To Caribbean grime artist from Stoke Newington Jammin MC, Stormzy isn’t just a talent, he’s a role model. “He’s inspiring young black males and telling them and showing them it can be done, that is what I respect about him the most,” said the rapper.
Stormzy has broken the glass ceiling, making a previously underground genre more mainstream. He has collaborated with top-10-dominating Ed Sheeran and is revered by Adele, who has tweeted her support for the grime guru.
— Adele (@Adele) February 24, 2017
Hailing from South London, Stormzy has soared to the top of the charts with his album Gang Signs & Prayer.
With grime in the public eye, other artists feel like they too can prosper now that their genre of music has finally been accepted.
“In terms of spreading the sound of grime music to a wider audience, Stormzy is making people know internationally that we make good music here in the UK,” said Jammin MC.
Jammin MC, whose musical inspirations include Buju Banton and Damian Marley, believes grime stems from Jamaica: “Grime is basically what they do in yard [Jamaica]. It’s a mad ting,” he said.
Jammin MC emphasised how Stormzy’s music is representative of what the youth of today go through: “There’s a tune called ‘Cigarettes and Kush’, where he talks about rolling a zoot in a relationship, and how your girl holds you down [supports you].”
Describing Stormzy as both quirky and clever, Jammin MC explained that some may be sceptical about whether or not the artist and his music are reflective of grime culture. “It [is] though, because someone can relate to it,” he said.
Jammin MC is driven to succeed like Stormzy, with plans to spread his music as far as possible. “I like being in the studio more than anything and people from around the world can take something from my music. Some people punch a punching bag. For me, music is my release.”
Hackney has produced some excellent grime talent – Skepta and JME, who have undoubtedly paved the way for other grime artists. Both Skepta and JME are part of the grime label “Boy Better Know” and Skepta has even had some exposure in America, thanks to support from fellow rappers Kanye West and Drake.
The future’s looking bright for grime artists in the UK. Skepta is set to headline Wireless this summer.
(Top Stormzy photo by NRK P3)