Montreal's Grime scene is young, healthy and vibrant. It is possible to find Grime nights at quite a few places around the city; Forward music at the Passeport, Apocalyptica's Freedembass night and E.S.L. Crew's night at the Blizzarts spring to mind. A few individuals (Jas Na$ty etc) including myself (Intoccabile), have been pushing the sound as early as 2004 and continue to do so today.
Regarding our local actors, I believe it is important to establish a distinction between those who were/are influenced by the Grime aesthetic but are not strictly Grime artists or dj's (Omnikrom, Ghislain Poirier, Dj Inyourface, and internationally renowned performer Taxi Nouveau, among many others) and the Grime purists (Jas Na$ty, Ghost, Intoccabile, Kadryn, and many more).
Why oh why did it take so long for Grime to blow up in Montreal? Let's go back in time and consider how Grime was received in the urban and EDM (Electronic Dance Music) scenes.
Initially, Montreal's local urban scene did not "get" Grime. At all. To put it bluntly, it sounded too electronic -- an insult, in the mouth of an urban music lover at the time -- too much like the kind of music the typical urban music fan did not want to hear! Fans of EDM on the other hand understood Grime almost immediately and certainly appreciated the novelty of it. A great portion however, were put off by the sheer aggressiveness, tone and dark lyrical content of the mc's (all things you could find in urban music). Grime was in an awkward position. It was too electronic and not "black" enough for one scene, but too "black", too shout and too lyrically dark for the other scene who did appreciate the raw, quirky and uncompromising aesthetic. The response by both scenes had consequences that lasted for years.
In terms of labels and releases, Fyutchaflex recordings, run by myself, is still - after all those years - the only local Grime label. There are quite a few Grime producers, but to be honest it will take some time for the quality of Montreal's output to be comparable to what is being done in other cities in North America – Toronto, New York and San Francisco, for example.
Grime MC's in Montreal come from very different horizons: hip-hop, soca, d'n'b, dancehall, R&B etc. Language wise, they often use the local slang, which is a combination of French, English, Jamaican patois and English creole.
The future looks bright for Montreal's Grime scene. Thanks to Clovys TV, SB.TV (Smokey bars TV), Grime videos and documentaries are being broadcast in HD on television. There seems to be more interest than ever for Grime and the second half of 2009 should be interesting in terms of events.
Keeping supporting your local music scene,
Intoccabile (Guest Contributor)Share and Enjoy!