Letters for the week of June 15-21, 2005 

English, Scottish, and San Franciscan blokes write to express displeasure with our "Grime" article, and beg us to give the genre another listen.

"Waiting for the Grime Wave," Close 2 tha Edge, 5/18

Give grime a chance
Just a quick response to your article. I'm twenty and live in Scotland; I'm into the whole "grime" thing even though a lot of the music fans don't like the name, but there isn't a name for this music yet. That's what's good about it. It's not pigeonholed.

I regularly surf RinseFM.com, and a guy from SF posted your article up there to show the UK your views. The thing with this music is, as you say, British kids have mostly grown up on US hip-hop. Most still listen to it, but now it seems to be all the same thing they rap about. "Grime" is a reflection of modern Britain; ghettos are all over the world, none more so than London. This music has divorced itself from the commercial music scene. The beauty of this music is that it started off homemade. Dizzee, for example, has made some of the best beats I've heard, and he done them on a PlayStation when he was fifteen! Now he's doing sold-out shows over in the States. That's a long way in four years, don't you think? Give this music a chance.
Mark McGlashan, Aberdeen, Scotland

See grime city
I read your article at lunch yesterday and couldn't help but laugh. You take the "subgenres are killing the scene" attitude to a whole new extreme. If you hold a magnifying glass to something long enough, you will eventually destroy it. Unfortunately, I was worried that that was your intention in writing this article. How can you properly critique a style of music by dissecting every other song that occurs around it? Yeah, there are Cockney accents in Grime/UKHH; you said that about five times in the article. Please move on and find another, more relevant criticism -- you bring no insight into the music or, more importantly, the vibe of the night as a whole.

My opinion is that you wanted to voice a dissenting opinion of grime, all the while flaunting your lexicon of musical terminology to appear knowledgeable about everything except grime. If you would like to further your education in underground UK music, please attend Grime City at Nickie's.
Zachary Brown, San Francisco

Grime is here to stay
It seemed you were writing about a style of music that you haven't researched other than chatting to some heads at a party. What I did get from your article was the fact that the event which you attended did not adequately convey the full range and impact of grime. I would like for you to see grime represented as it should be, and by people who don't think it's just a passing fad.

I understood your observations were based on a party, but that is also the downfall of it. In your article you seem to base your whole assessment of grime on one night, at one party, with one DJ. How does this cover the expanse of the genre? Your only report on any of the possible routes that lead to the creation of the style were from interactions with partygoers. If you were going to give any critique, you might have explored the routes from the point of view of the artists or DJs themselves, rather than report people's diluted and insufficient knowledge.

Yes, this music will change. That is the beauty of it. If music did not morph and grow then we wouldn't have any new music. To imply that because it will change it will become obsolete is possible but unlikely. Drum 'n' bass grew out of house music, yet we still have house music.

Finally, your remark that grime is singles-oriented and not album-oriented and will therefore die is completely ridiculous. The majority of all music these days, regardless of genre, is singles-oriented. To imply there aren't a lot of albums of grime is wrong. Granted, to obtain these albums in America is tough. But it is a lot easier than trying to obtain underground American music in England.
Michael Hodder, aka MC Child, B.I.G. Crew, San Francisco

Writer Lauren Gard picked up a 2005 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for her August 11, 2004 East Bay Express cover story "Good Kids, Bad Blood," about a ten-year-old Oakland girl's struggle with adult-onset diabetes. Other winning papers included the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle. Gard will receive a Casey Medal and a $1,000 prize at a ceremony in Washington, DC on September 23. As always, the complete story is available online at EastBayExpress.com.

In "Wild Salmon for 3 Bucks a Pound" (Summer Guide, June 8), a photo of the author's mother was misidentified as the author (ouch!). Also incorrect was the caption accompanying "Loquat Snoops & Guerrilla Grafts." The woman pictured was Katherine Pyle, not Catherine Anderson, and the fruit in the photo was babaco, not goumi.


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