It cannot be argued that music is a global language. Humanity the world over has the ability to read and perform music however this does not mean that music cant be localised in its respective genres. Now I realise that this is one of the most formal introductions to my blog posts ever, I am actually trying to make myself “semi-professional”, don’t laugh.
The genres in question that I have such an extensive knowledge on, please sense the sarcasm, are Hip-hop, Grime and Rap. Personally I feel like I fall in an incredilby “white” selection of the population when it comes to my music taste, go follow my Soundcloud to see for yourself… joking again, so much sarcasm.
These genres of music are in fact a global spectacle when you look at how they have spread to different countries. However they have been localised their specific regions as different countries and cultures appropriate these music genres and make them their own.
Some immediate and current examples of localised artists in the rap genre to start with. To begin our journey we look to the United Kingdom, the home of the world famous Stormzy. Stormzy first came bursting through the infinity cluttered internet space in 2010 and his career only globally exploded from here. Comparatively, Stormzy’s style far differs from any grime/rap that is produced from the USA or Australia purely by the tempo and the word selection. Stormzy, similarly to other British rappers like Wiley, has a very unique voice that places them in the “grime” genre. Grime is a very British phenomenon originating in London in the early 2000’s. What makes grime different, according to Jessica Lindsey of ‘Metro Magazine’ is:
Stormzy’s lyrics are very politically motivated which is a much clearer link to music from the same genre in countries like Australia. He has said lines like “Fuck Boris”, referring to the current British Prime-minister Boris Johnson proving and getting blatantly involved in the British political scene by getting behind the Labour Party proves how passionate and undeterred the artist can be when it comes to current national issues.
Across the world, Australia has a similar artist that is a personal favourite of mine and who I would like to briefly study. His name is Briggs and he strays away from the traditionally British genre of grime and transitions into the Hip-hop genre that has proved much more popular in Australia even though grime is seeing a surface on the Australian charts. Briggs is an Indigenous artist who is an outspoken advocate for indigenous rights and freedoms. All of his music transcends this notion and he has been seen by some in the international community as “bias” and this effects his music. I have chosen Briggs as an example because he is a modern Australian Artist who may not be as global as the likes of Stormzy or Wiley BUT uses the global language of music, specifically rap, to carry messages and beliefs and push the genre further forward into the 21st century.