Having played his own part in putting Grime music on the map, Darren Joseph, aka DJ Target documents, in his first-ever book, how a bunch of kids back in the early 2000s decided to do their own thing, and start the whole movement that is Grime, not even realising the impact and mainstream success it would eventually have – not just nationally, but globally.
Launched to a full-house at Ace Hotel’s basement club last month and currently ranking as number #1 Best-Seller on Amazon’s Rap & Hip-Hop Music books & Rapper Biographies, Grime Kids arrives to give us a unique inside story on how the phenomenon of Grime came about.
On Grime Kids, Target details his own journey from being a kid on the block sneaking into jungle raves with his mates, to spinning tunes in UK garage and grime collectives Pay As You Go Cartel and Roll Deep and doing pirate radio, whilst playing at local house parties for free to get people hyped.
He has now reached a point in his career where he’s holding a primetime-slot show on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra. All that, while running his own label and club-nights and being booked to play at clubs and festivals around the world, still championing, of course, UK underground music to this very day.
Before it became a worldwide revolution, grime started as a hobby and passion, and bloomed through struggle and lack of opportunity for young creatives. As DJ Target explains in the beginning of the book: “A voice emerged from the youth, with an urgency that demanded to be heard. A voice of our own. It began on east London housing estates, a sound influenced by everything from Jamaican dancehall and US hip hop to British underground scenes, like jungle and UK garage”.
Those kids simply shared the same vision and love for music, that they worked together and saw the birth, decline and finally re-birth (and rise!) of grime.
As he goes, Target lists all the UK jungle, garage and grime legends he’s encountered over the years and the role they played in his life and development as a producer and DJ and in shaping the genre of grime music. He talks about the way pioneers in the British (back then) underground scene, the ‘Godfather of Grime’ Wiley & Dizzee Rascal first met in his bedroom, and how other massive MCs had their breakthrough.
In addition to that, he analyses clashes between MCs and collectives, whilst he doesn’t leave out the ever so problematic form-696 – a measure that was introduced by the Met police in 2006 as a risk assessment process to help prevent violence in music events after some incidents took place.
He finally chats about the overload of negative press that grime received for a while and eventually, the time it all started to go right and everyone’s efforts were redeemed.
It’s basically been an absolute rollercoaster of a journey, but evidently, grime is here to stay, gaining more success and international recognition by the minute. And before I give anything else away, I’ll leave you to it. You can read about all the above (and more) yourselves.
Whether you’re a new grime fan, have been a follower of the movement from day one, or fall somewhere in the middle, this book is eye-opening and a must-read for any music lover.
Grime Kids is available now in hardback, ebook and audiobook (narrated by the man himself) formats from all the usual book retailers, purchase it here.
Words by Sofia Theaikouli