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A Grime Symphony at Royal Albert Hall- Great Grime Goes Global!

17/08/2015 23:46 BST | Updated 13/08/2016 10:59 BST

How grime affected the planet. #GrimeSymphony #APersonalMemory

Much has been made about the idea that this really looks to be the year remembered for grime music going global.

My first recollections of the grime scene are around 18 years ago, in 1997, when acts like Wiley used to jump on the mic mc'ing on jungle tracks, on pirate radio. He then set up a music click called Pay as U Go Cartel. A few years later in 2001, Pay as U Go released a single called Champagne Dance that had the capitals urban nightclubs jumping. At the same time, I heard a lot of street buzz about a garage music, 20-strong crew from south London who my friend managed, who went by the name So Solid Crew and had a track called 'Oh No'.

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JASMINE WITH SO SOLID CREW.

PIC Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala.

So Solid and Wiley seemed to be in a race to make it big back then. My peers were always asking each other about the acts latest mix tapes and live shows. Wiley even went so far as to set up another group called Roll Deep (which included Dizee Rascal), and called their sound EskiBeat, and in 2002 there was mass frenzy at his HUGE music event Eskimo Dance (look it up!).

After this more and more local enthusiastic music makers formed crews, posses, cliques- call them what you will. Some rolled as groups or duo's like More Fire Crew and Kray Twinz, others fragmented off into solo stars like Lethal B and Kano, and more recently Giggs, Stormzy, Jammer, Skepta, JME, P Money, Ghetts, Krept & Konan and more, which left fans back then, and now, constantly debating whether they were hip-hop or grime. Frankly many acts made tracks that were both. Who cares?

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JASMINE WITH LETHAL B.

PIC Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala.

JAS K&K

JASMINE WITH KREPT & KONAN.

PIC Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala.

This year has had some big moments with international link ups too. Everyone had an opinion on Kanye West bringing out a stage full of grime MCs at the Brit Awards and Wireless saw Drake bring out Skepta during his headline performance, but they weren't first.

This week, London's Royal Albert Hall was full of grime and hip-hop fans of the current generation, who had gathered to watch the current heroes of the scene, perform their biggest hits, accompanied by Jules Buckley and his Metropole Orkest. The show was very powerful with a line-up that seemed to be the golden era of grime coming of age put together by BBC Radio 1Xtra.

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This years main man, Thornton Heath's Stormzy, kicked off proceedings with current teen anthem ''where do you know me from''.

STORMZY

STORMZY AT BBC RADIO 1XTRA'S #GRIMESYMPHONY.

PIC COURTESY BBC.CO.UK.

He was followed by our host for the night - Tottenham's Wretch32 - who was rocking a Rolling Stones look to perform his hit '6 words'.

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WRETCH32 AT BBC RADIO 1XTRA'S #GRIMESYMPHONY.

PIC COURTESY BBC.CO.UK.

Holding the side up for the ladies was Islington's Lil Simz rapping ''wings'' and yelling the F word! Simz has been creating a big buzz for herself after last years Late At The Tate art-in-motion showcases. Another recent anthem has been Fekky's 'way too much' which was next on the bill and had replaced Skepta's appearance for resaons unknown.

LIL SIMZ

LIL SIMZ AT BBC RADIO 1XTRA'S #GRIMESYMPHONY.

PIC COURTESY BBC.CO.UK.

Wretch then returned for brand new track a love song titled 'Something', which was followed by South London's popular duo Krept & Konan, who repped Croydon massive by killing it with their smashes ''Freak of the week' and 'Don't waste my time' for which the energy levels in the audience went up ten-fold.

K&K

KREPT & KONAN AT BBC RADIO 1XTRA'S #GRIMESYMPHONY.

PIC COURTESY BBC.CO.UK.

Then Wretch returned for his classic hit ''Don't go'' accompanied by nineties star Shola Ama taking over Josh Kumra's part on the hook.

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WRETCH32 AND SHOLA AMA AT BBC RADIO 1XTRA'S #GRIMESYMPHONY.

PIC COURTESY BBC.CO.UK.

After this was one of my highlights of the night; Chip, Kano and Wretch doing a track together and looking like a rock band that performed as a trio full time. The spectacle and excitement reached a crescendo level!

Next, taking the vibe up uber levels was Lethal B, who performed his all time classic 'Pow' (which he made first in 2004 with great MC's from that era, and then again in 2011 with more recent grime stars). I remember filming a Jay Z tour diary in Europe a decade ago and feeling chuffed night after night, as Jay performed his own version on stages across the continent. The #TeamUk pride was on high levels even back then! Lethal B has a plethora of hits so held the stage for some time!

LETHAL B SHAKKA

LETHAL B AND SHAKKA AT BBC RADIO 1XTRA'S #GRIMESYMPHONY.

PIC COURTESY BBC.CO.UK.

The merging of the classical orchestra and London's finest grime talent, was a perfect union with Wretch and Chip eventually actually adorning the orchestras leader Jules Buckley with their gold chains. (The biggest accolade one musician in the hip-hop world can give another). In my opinion, after his collaborations with Goldie and others, Jules is the Jigga of the classical world.

JULES CHAIN WR

JULES BUCKLY IS CROWNED HONOURARY MEMBER OF THE GRIME SCENE. JULES AND WRETCH AT BBC RADIO 1XTRA'S #GRIMESYMPHONY.

PIC COURTESY BBC.CO.UK.

The final bow, line up of unity, was emotional for this west London lass and her mates that have seen championing the scene for over two decades. The baton was handed over a long time ago and its clearly in safe hands.

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Congratulations to the BBC Radio 1Xtra team for an immense vision, and bringing diverse young audiences to a heritage site that they may not have felt catered for their tastes in the past.

BBC Radio 1Xtra - a brand that I think could lead in helping its sister TV brand in how to make effortless, authentic, youth programming.