From Skepta to Shy FX, the UK has produced a bucket load of trail blazing artists.

Grime has had its moment and right now UK rap is in the midst of its own. They emerged off the back of genres such as garage and dubstep and we’ve curated five documentaries to dig into that follow modern stars, trace the beginnings of sounds and bring a new appreciation of some of the UK’s grittier genres.

1. Don’t Call It Road Rap 

A documentary from Vice’s musical counterpart Noisey. ‘Don’t Call It Road Rap’ was filmed around London over a year, investigating the explosion of UK rap and drill music and follows some of the most important MCs as they try to focus on music and keep their lives on a positive track.

Narrated by Mike Skinner of The Streets.

2. Skepta: Top Boy

Another one from Noisey, they followed Skepta across America in the lead up to his performance with Drake at OVO fest in Toronto.

This one gets up close and personal with one of the pioneering UK mcs.

3. Niche / Bassline Documentary – It’s Bass Up North

Dazed took a trip up north with director David Graham and chatted to the likes of Toddla T, Paleface and DJ Smalls to trace the beginnings of Bassline.

4. The New Step

Radio 1 produced this film focusing on the emergence of Dubstep in the UK.

Examining the relationship between UK garage’s crash and the rise of Dubstep in the United Kingdom, the doc views the sound’s development through an interesting lens.

A fascinating time capsule from an era often spoken about but documented here almost in real time.

5. Jungle Fever 

This BBC 2 documentary from 1994 follows the rise of Jungle in the UK. Featuring pioneers and innovators such as Shy Fx, Uk Apache, LTJ Bukem, Fabio, DJ Rap, Mc Lenny and Mc Gunsmoke.

Words: Dylan Murphy 
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