Kid Bookie Expounds Grime's Developments / by Alex Young

Kid Bookie

Kid Bookie

Life in other places intrigues those foreign to the particular places. People want to know what influences the sounds and tastes of an area or learn about the traditions that are unique to a location. From there, people can find relatable qualities and inspiration based on how different or how similar various cultures are.

Learning anything new is important for pushing progress in all disciplines. For instance, music genres like baile funk from Brazil's favelas or grime from the United Kingdom all tell a narrative of a place and time on this earth that is special to the next territory. The music stands alone and also compares to what is popular, like grime and hip-hop.

People need to begin to understand unfamiliar things in order to appreciate them. So, to further the appreciation for grime, especially in the United States, InTheRough links with Kid Bookie, a grime artist from South East London, to speak on the genre's developments.

Kid Bookie adheres to fundamental grime practices with rhymes over electronic dance beats, like in his song "Calm Down." However, the artists' hip-hop lyricism shines in his freestyle with Tim Westwood or any number of his cyphers. Bookie also pushes grime and UK hip-hop's expansion in his latest mixtape, "You'll Rate Me When I'm Dead." The single "Premonition," which features both U.K. and U.S. talent courtesy of singer Christie, producer Dot Rotten, and Atlanta rapper Nasaan, respectively, leads the project.

As a movement, grime catches popular attention in the U.K. and it has crossed over into music culture in the States. Now, guided by questions from ITR staff, Kid Bookie expounds on the life and styles born from an independent and expressive art form that connects the world through the common ground of music.

1. How have you seen grime grow in the UK's urban communities?

Organically, within the decade-plus it's been in fruition, a new generation has grown up with the sound of British music as there go to commodity, from "U.K." Rap to Hip Hop (even though I hate labeling as music is a whole spectrum, not to limit sound by country) there's teenagers in college and secondary school that were just tadpoles in there Dad's nut sack when the sound was birthed.

2. Is grime fashion representative of youthfulness, UK weather, and creative expression to match the music? 

A lot of Grime fashion is a representative of what they see the key figures wearing and as always, influence the people below. I haven't seen a lot of fearless fashion within this culture yet as I believe there is still a stigma attached to being too expressive, in my humble opinion and what I mean by that is, look at Punk music, very fearless and rebellious in the style, Grime is dark and as its nature suggests, so is its garment choice.. I was at a Grime set the other day and it was all colours ranging from navy blue to black (obviously, until Summer comes around again and then it's maxi dress for everyone, even the dudes).

3. Jacket or sweater?

Jacket, universally fits anything.

4. How does grime have influence in UK popular culture?

I guess when something is the "in thing" the influx of what that popularity brings then serves as an influence to the masses. Some do their research, some enjoy what's current and consistently put out during it's 'hype' period, but as anything that's progressive, it's influence varies to who it gravitates towards it.

5. In your new single, "Premonition," you are seen wearing a Braves jacket. How does American sport transcend into grime and lifestyle in the UK?

America is a large country, it's influenced smaller nations for years, allowing us to manipulate the idea and create our own establishment, but just because we have.. doesn't mean you shouldn't try conquer the world with your art or with whatever ethos you carry. From Nike to other American brands. there's always been a sport influence in our scene, even country. Plus I did just come back from Atlanta watching the Braves at home and Nasaan IS an Atlanta-based artist, so I guess it correlated well.

6. What is your dream as you progress in life as a musician?

Well, a dream isn't real, so I try not to dream to face disappointment, I used to dream of fucking Buffy the vampire slayer and I always just woke up to disappointment anyway, so fuck dreams. I like to manifest reality, the power of thought and writing what you want into existence is WAY more powerful than any dream you can prep up to have, so I have 'premonitions'  (see what I did?).