Reloads Aren’t ‘Technical Difficulties’ And Grime Is A Culture


So once again some out of touch mainstream platform has embarrassed themselves by attempting to discuss a genre they clearly know nothing about. It wasn’t that long ago that NME were accusing Giggs of being a rapist. And now the Evening Standard are criticising Skepta’s landmark show at Alexandra Palace for ‘stopping and starting

Yes by that John Aizelwood actually meant ‘reloads’.

Pause for laughter. All jokes aside this is an issue we never talk about. Firstly grime, hip hop and all music is for everyone. But the reason we would even try and have these conversations is because of… (Say it with me) CULTURE!

it’s easy to underestimate how prevalent culture is. Your mum is probably the only person who still calls her jewellery ‘bling’; but she probably doesn’t know that Lil Wayne and the Hot Boys came up with the term in ’99. Three rappers from Atlanta created a dance that took over the planet in 3 months and peaked with Hilary Clinton doing it on the Ellen show. Around the same time Bow Wow also felt the need to remind everyone of the ‘true‘ origins of the term. Which is where problems begin.

Bow Wow was quickly and rightfully ridiculed for his take on ‘the dab’. But apply to this to other less ‘Ellenfriendly‘ parts of black culture and all of a sudden ‘ hip hop is the devil’s music‘. Hip Hop and Grime have been blamed for everything from violence, to drug use to degrading women, despite all these things being long established pillars of society before either genre came along.

So while John Aizelwood’s misdiagnosis of a reload gave us some brilliant tweets, Aizelwood clearly wasn’t the right person for the review:


The dig about Bowie is telling. Aizelwood didn’t want to be there; didn’t like the music and likely decided before he even arrived that he wouldn’t enjoy himself. And thankfully it backfired. But if he decided to be a tiny bit more malicious he really could’ve. How many times has both hip hop and grime been associated with thugs and hooligans? Or as former Labour Party politician Kim Howell’s say it: ‘boasting macho idiot rappers’

So let’s put a more Daily Mail journo with the same amount of knowledge, surrounded by people showing their appreciation with ‘gun fingers’…

So Stryder says ‘Gun fingers’ people start excitedly pushing and shoving and the Daily Mail journo’s headline looks like:



And that probably sounds ridiculous; about ridiculous as a man mistaking a reload for a technical difficulty.

These things happen because despite being the most popular and influential music on the planet; hip hop and grime are always reduced to ‘angry blacks shouting’. A music critic is required to have an intimate knowledge of The Beatles, Stones and Bowie, but the same respect isn’t shown to ‘Boy In Da Corner‘ and Eskimo Dance despite its clear cultural importance.

And things like reloads are mistaken technical difficulties because these music critics forget that urban music is tied to culture more than any other genre. There isn’t a cultural barrier to listening to a band like Blur, and if there is it certainly isn’t to the extent of a scene influenced by Jamaican sound systems and southern and east coast hip hop.

So unfortunately for the Evening Standards and Daily Mails of the world there is no getting rid of these ‘boasting macho idiot rappers‘. So to avoid more embarrassing incidents maybe diversify your staff with people who understand the scene and research the genre and the culture before you turn up to a sold out event that someone who ACTUALLY wanted to be there couldn’t get into.

Start with this:

…and go from there.