The Debate Session One… Should Grime/UK MC’s break in America?

Lee: Yoyoyo, wassup! Heres a new little thing we’re going to try out on House of Grime and TeamSupreme… The Debates. Every now and again, we will get together on MSN, and discuss the suggested topic. To start off with it will just be Frankz and Lee, maybe we’ll try get you some people more involved in the music for future debates as well. Firstly, we’re going to discuss whether or not it would be good or bad for UK MC’s to break and be successful in the USA.

Frankz: I’ll be representing the view that it’s a bad idea.

Lee: And i’ll be suggesting it will be good for the MC’s and our scene. I think firstly we need to discuss if any UK MC’s have actually broken in the USA already, as people do argue that Sway/Dizzee already have.

Frankz: Well to be fair I think yeah OK both of them have put a mark in the US. Not Dizzee as much. But Sway had for sure woth the whole Konvict thing. But that’s the proof there. Sway is a RAPPER. Dizzee is an MC that came from Grime. Dizzee wouldn’t take grime there.

Lee: I don’t even think Dizzee was happy to help grime break in the UK, hence his straying. Sway hasn’t done it yet for me, even with the Akon assisted Silver and Gold, which I thought would be massive.

Frankz: Well then there you go. USA doesn’t even want our artists whether we want them to or not. Our UK artists who do specifically rap might just get a look in. For etc. Giggs winning the BET and the whole Joell Ortiz thing.

Click ‘Read More’ to continue reading and have your say on the matter!

Lee: Thats another potiential problem. Joell Ortiz clearly supports our scene, and i know that both Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes praised ‘Home Sweet Home’. Kanye even posted a video of Devlin on his blog. I think breaking the US would be good for our scene, simply based on the fact that I truly believe our artists are just as good, if not more talented than half of the mainstream US rappers, and if we’ve got that talent, why shouldn’t we get it out to the widest audience possible?

Frankz: Don’t get me wrong. I believe our scene clearly blows america out fo the window. Thats why I have no shame to admit I download US HIP HOP & RAP. Cos their scene is nigh on dead. Grime does have a future. People are just too lazy. I feel that “The US” would also kill our music anyway. And why the just the US. Surely the whole WORLD (lol) would eb a bigger target.

Lee: I don’t really think we can call their scene dead when you see them guys making millions of their music, and our guys can’t even make it out of the hood. And i think there can be a place for grime in the United States. A lof of people say that they’ve lost that gritty, hard-hitting rap, i.e from the streets of New York. Now surely thats essientely what grime is? And if thats an opportunity we can take. we should. Conquering America is the first step of conquering the world in music terms.

Frankz: But the point of this convo is “Does Grime (Thats GRIME) Need America?. The answer is no. Why should America accept Grime anyway if we can’t accept it here. The streets of America wouldn’t have acces to Grime anyway unless they downloaded it. In order to get it there would have to be some outlet and that would obviously be a blogger like us. As soon as these yank journo’s hear about Guns and Stabbings etc. they’ll refuse to do just that. I suppose what this comes down to in the end is what we define grime to be.

Lee: Fair point. But ask every grime artist why they make grime. I’m 99% sure they will all say ‘MONEY’. And thats why we need America, even if we exploit them. And don’t underestimate how many people in America do actually BUY music. I.e Lil’ Waynes album, leaked 2 weeks in advance and he still sold over 1 million cds in his first week alone. We could create the outlet, more and more grime albums are being put on iTunes etc.

Frankz: Yeah I suppose the digital market is a fair point. But Americans only bought that Album because Lil’ Waynes workrate before that point was second to none. I don’t like him, but the guy has had over 50 mixtapes/collaborations etc. That work rate can’t be found anywhere in the UK. And saying about iTunes would just bring me back to my last point. Americans would wait until some blogger or journalist at the NY Times wrote about the product in question. And they won’t accept it. Let me bring the ultimate example. Revolver – Grimes Son. The only CD so far this year I gave a 5 mic rating. They ain’t gonna like that. There not even gonna like Chip Diddy Chip.

