This book is a photographic record compiled over a 12 year period, focussing on the youth of London's inner-city at a vital time, taking as its prism the genre of grime - the most significant and controversial musical expression to emerge from the UK since punk. Grime was essentially the UK's own authentic response to hip hop, an angst-ridden, confrontational music conveying the hopes and frustrations of an apolitical generation locked into decaying housing estates. The book is a visual reflection of what grime represented, chronicling the conditions that spawned the genre. It is a combination of music portraiture, social documentary and architectural photography. Many black youths reject the urban label that has been imposed on them by commerce and the media. There is a significant discrepancy between perceptions of black culture as `cool' and the often-harsh reality of being born black on a London council estate. Don't Call me Urban! takes us through the raw environment from which the new stars of British popular music, such as Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder emerged, and introduces us to many other hopefuls who remain stranded in bedroom studios, hidden amongst concrete blocks glamorized in countless music videos. The Time of Grime is an era when `clashing' and postcode warfare have emerged, when young lives have fallen victim to absurdly trivial disputes, when rampant material aspiration collides with grim social reality. The book is a unique and penetrating document of an era in which London's inner-city youth has veered out of control.
Youth unemployment in the UK remains around the one million mark, with many young people from impoverished backgrounds becoming and remaining NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). However, the NEET categorisation covertly disguises and obscures the significance of the diverse range of activities, achievements and accomplishments of those who operate in the informal creative economy. With grime music and its related enterprise a key component of the urban music economy, this book employs the inherent contradictions and questions that emerge from an exploration of the grime music scene to build a complex reading of the socio-economic significance of urban music. Incorporating insightful dialogue with the participants in this economy, White challenges the prevailing wisdom on marginalised young people, whilst also confronting the assumption that the inertia and localisation of the grime culture results from its close links to NEET "members" and the informal sector. Offering an ethnographic and timely critique of the NEET classification, this compelling book would be suitable for undergraduate and post-graduate students interested in urban studies, business, work and labour, education and employment, ethnography, music, and cultural studies.
Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945 provides the first broad scholarly discussion of this music since 1990. The book critically examines key moments in the history of black British popular music from 1940s jazz to 1970s soul and reggae, 1990s Jungle and the sounds of Dubstep and Grime that have echoed through the 2000s. While the book offers a history it also discusses the ways black musics in Britain have intersected with the politics of race and class, multiculturalism, gender and sexuality, and debates about media and technology. Contributors examine the impact of the local, the ways that black music in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and London evolved differently and how black popular music in Britain has always developed in complex interaction with the dominant British popular music tradition. This tradition has its own histories located in folk music, music hall and a constant engagement, since the nineteenth century, with American popular music, itself a dynamic mixing of African-American, Latin American and other musics. The ideas that run through various chapters form connecting narratives that challenge dominant understandings of black popular music in Britain and will be essential reading for those interested in Popular Music Studies, Black British Studies and Cultural Studies.
The impact of global capital and foreign investment on local communities is being felt in major cities across the world. Since the 2012 Olympics was awarded to the British capital, East London has been at the heart of the largest and most all-encompassing top-down urban regeneration strategy in civic history. At the centre of this has been the local government, Newham Council, and their daring proposal: an "Arc of Opportunity" for developers to transform 1,412 hectares of Newham. This proposal was outlined in a short film, London's Regeneration Supernova, and shown to foreign developers and businesses at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. While the sweeping changes to East London have been keenly felt by locals, the symbolism and practicalities of these changes - for the local area, and the world alike - are overdue serious investigation. Regeneration Songs is about how places are turned into simple stories for packaged investment opportunities, how people living in those places relate to those stories, and how music and art can render those stories in many different ways. The book will also include a download code to obtain the related musical project, Music for Masterplanning - in which musicians from East London soundtracked London's Regeneration Supernova - and a 32-page glossy insert detailing the artists involved.