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Report: U.K. Grime Artists Are Being Shut Down By ‘Institutionalized Racism’

By DeAnna Taylor

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Several artists in the grime scene are being silenced from live shows in and around the U.K.

Grime is a genre of music that originated in London back in the 2000s. It is a blend of hip hop, reggae, and dancehall over an aggressive electronic sound. Grime went even more mainstream in recent years with the emergence of artists like Stormzy and Skepta, who have been featured on songs with popular American hip-hop artists.

A recent report released found that grime artists are facing discrimination from concert venues as well as police and local authorities, over their fears that the music stirs violence.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee says that “persisting prejudice” against artists from grime, rap and hip-hop risks “the future of one of the U.K.’s most exciting musical exports.”

It is said that a former risk assessment called form 696 is to blame for the discrimination. The assessment, which has now been abolished, was used to assess live events and gather data on the types of “ethnic groups that attended certain performances.”

Several rappers have been forced to cancel shows due to the findings of the assessment. Rapper Giggs was forced to cancel some of his shows due to the assessment requirement forcing music venues to obtain background checks on performers.

Skengdo x AM, drill artists in the U.K., were sentenced to nine months in jail over an injunction that prevented them from performing songs that mentioned certain people, places, events, or things that could be seen as violent in nature.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has launched a larger investigation into these claims. Committee chair Damien Collins MP said it was “shocking” to hear that grime artists were continuing to be met with discrimination and said it risked hampering the success of British music.

The committee is calling for new guidelines to be put into place that will prevent police and local authorities from unfairly targeting certain artists.

Related: What It Means To Be Black In London

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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.

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