Lee: Fair play, fuck Lil’ Wayne though. The only person close to that workrate is Chipmunk. You don’t often see an album/mixtape within the UK scene without his name featuring on it. Whether it be some hip-hop with Wretch or Ironik, or grime with Germz or Snoopy. But blogging in America is different to what it is here. The only big grime site over here in reality is GrimeForum. In America, all these upcoming dudes get their promotion through the New Music Cartel blogs, which include NahRight and that. So if we could get our music out to them, it doesn’t matter what the journalists say, as long as we can get the support of the blogs, the music would do well.

Frankz: So I suppose the question beckons more the point of does grime need the internet rather than does it need America.  It doesn’t help that in the UK, our mixtape is to them an album, because when you go to US based sites like hear it first, the amount of mixtapes they have is amazing. We need more of them in the UK. Here it seems to be mixtape mixtape mixtape (maybe) album. Or what i really mean is we need more free stuff.

Lee: Thats a cracking point. I think in general we need more music. Lets take Ghetts, he’s released what, three new tunes in six months (Sing For Me Remix, Don’t Phone Me and Came In The Game?). Thats nowhere near enough if you wanna conquer the nets. Look at Charles Hamilton, dude used the internet, he’s on like his 20th mixtape in the last 6 months. And we definately need more actual albums in the scene.

Frankz: My final point is just this. Grime don’t NEED the US because Grime don’t WANT the US.

Lee: Thats the thing, i think grime DOES. Based on the fact the first chance them guys got to go to the USA… they went. [Ghetts] “I’m going to the USA… even if i don’t win its better than a UMA” [/Ghetts]. That sums up the attitudes and mentalitys of our guys for me, showing they DO want America.

Frankz: Yeah but then Im a just go back to square one and say (wait whilst i find it) “I feel that “The US” would also kill our music anyway.” And it would. Its already happening (thats using present not past) in our very own conutry. Dizzee/Chipmunk/Tinchy Stryder (not so much) have just used grime as a stepping stone to get there chart success. And yeah OK they’re making money. So say Ghetts makes it in America. I bet all the worlds currency he stops Grime and starts making shoddy autotuned rap songs. And America already have that so…

Lee: I think thats a good point (the first part), maybe it would. But i’d like to see a bit more success for our artists and to see them get the respect they deserve. I don’t think Ghetts would, he’d still make the grimey stuff. And by breaking America doesn’t mean we have to make the music that they conform to. There’s still the chance of taking something completely new and blowing it out the water. You can tell in the uprise of the current music state in America with the likes of Cudi, Drake, Wale, they like something new. We just need to make sure we target the right audience within America.

Frankz: Thats the thing. Nope we don’t want to conform to there music or their “style” but to break there you would have to. Us using the term ‘we’ means we’re repping our scene and our music and we’re not doing it justice by suggesting it needs another country. Can you honestly give me 3 reasons from YOUR perspective why we need the USA? Don’t think about what the artist wants… why do YOU wanna see it hit America?

Lee: 1) Americas always been about giving the best music within a genre, and i honestly think we have better music within certain genres, so therefore i want us seeing the respect that we deserve. 2) These guys are putting in the hard work each and every day to give us the best product they can for our moneys worth. We all know 75% of grime listeners don’t buy grime (at times myself included, i just can’t afford it), so if we gain more fans, they get more money, which again they deserve. and 3), i’m kinda fucked for a third. Hm, i guess another reason i’d like to see us become more known in the USA is cause i’d like to see more collaborations with artists from each country.

Frankz: Ok i hear that. Also let me say this. America, no matter what proof i think your gonna bring, has never made a deliberate effort to make it here. So they wouldn’t let us try to make it there if we wanted to. Which we don’t all the same. I suppose once again it comes down to the UK’s very OWN workrate. Which is piss poor.

Lee: Totally agree with the workrate point, its fucking terrible. Anyways, thats gunna set us off on a completely different topic, save that for next week?

Frankz: Yeah true. But we haven’t reached a verdict.

Lee: I hear you. My final verdict – I think you’ve given some good points as to why we should stay in the UK which I completely agree with, and I come to the conclusion… we’re already catering for two markets within England, I think we can cater for two markets within the USA. So yes, lets stay in the UK, but lets be greedy and break America too.

Frankz: Yeah ok i can definatly deal with that

Lee: Thats it from us, next debate coming soon. If anyone has any ideas on what we can discuss, or if you think you’d be a good part of a debate… holla on teamsuprememusic@googlemail.com or houseofgrimemedia@hotmail.co.uk. Peace out guys!

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