this is grime: the new book exploring the most urgent british music subculture since punk

OG grime fan and i-D Features Director Hattie Collins teams up with photographer Olivia Rose for the first publication ever to collect an oral and visual history of grime from within the scene itself.

by Charlotte Gush
23 March 2016, 4:33pm

Grime is unquestionably the most urgent, unique and important music subculture to explode in Britain since punk, and, as it launches into its second decade and sets its sights on world domination -- with Skepta and Stormzy packing out venues stateside as well as at home, and cosigns from Drake and Kanye -- it's high time the scene was documented in a proper grime bible.

That book has just been announced, with OG grime fan and i-D Features Director Hattie Collins teaming up with regular i-D contributor, the photographer Olivia Rose, to present This Is Grime: a 224 page tome with stunning images that collects -- for the first time ever -- an oral history of the British subculture from the people at its very core.

"It feels particularly timely that we are making This Is Grime in 2016, with the current success, globally, of both its elder statesmen, including Skepta, and newer stars such as Stormzy. We're really excited to produce a book that documents this thriving subculture in its entirely," Hattie exclusively tells i-D. "Crucially, this is an oral history about grime, by grime. As well as portraiture that takes the scene into a much more intimate setting, the story is narrated by the scene itself -- from MCs and producers, to DJs and bloggers," she explains, concluding, "It's time for the scene to immortalize this genre in print."

"We both wanted to document grime as a subculture and create a book that looks beyond just the MCs, the raves, and the energy -- not just capturing the scene, but those who have documented it themselves over the years -- we wanted to show people what they couldn't already see on Instagram," Olivia Rose adds.

"13 years ago, from the depths of Bow E3, the voice of a generation emerged," Hattie writes in the book's introduction. "It was dark, it was angry, it was loud, it was unapologetic. It was provocative and fiercely independent. It was the brittle sound of disillusionment, resentment and despair, but also the voice of hope… This Is Grime."

On how the book came about, Hattie explains: "I'd had the vague idea for a book about grime for a few years, but the concept really took shape when I met and worked with Olivia on a number of shoots for i-D. We work really well together, and really admire each other's work, so it made perfect sense to collaborate on a project that was, is, a labor of love. Grime has been around -- arguably, depending on who you talk to -- since 2001, in one iteration or other. Though Simon Wheatley and Ewen Spencer have contributed wonderful books on the scene, there hasn't to date been a book that documents the scene narratively and visually".

Pre-order This Is Grime by Hattie Collins and Olivia Rose on Amazon now. The book is out September 8, 2016, published by Hodder & Stoughton.


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Olivia Rose

hattie collins
olivia rose
this is grime