The 10 Best UK Grime Songs

by Barbara

Grime is a genre born from the streets of London. It’s raw, aggressive, and relentless. Emerging in the early 2000s, grime combines elements of UK garage, jungle, and dancehall, creating a unique sound characterized by its rapid breakbeats and dark, menacing basslines. Here, we explore ten of the best grime songs that have defined and shaped the genre.

The 10 Best UK Grime Songs

1. “Pow (Forward)” – Lethal Bizzle

Release Year: 2004 Album: N/A

Lethal Bizzle’s “Pow (Forward)” is a grime anthem. Released in 2004, it quickly became a favorite in clubs and on pirate radio stations. The song features contributions from grime heavyweights like JME, Wiley, and Kano. The track’s relentless energy and aggressive lyrics encapsulate the raw power of grime music.

Lethal Bizzle’s aggressive delivery, coupled with a hard-hitting beat, makes “Pow (Forward)” a quintessential grime track. The song’s impact was so significant that it was banned from many clubs due to its tendency to incite riots. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, “Pow (Forward)” remains a landmark track in grime history.

2. “Wot Do U Call It?” – Wiley

Release Year: 2004 Album: Treddin’ on Thin Ice

Wiley, often referred to as the “Godfather of Grime,” delivered one of the genre’s defining tracks with “Wot Do U Call It?” The song addresses the struggle of categorizing grime, highlighting its unique sound and roots in UK garage.

With its minimalist beat and Wiley’s distinctive flow, “Wot Do U Call It?” is both a declaration of grime’s independence and a testament to Wiley’s pioneering role in the genre. The song’s introspective lyrics and innovative production make it a standout track that continues to resonate with fans and artists alike.

3. “P’s and Q’s” – Kano

Release Year: 2004 Album: Home Sweet Home

Kano’s “P’s and Q’s” is a grime classic. The track, released in 2004, showcases Kano’s sharp lyricism and effortless flow. Over a haunting, minimalist beat, Kano delivers a masterclass in storytelling and wordplay.

“P’s and Q’s” is a perfect example of grime’s ability to blend introspective lyrics with hard-hitting beats. The track’s infectious hook and Kano’s charismatic delivery have cemented its status as one of the genre’s most beloved songs. It remains a favorite among fans and a staple in Kano’s live performances.

4. “Shut Up” – Stormzy

Release Year: 2015 Album: N/A

Stormzy’s “Shut Up” is a modern grime anthem. Originally a freestyle over the instrumental for XTC’s “Functions on the Low,” the track gained viral fame thanks to its raw energy and Stormzy’s commanding presence. The song’s video, shot in a park with Stormzy surrounded by his friends, became an iconic image of the grime resurgence.

“Shut Up” showcases Stormzy’s lyrical prowess and ability to capture the essence of grime’s gritty, DIY ethos. The track’s success propelled Stormzy to the forefront of the genre and marked a new chapter in grime’s evolution. Its impact is still felt today, and “Shut Up” remains a powerful statement of grime’s enduring influence.

5. “Too Many Man” – Boy Better Know

Release Year: 2009 Album: N/A

“Too Many Man” by Boy Better Know is a grime posse cut that captures the genre’s collaborative spirit. Featuring JME, Skepta, Wiley, and more, the track addresses the lack of women in clubs and calls for a better balance. The song’s catchy hook and energetic verses make it a standout track in the grime canon.

Boy Better Know, one of grime’s most influential collectives, delivered a track that’s both fun and thought-provoking. “Too Many Man” showcases the group’s chemistry and ability to create music that resonates with fans. Its infectious energy and relatable lyrics have made it a staple in grime playlists and a favorite in live performances.

6. “German Whip” – Meridian Dan feat. Big H & JME

Release Year: 2014 Album: N/A

“German Whip” by Meridian Dan is a grime anthem that brought the genre back to mainstream attention. Featuring Big H and JME, the track is a celebration of success and the finer things in life, with a focus on high-end German cars. Its catchy hook and booming production made it an instant hit.

The song’s success marked a resurgence for grime, bringing it back into the spotlight after years of relative obscurity. “German Whip” showcases the genre’s ability to evolve while staying true to its roots. The track’s infectious energy and memorable lyrics have made it a favorite among fans and a key moment in grime’s history.

7. “Man’s Not Hot” – Big Shaq

Release Year: 2017 Album: N/A

Big Shaq’s “Man’s Not Hot” is a unique entry in the grime canon. Originally a comedic skit by Michael Dapaah, the song became a viral sensation thanks to its humorous lyrics and infectious beat. While not a traditional grime track, “Man’s Not Hot” captures the genre’s playful side and ability to reach a wide audience.

The song’s success is a testament to grime’s versatility and appeal. “Man’s Not Hot” became a global phenomenon, introducing many to grime’s distinctive sound. Its impact on popular culture is undeniable, and the track remains a beloved part of the genre’s history.

8. “Take Me As I Am” – Chip feat. Chris Brown

Release Year: 2017 Album: League of My Own II

Chip’s “Take Me As I Am” is a grime track that blends introspective lyrics with a catchy, melodic hook. Featuring Chris Brown, the song addresses themes of authenticity and self-acceptance. Chip’s sharp lyricism and the track’s polished production make it a standout in his discography.

The song showcases grime’s ability to tackle serious themes while remaining accessible and engaging. “Take Me As I Am” is a testament to Chip’s growth as an artist and the genre’s continued evolution. The track’s powerful message and memorable melody have made it a favorite among fans.

9. “That’s Not Me” – Skepta feat. JME

Release Year: 2014 Album: N/A

Skepta’s “That’s Not Me” is a grime anthem that celebrates authenticity and staying true to oneself. Featuring JME, the track’s minimalist beat and sharp lyrics make it a standout in Skepta’s catalog. The song’s DIY video, shot on a budget of just £80, became an iconic image of grime’s independent spirit.

“That’s Not Me” marked a turning point for Skepta, propelling him to new heights and solidifying his status as one of grime’s leading figures. The track’s success showcased grime’s ability to thrive without major label backing and inspired a new generation of artists. Its impact is still felt today, and “That’s Not Me” remains a powerful statement of grime’s enduring influence.

10. “Forward Riddim” – Dizzee Rascal

Release Year: 2002 Album: N/A

Dizzee Rascal’s “Forward Riddim” is one of the earliest and most influential grime tracks. Released in 2002, the song’s aggressive beat and Dizzee’s distinctive flow set the stage for the genre’s emergence. The track’s raw energy and innovative production make it a timeless classic.

“Forward Riddim” showcases Dizzee Rascal’s pioneering role in grime and his ability to push the genre’s boundaries. The song’s impact on grime and UK music as a whole is immeasurable. Its influence can be heard in countless tracks that followed, and “Forward Riddim” remains a cornerstone of grime’s legacy.

See Also:Decoding the Art of Freestyle Rap: An Overview


Grime is more than just a genre; it’s a cultural movement that has shaped the sound and identity of UK music. From its early days on pirate radio to its global influence today, grime has consistently pushed boundaries and challenged conventions. The ten songs highlighted in this article represent just a fraction of the genre’s rich and diverse history. They stand as testaments to grime’s enduring appeal and its ability to captivate and inspire audiences around the world.

related articles

Dive into the enchanting world of music at, your ultimate destination for discovering new and diverse sounds. From emerging artists to timeless classics, embark on a musical journey that transcends genres and captivates your senses.

Copyright © 2023