Grime and drill: the sound of London’s streets. Since the streets are empty now, we have been left with a dilemma: What’s going to happen to the music? Will the streets be empty so long that it destroys our homegrown talent? COVID-19 has affected all of us, but the music of London’s streets shows no signs of slowing down during this pandemic. Live music has obviously been postponed, but songs from artists TE dness and Psychs, show us that UK rap is as topical, as real and as authentic as ever.

Psychs…

The new track “Spreadin’ from South London artist Psychs, has taken on a more educational role lyrically than what we are used to. Psychs, dressed in full protective regalia in the form of surgical masks and gloves, and spits bars of advice, with regard to mitigating the spread of coronavirus. He goes as far as to tell people to wash their hands and avoid him if they are sneezing… quite graphically I might add!

TE dness…

TE dness is no stranger to political and topical content. Earlier songs include a tune called “EU Referendum” which as you can imagine was released 2016… clues in the title there! His new track “Pandemic” another shamelessly obvious title, is a very on the nose approach at describing the “sacrifices’ ‘ he has had to make during the lockdown. 

Putting, for the sake of keeping it PG, multiple promiscuous and indulgent behaviours on pause, he states that making money can’t wait, he’s gotta make some tunes and stay productive. A defiant cry from musicians in a turbulent time, with a not so subtle clip from the offices at number 10.

Chasing Pavements…

Grime music first burst onto the scene during the early 2000’s, providing us with a very real, very authentic portrait of life in London. Drill music, which appeared in Chicago in 2010, has now also come to Britain. Although, much more violent in lyrical nature and perhaps more irresponsible. 

Drill, like grime, has been an authentic voice in British music, regardless of your politics. Different genres associated with rap have come under some intense scrutiny over the years in Britain, many calling for certain genres like drill to be banned. These two rappers are showing the nation that the music is real. Whether it’s trappers, drillers or grime fans the UK’s homegrown talent speaks volumes about how we are facing this pandemic.