In its third year of running, the GRM Rated Awards proved that the celebration of UK rap and grime is here to stay.
Some of UK’s slickest gathered on an acceptably autumn evening at the Roundhouse in Camden for a night of appreciating those who are killing the scene right now. Hosted by Manny Norte and Joelah Noble, the awards highlighted not only the best of the UK’s rap and grime artist but it also gave recognition to the producers, directors, comedians and personalities alike.
After rapper Suspect opened the ceremony, the first award set a precedent for Stormzy who was one of the big winners of the night as he picked up Best Video of the Year for ‘Big For Your Boots’. AJ Tracey then gave a confident and effortless performance of ‘Quarterback’ and ‘Pasta’.
Mostack picked up the award for Best Mixtape with ‘High Street Kid’. He also took to the stage to perform alongside current Brummie high-flyer, Mist. Stefflon Don later showed us her star quality during her performance with her usual entourage of women on stage as she performed her current banger ‘Hurtin’ Me’.
Highlighting progression in the scene was a key theme of the night and this was seen not just in the award winners themselves. Bashy, who presented the award for Best Track with A Dot, spoke of the anniversary of his notorious anthem 'Black Boys' paying homage to the successes of the black men in the room.
The proliferation of personalities and comedians in the culture was also more than apparent. Michael Dapaah aka Big Shaq and Mo Gilligan were on hand throughout the night to provide some light humour. Dapaah also accepted the award for Personality of the Year, which was a hotly contested category.
Currently on tour, J Hus was absent on the night but scooped up two awards, with Best Album for ‘Common Sense’ and Best Track for ‘Did You See’. Making an obvious impression, Dave later provided arguably the best performance of the night with ‘Question Time’. Hard-hitting with just the lyrics on screen, it was all that was necessary.
Legacy was also celebrated in more ways than one throughout the evening. Major Ace, a legend for the grime scene was respectfully remembered. Stormzy deservedly picked up Best Artist who spoke about the success of the UK scene, stating that American rappers could “suck a d***.”
The Legacy Award went to Lethal Bizzle, who was clearly humbled by the nod to him. After a surprise performance from Stormzy, Lethal Bizzle got on stage to give us an array of his best music with a few Mo Fire Crew tracks thrown in for good measure.
There’s little doubt that the GRM Rated Awards has already begun to cement itself as an essential fixture on the UK grime calendar in a short space of time. CEO of GRM Daily, Posty, spoke on his planned vision for the awards at the beginning of the year. With its growth, he’s certainly proven that appreciating the grime scene from within is paying dividends for the culture.
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Words: Nikita Rathod
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