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New grime exhibition to open in London this summer

It will feature the likes of Skepta and Roony "Risky Roadz" Keefe and Jammer

  • Aneesa Ahmed | Image: John Chase/Museum of London
  • 12 April 2022
New grime exhibition to open in London this summer

An exhibition celebrating grime is set to open at the Museum of London this summer titled Grime Stories: from the corner to the mainstream.

The exhibition was partly curated by Roony 'Risky’ Keefe and will include newly commissioned films, artefacts, artworks and presentations of history.

It follows the journey of the genre from its birth in youth clubs and pirate radio stations in the early 2000s to seminal albums like Dizzee Rascal’s 2014 hit ‘Boy in da Corner’ getting mainstream attention. The exhibition will be exploring the role of London and the inner-city estates of East London where the genre was born.

Read this next: Grime: The complete history in 10 perfect tracks

Fans can expect to see contributions from their favourite artists who would have been around at the inception of the genre 20 years ago. A main attraction at the exhibition is the videography shown which features Skepta and DJ Slimzee as well as grime MC and producer Jammer, Ruff Sqwad’s Rapid and Slix, and Troy 'A+' Miller from Practice Hours.

Emerging talent addresses the future of grime in a piece created in cooperation with Ruff Sqwad Arts Foundation, while another contains an interview with Jammer from the renowned Dungeon, where the iconic MC fight series Lord Of The Mics was filmed.

A newly commissioned large-scale illustration by artist Willkay depicts the changing visage of east London, with the concrete of the city's council estates juxtaposed against the glass towers of Canary Wharf.

The artwork, which was created from the perspective of a rooftop, pays homage to the underground network of pirate radio stations and aerial rigs on skyscrapers that helped grime music gain global renown.

Read this next: HANG is Scotland's first-ever grime and hip hop conference

Roony ‘Risky’ Keefe, display co-producer, said: “Grime is a culture in itself and uniquely houses London’s attitude and DIY spirit. In two decades, it has given so much back, not only to the city but to an international audience. Grime's influence has changed music forever.

"This Museum of London display makes me feel proud to see grime’s legacy acknowledged, knowing how far the scene has come and how essential it is to London’s culture. Grime continues to push boundaries and Grime Stories: from the corner to the mainstream will bring its history and pioneering work to a whole new audience.”

Dhelia Snoussi, the Museum of London’s Youth Culture Curator, said: “[The exhibition] tells the story of grime in the fabric of London’s history: one of place and community, all built without the support of mainstream radio and friends in high places.

"The global success of the scene could not have been achieved without the social and physical infrastructure underpinning grime music. By honing in on significant landmarks that nurtured the music, Grime Stories explores the relationship between sound and place and questions what the sonic consequences of urban gentrification might be for music in east London.”

Read this next: How grime and afrobeat is influencing UK jazz

You'll be able to check out Grime Stories: from the corner to the mainstream from June 17 for free at The Museum of London. For more information visit their website here.

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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