Grime first came to mainstream attention in 2003 and we believe the first “When Will Grime Make It To America?” thinkpiece came .03 seconds later. In spite of all the critical acclaim and promises that X album or Y artist would break grime to stateside audiences, it hasn’t happened.
But things have changed. There’s been a disturbance in the force that keeps grime on one side of the Atlantic Ocean, as if millions of skin cells cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Drake got a “Boy Better Know” tattoo.
Drake got BBK, the initials of grime artist Skepta‘s crew tattooed on his shoulder. Skepta shared the photo on Instagram. Does this mean grime is finally actually “breaking”?
After all, the Drake bump is real and helped to give mainstream attention to Makonnen and Migos, among others. The cult of Drake is so powerful that it can turn an okay rap song into the diss of the century. It can make us forget about “Charged Up.” Can Drizzy be the one to make us all listen to Dizzee?
In short, probably not. Grime is too insular, weird and, (above all) British to probably make the leap across the pond. Even Aubrey can’t make a country that would willfully disregard an album as monumental as Brand New Second Hand listen to Wiley or Skepta. It’s just not happening.