On this week's episode of "What's Good?", the music segment will be dedicated to Stormzy and trying to encapsulate the culture-defining performance he had at Glastonbury 2019. While I'll do that on the pod, I want to take this time to broaden the lens.
I have been wanting to put this on wax for a while now and the reason I haven't is simply because I say it so often off wax that I just kept forgetting to put it on wax... You still with me?
Okay, let me just jump right in and say it. We're entering a Golden Age for UK Black Music. Now you may be wondering what I mean by "Black Music". This is what I mean by "broaden the lens". I'm not just talking about Grime, Rap & Hip-Hop. (They're different entities.) I'm also talking about UK Jazz, UK Soul/R&B. Just black artists in the UK getting shine. The raw numbers are rising and it's amazing to see.
If you're a regular visitor, you may remember my article on "The Four Best Pens In The UK." I was being very specific when it came to that of course, but that's part of my reasoning. If you look at the landscape of Black Music compared to 10 years ago, the platter is becoming so eclectic. There weren't any Loyle Carner's 10 years ago! Or Little Simz. There were probably Ocean Wisdom's, but not to the point where they had a genuine and recognised ecosystem like Wiz & the UK Hip-Hop scene has.
Look at the decade's past. There was always one genre dominating. Reggae had a moment, then Jungle, then Garage, then Grime. Now, we have five, potentially more genres where Black & British artists are able to thrive, big each other up, cross genres and create works of art we haven't seen on these shores to this level.
Grime, UK Rap & UK Soul/R&B have been mainstays in this century, but now we have so many artists coming through with fresh sounds and I honestly think there's never been a better time to be into the genres I mentioned.
Stormzy's Glastonbury performance was a watershed moment & cemented this opinion I have had for over a year now. But the entire community are pushing and I'm here for all of it.