The 20 Best British Grime Songs of All the Time

by Barbara

Grime music is one of the most exciting and influential genres to emerge from the UK in recent years. Born out of the East London underground scene in the early 2000s, grime combines elements of UK garage, jungle, and hip-hop. It is characterized by its fast-paced beats, aggressive lyrics, and gritty production. The genre has grown from its roots to become a dominant force in British music, with artists achieving mainstream success both in the UK and internationally.

To truly appreciate grime, it’s essential to explore its history and understand the key tracks and artists that have defined the genre. In this article, we’ll delve into the best British grime music, highlighting the songs and artists that have shaped the genre.

The 20 Best British Grime Songs of All the Time:

1. Wiley – “Wot Do U Call It?”

Wiley, often referred to as the “Godfather of Grime,” played a crucial role in the development of the genre. “Wot Do U Call It?” is a seminal track that addresses the confusion surrounding grime’s identity when it was first emerging. Wiley’s sharp delivery and the track’s minimal, pulsating beat make it a cornerstone of grime history.

2. Dizzee Rascal – “I Luv U”

Dizzee Rascal’s debut single “I Luv U” is another foundational track. Released in 2003, it features Dizzee’s distinctive flow and a raw, aggressive beat. The track’s success helped bring grime into the mainstream, earning Dizzee widespread recognition.

3. Skepta – “Shutdown”

Skepta is one of grime’s most prominent figures, and “Shutdown” is a prime example of his influence. Released in 2015, the track’s infectious energy and catchy chorus helped it become a massive hit. Skepta’s success has been instrumental in bringing grime to a global audience.

4. Jme – “Man Don’t Care” (feat. Giggs)

Jme, Skepta’s brother, is another key player in the grime scene. “Man Don’t Care” features a hard-hitting beat and confident lyrics, with a memorable guest verse from Giggs. The track’s success further solidified Jme’s reputation as one of grime’s top artists.

5. Kano – “P’s & Q’s”

Kano’s “P’s & Q’s” is a classic grime anthem. Released in 2005, the track showcases Kano’s lyrical prowess and smooth delivery. Its iconic beat and catchy hook have made it a staple of grime playlists.

6. Stormzy – “Shut Up”

Stormzy is one of the most successful grime artists of the modern era. “Shut Up,” originally a freestyle over a Ruff Sqwad instrumental, became a viral sensation and cemented Stormzy’s status as a grime heavyweight. Its aggressive delivery and memorable lines make it a standout track.

7. Lethal Bizzle – “Pow! (Forward)”

“Pow! (Forward)” by Lethal Bizzle is one of grime’s most explosive tracks. Released in 2004, it features a slew of guest verses from prominent grime artists. The track’s high-energy beat and relentless pace make it a quintessential grime banger.

8. D Double E – “Street Fighter Riddim”

D Double E is known for his unique voice and inventive delivery. “Street Fighter Riddim” is a perfect showcase of his talents. The track’s playful beat and D Double E’s charismatic performance have made it a fan favorite.

9. Ghetts – “Artillery”

Ghetts, formerly known as Ghetto, is one of grime’s most respected lyricists. “Artillery” is a powerful track that highlights his rapid-fire delivery and intricate wordplay. It’s a must-listen for any grime enthusiast.

10. P Money – “Slang Like This”

P Money is known for his versatile flow and hard-hitting lyrics. “Slang Like This” features a heavy beat and showcases P Money’s ability to effortlessly switch between different styles. The track’s infectious energy makes it a standout in his discography.

11. AJ Tracey – “Thiago Silva” (with Dave)

AJ Tracey and Dave’s collaboration on “Thiago Silva” is a modern grime classic. The track’s intricate beat and rapid-fire verses highlight both artists’ skills. Its success has helped introduce grime to a new generation of fans.

12. Bugzy Malone – “M.E.N.”

Bugzy Malone is a prominent figure in the Manchester grime scene. “M.E.N.” is a reflective track that showcases his storytelling abilities and emotional depth. Its haunting beat and introspective lyrics set it apart from more aggressive grime tracks.

13. Novelist – “Endz”

Novelist is one of the younger artists making waves in the grime scene. “Endz” features a minimal beat and Novelist’s laid-back flow. The track’s raw, unpolished sound captures the essence of grime’s underground roots.

14. Little Simz – “Venom”

Little Simz, while often associated with hip-hop, has strong grime influences in her music. “Venom” is a fierce track that showcases her lyrical prowess and confident delivery. Its dark, brooding beat makes it a standout in her discography.

15. Frisco – “The Den”

Frisco, a member of the Boy Better Know collective, is known for his distinctive voice and powerful delivery. “The Den” features a menacing beat and Frisco’s commanding presence. It’s a track that captures the raw energy of grime.

16. Chip – “Coward”

Chip, formerly known as Chipmunk, is one of grime’s most versatile artists. “Coward” is a diss track that showcases Chip’s lyrical dexterity and sharp wit. Its aggressive delivery and biting lyrics make it a standout track.

17. Lady Leshurr – “Queen’s Speech 4”

Lady Leshurr is one of the most prominent female voices in grime. “Queen’s Speech 4” is a witty and energetic freestyle that highlights her clever wordplay and charismatic delivery. Its success helped establish Lady Leshurr as a leading figure in the genre.

18. Dizzee Rascal – “Bonkers”

“Bonkers,” a collaboration between Dizzee Rascal and producer Armand Van Helden, is a high-energy track that blends grime with dance music. Its infectious beat and catchy chorus helped it become a massive hit, showcasing Dizzee’s versatility as an artist.

19. Skepta – “That’s Not Me” (feat. Jme)

“That’s Not Me” is a collaboration between Skepta and Jme that pays homage to grime’s roots. The track’s minimalist production and nostalgic lyrics make it a standout in Skepta’s discography. Its success helped reignite interest in grime’s early sound.

20. Devlin – “Community Outcast”

Devlin is known for his introspective lyrics and storytelling abilities. “Community Outcast” is a socially conscious track that addresses issues like poverty and inequality. Its haunting beat and emotional depth set it apart from more aggressive grime tracks.

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It is a comprehensive journey through the evolution of grime music. From its early days in East London to its current status as a global phenomenon, these tracks highlight the genre’s raw energy, lyrical prowess, and cultural significance. Grime’s influence continues to grow, and its future looks as exciting as its past. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the genre, this is a perfect introduction to the best of British grime music.

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