Best Grime Songs Ever

If you love British rap and hip-hop, you’ll like grime music. A British invention, grime combines fast rap-style lyrics over intense beats and aggressive music.

However, if you’re a grime fan, you probably already know about the genre and are looking for new songs and artists to listen to. Without further ado, here are some of the best grime songs ever written, both classics and newer hits.

“Wot Do U Call It?” by Wiley

Song Year: 2004

One of the original grime hits, “Wot Do U Call It,” was on Wiley’s breakout album. The song has a bright beat, reminiscent of early 2000s British garage music, but soon overlays it with intense lyrics.

Wiley makes it very clear that he’s not a garage artist, saying it explicitly in the song and revealing it with his music style. Wiley began to change the music world with this single and introduced grime.

“Pow” by Lethal Bizzle

Song Year: 2004

Lethal Bizzle is a highly influential grime artist, and his song “Pow” took the British hip-hop world by storm. “Pow” is highly energetic and features Lethal Bizzle’s fast lyrics over the classic grime beat. This song is one of the most famous grime songs.

“Pow (Forward)” is the original version of the song, later re-released as simply “Pow” in 2011. However, both versions are iconic in the grime world.

“Queen’s Speech Ep. 4” by Lady Leshurr

Song Year: 2015

Lady Leshurr, also known as the “Queen of Grime,” was one of the first female grime artists to make it big on the scene. She is known for her intense lyrics, her ability to include banter and humor in her songs, and the stunning visuals in her music videos.

Lady Leshurr’s Queen’s Speech series is all excellent, but the most famous song is “Queen’s Speech Ep. 4.” She has also worked with other female grime artists to bring more women into the industry.

“Ps and Qs” by Kano

Song Year: 2005

“Ps and Qs” was one of the first huge grime songs, released as a single and later as part of an album. It took the world by storm and made Kano a household name long before he played Sully in the Netflix show “Top Boy.”

Kano is known for his intense lyrics and emotional honesty, paired with some amazing beats. “Ps and Qs” began his long and ongoing career.

“Bonkers” by Dizzee Rascal

Song Year: 2009

Dizzee Rascal is one of the most successful grime artists of all time and has had several songs make it to number one on British billboards (you’ll also see several of his songs on this list). “Bonkers” was his second number-one hit in 2009, cementing him as a staple of the grime genre.

“Bonkers” is a classic grime song with banter, beats, and quick lyrics. Many fans listen to this song slowed down so they can catch his incredibly fast rapping.

“I Spy” by Skepta

Song Year: 2007

Skepta has several songs on this list because he’s one of the most iconic British grime artists and rappers of all time. This song is famous for the backing beat and the dozens of remixes it inspired (including an instrumental version almost as popular as the original).

“I Spy” is one of Skepta’s greatest hits and continues to be an iconic original grime song. It showcases the garage and trap inspirations of grime.

“Street Fighter Riddim” by D Double E

Song Year: 2010

Although early grime songs intended to show that they were not any other genre, the later artists began to merge and meld with other types of rap to experiment. D Double E was originally a dubbing artist but made it big with his grime and dub mixes.

“Street Fighter Riddim” is a classic dub/grime sound with heavy beats and fast lyrics. It’s clever, it’s exciting, and it’s fun to listen to.

“Dance Wiv Me” by Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris

Song Year: 2008

We’ve already heard from Dizzee Rascal with his fast rapping about his life, but we haven’t heard his more romantic side. Dance Wiv Me was one of the original grime masterpieces, mixing garage music, electronic hip-hop, and originality to create a new genre.

Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris collaborated to make a song that would remain popular for over a decade and is still played regularly at concerts and festivals.

“That’s Not Me” by Skepta

Song Year: 2016

Once again hitting home with his controversial lyrics and excellent background music, Skepta takes a stand against the commercialism of the music industry in this song. It features JME, another grime artist, and Skepta’s younger brother.

With “That’s Not Me,” Skepta signaled a renaissance for the genre and cemented the outsider aspect of grime music. Even though it’s popular, the genre is supposed to push societal standards and boundaries.

“Man Don’t Care” by JME

Song Year: 2015

Although grime music was most popular in the early 2000s, the 2010s saw a renaissance, mostly thanks to Skepta and JME. JME was inspired by his older brother’s success but made his name with signature beats and more mosh-pit-inspired raps.

“Man Don’t Care” was one of the biggest hits of 2015, featuring a strong beat and incredibly fast rapping. JME’s beats are so “on fire” that the microphone in the music video is literally aflame.

“Side by Side” by Sir Spyro

Song Year: 2015

Sir Spyro is still an active grime artist, releasing music to this day. He often collaborates with other artists and features three other grime rappers on “Side by Side.” The collaboration is fitting, given the theme of the song.

Grime music is often sad and features in some of the angriest or most depressing rap music. However, “Side by Side” talks about the joys of friendship through grime music and the culture that surrounds it.

“Game Over” by Female Takeover

Song Year: 2010

In 2010, the most famous ladies of grime got together and put together an album. Their band name was Female Takeover, and the group included Lady Leshurr, Ruff Diamondz, Cherry V, Adot, Envy, RoxXxanne, Lioness, Mz. Bratt, and Baby Blue.

