Grime Stories: from the corner to the mainstream
Honouring the music, people and places central to the grime scene and its roots in East London
Co-curated by one of the first cameramen of grime, Roony 'RiskyRoadz’ Keefe, Grime Stories: from the corner to the mainstream was a free display that explored the history of grime in east London and the community at its heart.
Grime music emerged almost twenty years ago in the early 2000s and flourished through an informal network of record shops, youth clubs and pirate radio stations. The Museum of London put a spotlight on the people and places across east London that shaped grime from then to the present day.
Partnering with those who were there at the scene's inception, the landmark display considered how the area has changed in the 20 years since and the impact of these changes on the future landscape of grime. A panoramic illustration by artist Willkay, a series of newly commissioned films and personal artefacts paid tribute to the parents, carers and youth workers who supported the city's grime MCs. Footage featuring Skepta and DJ Slimzee examined how these once emergent artists were able to find an outlet to share their music, uncensored through pirate radio networks such as Rinse FM.
Roony 'Risky' Keefe - one of the earliest documentarians to capture grime © John Chase/Museum of London
Grime pioneer Jammer in his legendary family basement in Leytonstone © John Chase/Museum of London
Jammer's basement given a blue plaque by London borough of Walham Forest © John Chase/Museum of London
Sound equipment in Jammer's basement, scene of the creation of many seminal grime tracks © John Chase/Museum of London
Inside Jammer's basement in Leytonstone © John Chase/Museum of London
“Grime's influence has changed music forever. This Museum of London display makes me feel proud to see grime’s legacy acknowledged, knowing how far the scene has come and how essential it is to London’s culture”Roony 'RiskyRoadz' Keefe, display co-curator
“By honing in on significant landmarks that nurtured the music, Grime Stories explores the relationship between sound and place and questions what the sonic consequences of urban generation might be for music in east London.”Dhelia Snoussi, the Museum of London’s Youth Culture Curator