Photo series documenting grime music

“Wot do you call it? Urban?” Wiley so eloquently quizzed in 2004 on his debut single over his genre-defining eskibeat. Referencing the music style he helped craft as it floated through nameless space before being stuck with grime.

A decade on, grime has had a second coming, though it never went away as far as many people are concerned. Kids in the US are listening to Newham Generals, Canadian rapper Drake has inked himself with BBK in support of the crewdem Boy Better Know.

Stormzy’s freestyle over Ruff Sqwad clocked up 28 million views and he’s just performed in New York after giving a speech at Oxford University. Increasingly celebrated in the UK, it’s a far cry away from being a genre seemingly targeted by the Metropolitan police.

D Double E @ Forest Gate

Celebrating the London music genre born out of FruityLoops, joint with clever and amusing wordplay is theWot Do You Call It project. Two photographers, set about capturing rappers as they deliver potent lyrical ability, or simply out and about in their local area.

Candid photos glisten with the community feel of grime and stand as snapshots of the culture in its raw essence. First uploading to Tumblr two years ago, the two responsible behind the camera QUANN and Marco, have recently had seasoned grime photographer Simon Wheatley contribute some images also featured in his digital photo book ‘DON’T CALL ME URBAN! The Time of Grime’.

Big Narstie @ Boiler Room
Elijah and Skilliam @ Peckham
Skepta @ Culture Clash
Stormzy @ Culture Clash
Springy P @ Empire LDN
YGG @ Camden
Jammer’s Basement
Novelist @ Radar Radio
The Vision @ Lewisham
Cadell @ Bow
Last Japan @ Bow
See more from Wot Do You Call It here.

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