These ladies and this song took the grime world by storm, and it was one of the most popular songs. It also helped the less well-known women in the group get their individual music out when given screen time with legends like Lady Leshurr.

“Serious” by JME

“Serious” by JME

Song Year: 2008

Before JME became famous, he released music with the help of his brother and others in the grime industry. “Serious” wasn’t a big hit when it came out, but it became one of the most popular songs later after JME hit it big.

“Serious” is on one of JME’s first albums, Famous? It shows a young JME questioning where his life will go and how serious he must be to become famous. Given his popularity after this album, it’s an interesting look at an up-and-coming star.

“Bow E3” by Wiley

Song Year: 2007

Wiley was one of the original grime artists, and “Bow E3” was one of the first big grime hits. Originally released in 2007, this song has been remixed and sampled many times over. It’s one of the biggest grime hits and has been at the top of the charts in several categories multiple times.

“Shut Up” by Stormzy

Song Year: 2017

Released independently online, “Shut Up” by Stormzy proved to the world that grime isn’t dead. Shut Up was originally written and released as a freestyle rap, but its initial success online led to its re-release.

The song has excellent beats and rapping and features all the classic grime aspects with a more modern twist. It also showcases the camaraderie and friendship of the grime music scene.

“3 Wheel Ups” by Kano

Song Year: 2016

“3 Wheel-Ups” is another grime Renaissance song, this time created by one of the original grime artists. Kano came back with an album in 2016, surprising the music industry and ending up with several number-one hits on the British billboard. Between this song and “That’s Not Me,” grime music made a huge comeback in 2016.

“3 Wheel-Ups” is popular because of Kano’s lyrics, honesty, and featuring Giggs, another grime star.

“Thiago Silva” by Dave and AJ Tracey

Song Year: 2016

In a touching tribute to the soccer player Thiago Silva, Dave and AJ Tracey show the lighter side of grime music. They show off their football jerseys and team pride while rapping in a traditional grime beat and style.

This song highlights the communal aspect of grime and how much culture plays into the music.

“Da Maximum” by Giggs

Song Year: 2022

Although featured on several other songs on this list, this is the first time we’ve seen Giggs with his own. This isn’t because he’s not one of the best British rappers in the game. Instead, Giggs mostly focuses on traditional rap and hip-hop and doesn’t make many solo grime music.

However, “Da Maximum,” Giggs’ latest song and a popular new release, is solidly in the grime genre. He uses classic rap techniques over a grime beat and joins his many collaborators to

“Bring Them All/Holy Grime” by Wiley

Song Year: 2017

Wiley is better known for “Bow E3” and some of his other early grime hits, but he came back in a big way with “Holy Grime.” A tribute to the genre itself, this song encapsulates the culture and the music that the world has grown to love so much.

This song is not only a staple in the genre but a staple in the grime community. It shows Wiley’s importance to the genre and grime’s importance to British culture.

“Overseas” by D Block Europe and Central Cee

Song Year: 2021

Although most classic grime songs are from the early 2000s and 2010s, the genre is far from dead. Recently, D Block Europe and Central Cee released a collaboration that shared all the hallmarks of a classic grime piece but added a little bit of modern flair.

If you want to add a modern grime piece to the list of best grime songs of all time, “Overseas” is a great addition. It’s sure to become a lasting classic.

“Wifey” by Tinie Tempah

Song Year: 2007

Tinie Tempah hasn’t been as active in recent years as other early Grime artists, but his initial songs are a staple in the grime genre. Wifey describes his woman and offers many of the classic tropes of early grime, from fast beats to faster rhymes and rapping.

Tinie Tempah’s later songs weren’t as popular, but he has made a comeback with remixes of his older works, such as “Wifey.”

“When I’m ‘Ere” by Roll Deep

Song Year: 2005

In a rare case, this song was the most popular of a debut album but wasn’t the album’s released single. Roll Deep debuted in 2005 with “In the Deep End,” and “When I’m ‘Ere” quickly became a crowd favorite.

The song received more attention in 2011 when Wiley and Skepta released a remix.

“Next Hype” by Tempa T

Song Year: 2012

“Next Hype” is one of the most famous grime songs, especially outside of the regular grime community. It’s known all over Britain for its inflammatory lyrics and has had several moments in the spotlight as a club anthem and a popular protest song.

Like most grime songs, “Next Hype” features heartfelt, gritty lyrics over a fast beat and is full of the talent of young Tempa T.

“Body 2” by Tion Wayne

Song Year: 2021

In one of the greatest collabs of the year, Tion Wayne brought together Arrdee, Russ Millions, 3X3E1, and several other up-and-coming grime artists to create “Body 2.” It was an anthem of coming together and getting through the late days of the global pandemic and remains popular as a grime song.

“Brand New Day” by Dizzee Rascal

Song Year: 2003

Dizzee Rascal has already been on this list a few times, but it would be wrong not to include Brand New Day. This early grime anthem was part of the first grime revolution and helped the genre become separate from garage music, electronic, and standard British hip-hop. For an early example of grime, Dizzee Rascal is a great choice.

Top Grime Songs, Final Thoughts

With all of these songs, your ultimate grime playlist is set. From Kano to Lady Leshurr, these songs make up some of the best and most original grime lyrics and beats to exist. Inside or outside of Great Britain, grime music is catching on.

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