El-P Explains Why He's Always Viewed Grime as Simply "Rapping Nasty"

"I always thought it was just rap, personally."

During an interview on British television program Channel 4 News, Run The Jewels emcee/producer El-P was asked about grime, the East London-born genre which incorporates elements of electronic, dancehall and hip-hop.

"We don't have much time when we get here to run around but I'm a big fan [of grime]," said El-P. "I always thought it was just rap, personally. Call it whatever you want, it's cool, you know, but I see people rapping in a nasty way, so, I'll be a fan of anyone who does that."

As popular as grime has become in the U.K. over the past decade, it has not translated across the Atlantic to the United States. Perhaps, one of the reasons why is because like El-P, many Americans don't fully identify with the cultural roots of grime beyond its sonic similarities to hip-hop.

If grime is viewed as nothing more than a noxious version of European hip-hop, it's no wonder many Americans cite an inability to understand its artist's strong English accents as the primary reason why they choose not to listen.



Sarkodie, Offset Jim & ALEMEDA: Best of the Week

Sarkodie, Offset Jim, and ALEMEDA, among others, had the best new songs on Audiomack this week.



The Miami-bred artist is a Trojan horse in today's underground rap landscape.


Fenix Flexin Learned How to Inspire Himself

In a post-Shoreline Mafia world, rapper Fenix Flexin has found peace within himself. He breaks it down for Audiomack World.

As El-P knows from having worked with grime forefather Dizzee Rascal for a number of years, there is, of course, more to grime than just "rapping in a nasty way."

While it would be impossible for grime artists to educate an entire country on the elemental differences between hip-hop—a genre birthed in New York City—and grime—a genre birthed in London—there is a fairly easy way for curious music fans to be in the know. "Thank God, the internet has allowed us to share in those cultures from a distance," said El-P. 

Get your Google on, folks.

Editor's Note: I did a very poor job of making clear in the original version of this article that El-P's comments were merely a jumping off point for a larger discussion about the lack of appreciation for grime Stateside. I have updated the piece to provide further contextualization for the original purpose of the article. We will try to do better next time.

Photo CreditDerrick Rossignol



Zaytoven Explains Why He Never Spends More Than 10 Minutes Making a Beat

"There is no record that you done heard me produce that I done spent over 10 minutes on."


Eminem Explains Why He Records "Close to 50 Songs" for Each Album

"You’re not going to hit it every single time."


Tyler, The Creator on Not Being Recognized as a Trendsetter: “They Always Leave Me Out”

"I’ll just never, ever be looked at as (an originator) and it’s a bummer.”


2 Chainz Creates a Rap Supergroup “Starting Five” & It’s Perfect

Let's take just one second to enjoy the thought of these five uniting.


August Alsina Calls Def Jam "Trash," Explains Why He Wants Off the Label

"I would love to put my album out but DEF JAM is holding it/me hostage..."


El-P’s Advice to Any Artist: “Stop Giving A F*ck ASAP"

"I had reduced my ambition to trying to make great records, and that’s when I was re-born."