2016 is a make-or-break year for a lot of grime artists. It’s the year we see how the hype of 2015’s arena-lifting singles is translated into full body’s of work, and whether or not nursing this new wave of interest was even worth it. To me, and as someone who’s documented the scene’s many ups-and-downs over the years, the whole point of this “resurgence” was to get to a point where albums could lay a new foundation which was initially set by Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner. As evidenced by Kano’s Made In The Manor, released last month, the demand for more than singles is clearly there: none of his had the same impact as “Shut Up” or “Shutdown”, but the top 10 LP sure made up for that. Jme’s 2015-unleashed album, Integrity>, is another stellar work that exceeded expectations. Critically praised right across the board, he showed us how cohesive an all-grime project today should sound; lyrically and sonically super on-point, it’s the best set he’s released since 2008’s Famous?.
With albums from Skepta (Konnichiwa), Stormzy (Scary), Wiley (Godfather), Cadell (3 Is The New 6) and Flowdan (Disaster Piece) set to drop later this year, here are some key elements that we hope they include.
Words by Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson