This London rap crew are doing something very right.
With the rise of grime and the entrance of musical supernovas such as Drake (he has collaborated several times with Skepta as well as remixed Dave’s “Wanna Know”) on the scene, more and more labels and music professionals are getting interested in the “untapped market” (in other words, money) that the grime scene represents. This has got a lot of people worried that the energy and DIY attitude, that has been the trademark of the genre, will lose its edge and slowly fade out into the white noise that similar genres have experienced through the years (dubstep what?).
Brixton rap crew 67 could be the answer to everyone’s prayers. This collective of teenage rappers are doing something new with the grime genre, rapping over drill beats that really sets the tone. Comprised by rappers ASAP 67, LD 67, Dimzy 67, Monkey 67, SJ 67, and Liquez 67, the crew has released a couple of songs that have started to make some big waves in the London music industry, including “Take Me There”, “Let’s Lurk” and “Hookahs”. The songs combine the energetic and grimey beats of the drill genre with solid UK rap, making the end result a sound that feels new but still has the characteristics of a classic grime song.
No hip-hop head can have missed how grime has made its entry on the world stage (you’re excused if you’ve been stuck in a cave somewhere for the last couple of years), with artists such as Skepta, Stormzy and Wiley finding global audiences. What started as an underground movement in studios around South East London around the turn of the millennia has taken epic proportions as established superstars stand in line to collaborate with British grime talent, be it MC’s or producers. This is of course a blessing as there are plenty of talented artists out there that deserve the attention and money that the larger labels can offer them, but it can also be a curse. Investing a lot of money in something means that there’s someone out there that expects to make their money back at some point. This puts a lot of pressure on artists to create music that doesn’t step on any toes, killing the things that made the music interesting in the first place.
With the looming threat of big record labels wanting to streamline the grime genre to appeal to wider audiences, rap crews such as 67 are the ones that continue to develop and challenge the old standards of the scene. Grime is very much still alive and kicking, but just like any other up-and-coming genre it needs to be in constant motion for it to keep the momentum it already has. Drill music and 67 are not solely responsible to keep this going, but if the crew can keep on producing quality music they will definitely have a part to play in the future of British as well as global rap music.