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This Is Grime

RWD magazine covers, 2016. Photo: Olivia Rose.

This Is Grime, by Hattie Collins and Olivia Rose. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2016. 320 pages.

THE ONLY STATESIDE PHOTOGRAPH in Hattie Collins and Olivia Rose’s book This Is Grime flickers at the edge of abstraction. Illumined by camera flash, a hazy specter—the fug of weed smoke, maybe—renders the signage of Williamsburg’s Music Hall barely legible: DIZZEE RASCAL—BOY IN DA CORNER. The show took place this past May, and Dizzee, offered an undisclosed fee by the Red Bull Music Academy, had agreed to perform the entirety of his Mercury Prize–winning album Boy in da Corner (2003)—something he said he’d never do—in New York, no less.

With a sound that could only have emerged from the diasporic foment of London, Boy in da Corner offered everything there was to be known about postmillennial Britain’s capital city, an unremitting setting so potently conjured,

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