I recently did an article about grime songs new grime fans need to know – you can view here – but due to the abundance of classic grime songs, there were a lot of songs missed out. I thought why not do an article with them in? So without further ado
Shystie – One Wish
The chorus on this one struck hard with everyone who heard it, people connected with it. Shystie proved how good she was and how hard a woman could be in grime, she surprised people all over and this track still bangs to this day. I could have picked the remix with Kano and Bruza but the solo cut is better, grittier and most importantly grimier.
Ghetts – Artillery
Want to talk about hardest grime tracks ever? This has got to be there. Ghetts completely murdered this track, and caught a whole new bunch of fans. His fast paced, hard hitting song captured the attention of the whole grime scene and put people on notice, he was starting to stand out in a scene that can sound the same to people on the outside. Ghetts really separated himself from the rest of the pack and hasn’t looked back since.
Aggro – Free Yard
If you ever wanted to chat to a girl all you had to do was listen to this and try to get tips from Aggro. This song will go down in grime history as one for those first wave of grime fans who played tracks like this on their Sony Ericsson’s, if you didn’t know this you were a dude pretty much. It’s hard to believe the same guy went on to make this.
Imperial Squad – Just A Link
The track itself seems jokes but is actually kind of a sad love story, she’s Just a Link to this guy who’s using her for sex, but worse has been spat about in grime so it’s easily brushed under the carpet. The track has so many one liners and if you were lucky enough to stay up late and watch Channel U XXX you got to see the explicit video! A true grime classic for the man dem.
Young D ft. Pro Dot – Hoodie Town
One of the most lyrical grime tracks of all time and it’s virtually unknown. I only found this when I was younger because I was scrolling through my brother’s music, but this song is an essential listen for anyone who says they’re a grimehead. At a time when you had big stars left and right just like it is now, tracks like this went off and engrossed listeners all over, well done to these two.
Dirty Goods ft. Fernquest – Know No Other
No, not that dirty goods, these guys are a band and Fernquest/Tiny Skitz is the rapper you hear. This track is a nice blend of indie and grime, and it works so well. Fernquest hits some deep, gritty bars and serves as an inspiration for people listening. A true gem of a grime song.
Bashy – Black Boys
I imagine this song for black youths at the time was nothing short of amazing. Bashy rapping about the successful black men hailing from London was awe-inspiring and gave a whole generation of people hope. It wasn’t a song about crime, drugs or money but instead the good people do and success people can achieve. The video features cameos from big grime names and you can even spot a young Naughty Boy on the beat years before he blew up.
D Double E – Bad to the Bone (Wooo Riddim)
Now this is a straight fire classic and arguably the best grime song of all time. The beat is good and every time it drops live either with D Double himself or just a DJ mix you can guarantee the crowd will go crazy, if you don’t know this you can’t be a grime fan and if you don’t get hyped when it’s live then walk out the venue, please. D Double E is the people’s champion of grime and deserves that respect.
Ruff Sqwad – U Make Me Wanna
Just when true grime fans hear this beat they recognise how influential this track is. Off the genuine classic Guns & Roses 2 – which will go down as one of if not the best grime mixtape of all time – this love song shows how the hoodmen do their thing with girls. Back before Tinchy was in I’m A Celeb and doing songs with the Chuckle Brothers, he was a member of one of the most illustrious grime crews ever, how time changes people.
Essentials, J2K & Dynasty – State Your Name
Back before people started thinking Stormzy made ‘state your name‘ a thing, this song was destroying raves up and down the country. These man repping their corners of London was something you needed to hear and J2K proved he wasn’t just a bit player of Roll Deep but a good solo artist, just a shame he never got the attention deserved.
JME & D Double E – Serious Thugz
I missed this off the first list for a bizarre reason, this track is super hard. A 2004 hit, it sees JME showcasing what he’s been able to do for years and how he can go bar for bar with D Double E, Jamie seems to get hate for no apparent reason. The sample of Bone Thugz helped this track get replayed and replayed in the grime community so many times, what a deadly combo these two were.
Stormin – Ghetto
If there’s one grime track that deserved to blow up then it’s this. Such a chilled beat that sounds like an early West Coast beat and in my opinion one of the best early grime beats so big up Jammer for that. This one was going off at Lord of the Decks years ago and was the first mention of the grime vet Ghetts but back when he was Ghetto. ‘Back in the day me and my bredrin Ghetto’. Shouts to Stormin and all of Nasty Crew for some of grime’s best tracks.
P Money – Ghetts Reply (Grime Daily)
Anyone who has ever doubted P Money check this riddim. P absolutely slewed Ghetts with a memorable diss track that was hyped and talked about for so long. Grimey beat, hard bars and cheap video, this is what grime beef should be, P Money destroyed it and Ghetts didn’t have a bad reply either but I have to say P won this beef. You’re the type to watch your bestfriend fight then afterwards say ‘did you see my back it’ oh my days was burial.
Various Artists – 2 Cold 4 The Roadz 2005
One of the best grime sets from way back when. The first guy you hear is the vet Devilman, to those new grime fans he isn’t just a new guy who sent for Skepta, but one of the most prestigious names in grime ever. The set features so many other artists and lasts for over an hour, perfect way to spend your time or get some gas movements going on for parties, enjoy.
That’s all, some grime classics for old fans’ memories and to entice new fans. Any I missed? Let me know in the comments below.
words by Rohan Parmar.