Grime Stories

A new exhibition celebrating the music, people and places central to the UK grime scene has opened at the Museum of London. The free display, titled ‘Grime Stories: from the corner to the mainstream’, collects photographs, illustrations, audio and video footage to tell the story of the scene’s emergence in the early 2000s via youth clubs, pirate radio stations and record stores in East London.

Co-curated by one of the scene’s first cameramen, Roony ‘RiskyRoadz’ Keefe, ’Grime Stories’ acts as both a historical study of the genre and an examination of the culture behind it. With photos of pioneer MC and producer Jammer’s basement and interviews with Rinse FM DJs among the highlights, the display also celebrates those responsible for supporting young stars such as Skepta in their early days — parents, carers and youth workers included.

With Black and working-class ingenuity central to the narrative of ‘Grime Stories’, the exhibition also offers a valuable lens through which to better understand the fabric of the city around us. With London having already changed significantly in the past 20 years, patrons are left to consider how the landscape of grime will continue to be affected in the years to come.

‘Grime Stories’ is on display at the Museum of London until December 4th, 2022.

Jammer (Real Name Jahmek Power in his studio)

Images via John Chase/Museum of London