'Hallowed be thy Grime? : A musicological and sociological genealogy of Grime music and its relation to Black Atlantic religious discourse' (#HBTG?)
AbstractGrime is a Black British music genre originating from London in the early 2000s. Linked to inner-city street/road culture, it is a subaltern subculture that initially experienced criminalisation, racialisation and marginalisation through the media and music industries, politicians, legislation, policing – mainstream British society. This ethnographic project reclaims power from the mainstream marginalising gaze by enabling the scene's predominantly Black and White working class members to elucidate and direct Grime's narrative from its inception. The project uses Foucault’s (1997) definition of genealogy to interrogate Grime's emergence musically and subculturally. It uses Lena’s AgSIT (2012) genre model to examine Grime's development teleologically. Hall's (1978) 'Internal Colonies' and Baker's Black Public Sphere (1996) are used in conjunction to examine the significance of local (tangible) and cultural (intangible) influences on Grime and how these connect to African diasporic cultural and spiritual practice (Mbiti 1991). Scene directed narrative highlights subcultural understandings of British society, the world, universe and sublime. It interrogates communal and personal identifications, subcultural fan practices and affective investments, to draw out subversive or normative meaning making with respect to politics, religion/spirituality, race, class, gender and technological democratisation. Ethnographic data was captured through in-depth semi-structured interviews, participant observation (events and Twitter) and Musicological Discourse Analysis (sonic and lyrics), to enable the exploration of 21st century inner-city subaltern youth experience; independent from, and, in dialogue with wider British society. Thematic analysis was applied across all data collection methods. This enabled the triangulation of Grime subcultural experience through various vantage points. This project makes a scholarly contribution by creating a new narrative for Grime, identifying the substantive issues of music, ‘race’, religion/spirituality, subalternity and technological democratisation, in addition to developing theories for musical analysis and affective investment through music, culture and spirituality for the social sciences.
TypeThesis or Dissertation
Charles, Monique (2016) 'Hallowed be thy Grime? : A musicological and sociological genealogy of Grime music and its relation to Black Atlantic religious discourse' (#HBTG?). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.