s family home in Leyton hosted many of grime’s most well-known artists at the early stages of their career. In 2004 he and Chad ‘Ratty’ Stennett began to organise and film clashes between artists, then sold them as DVDs under the name Lord of the Mics, going on to become one of grime’s most archetypal brands.

In November we are running a programme of events – gigs, film-screenings, panel discussions and talks – featuring grime veterans Jammer, D Power, Sharky Major, Flowdan, Coelle (aka Lady Fury), Bruza and Chad ‘Ratty’ Stennett. We aim to provide a diverse programme in which everyone can get involved, whether you’re a dedicated grime fan or new to the genre. There will be opportunities to develop your lyric-writing and beat-making skills in workshops led by Lady Lykez, Lemzi, and Rory Sky.

We have produced Grime Waltham Forest in partnership with Chantelle Fiddy, Diesle D Power, Lemzi, MVP Workshops, and Stow Film Lounge. The project has been made possible thanks to a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund, plus support from Waltham Forest Council.

Get involved and find out more about Grime Waltham Forest:
Email emma@beatroots.org
Tweet @grimewf
Visit grimewf.org

Book your free tickets:
Visit ticketlab.co.uk/events/grime-waltham-forest