Rated Awards: More Than The Music
- Frances Acquaah
Last night KA and Grm Daily debuted the very first Rated Awards Frances shares her experiences of the night
In Brixton, there are two billboards advertising the Rated Awards within a 5 minute walking distance. In the office we argued about who would take the gong for best track because we just couldn’t come to a majority decision. I wasn’t really sure what to expect and as a person that is usually quite underwhelmed, I was pleasantly surprised.
The Rated Awards was a celebration of culture and a showcase of some of the UK’s most promising talent. Though it was admittedly quite London centric, the new offering of an award ceremony that is uncensored, undiluted and Sam Smith free (shade intended) is a welcome offering to the grime genre which until recently has struggled to get the recognition it deserves from mainstream media.
The award ceremony was opened by the extremely talented violinist, Daj Jordan, who performed a mashup of the greatest grime tracks from Channel U classics to the present day. It was reminiscent of last months Grime Symphony at BBC proms and a further reminder of how much the grime genre has achieved this year.
The performances that followed included; our current cover star Bonkaz, Ghetts who took the energy levels to 100 every time he set foot on the stage and Kano who was rightly presented with the grm legacy award.
One thing that became clear yesterday, was the sense of solidarity amongst talent – both on and off stage. (That is bar Charlie Sloth and Westwood indirecting each other and the whole Chipmunk, Bugzy Malone thing.) And it was more than artists bigging each other up and the long list of cameos this year. It was Stormzy plugging Section Boys debut album, Don’t Panic, which dropped at midnight. It’s him inviting them to share the stage with him when he collected his award for best video. It’s the fact that right now, Krept and Bonkaz amongst others all have the Section Boys album cover as their Twitter display picture and that beforehand it was Wickedskengman 4 in support of Stormzy’s latest freestyle.
My point is, although the Rated Awards was in theory artists competing for our votes, there was a real sense of unity throughout the process. And I don’t’ want to take away from anyone’s individual talent, but I personally feel the support and collective push coming from everyone in their respective positions, is a contributing factor to putting grime on the map on a global scale. Stormzy is selling out in Australia and Skepta is spitting over Afrobeats tracks with Drake and it still sounds authentic and sick. Can you just pause and take that in?
The Rated Awards highlighted all that has been achieved this past few months and I feel it will be an important space in years to come to facilitate a genre that has been raw and unapologetic since its birth. I can only hope that it continues to grow with the support of brands that allow it to have the same freedom that I witnessed yesterday.
In light of all of the above, we had a little fun of our own and asked a few people what artists they are rating in 2016:
Krept and Konan, Play Dirty ya dun know
Josh Arce, Chuck 20 and Tilla
Skepta all day everyday!
Wstrn obviously! Who else would you be rating
Cadet Cadet Cadet
Feature Image by Brandon Fraser