From the outside looking in, commentators will have you believe that grime is a one-dimensional genre incapable of breaking down its aggressive and raw foundations, stuck within the canon that lyrics have to be violent, misogynistic, and generally unfavourable to the average Joe.

Those deeply involved in the scene, however, will paint a very different picture, with the R&B-infused grime angle proving how diverse the sound can be. And whilst you wouldn't consider it big enough to be a sub-genre, R&G created impact amongst listeners by exchanging beats filled with frenetic energy with smoother joints that connected with them on a more emotional level. I first heard R&G being used as a descriptive term on DJ Cameo's BBC 1Xtra show over a decade ago, and there's always been one producer synonymous with the start and growth of the sound since: Terror Danjah. His Aftershock label—which doubled-up as a crew of MCs, producers and singers—was a pioneering base for the sound between 2003 and 2006.

While some producers attempted to keep the flame burning during his absence, it was Kelela's 2013-released project, Cut 4 Me, that served as a reminder of how fitting female vocals could be over grimey-yet-serene rhythms.

Here's a look back at 10 tracks that defined the short-lived R&G movement.


 

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