With Skepta’s 2015 U.S. breakthrough and Drake using More Life as a stimulus package, Grime has eased its way into America, leading to the genre – which is a blend of American rap, Afrobeats, and U.K. garage – to achieve enough recognition for Spotify to properly categorize it.
However, this recognition seems to be only a formality as the senior editor of Spotify U.K., Austin Darbo, has been shedding light on Grime and its artists for some time. In an interview with Clash, Darbo spoke about how he and Spotify want to use Grime to show how talent – specifically in minority-based genres – can make it to the forefront of mainstream music.
“There’s been a feeling that you have to go above and beyond what your peers in other genres have to achieve before being supported on a mainstream level,” Darbo said of Spotify, Grime, and its artists. “Spotify has brought a level of risk-taking to the market, in terms of, ‘We like this artist, we like the music, we can see that it’s reacting well.’”
This is the mindset that guided Darbo’s employer to recognize Grime as its own genre, which he announced via his twitter.
And with Spotify freeing Grime from the seemingly vague umbrella of “rap/hip-hop,” the company may have set a precedent for the categorization of other rap-based genres, setting in motion a series of events that could possibly impact the global progression of hip-hop culture.