Boy Better Know’s Glastonbury slot was another milestone for grime in the mainstream

Rounding off a monumental weekend for grime and UK rap artists, Boy Better Know headlined The Other Stage tonight (25 June).

Skepta, JME, Wiley, Jammer, Shorty, Frisco and DJ Maximum dug through their shared catalogue of party-starting anthems during a set which certified the collective’s status as a UK headline act at a major level. In a recent Guardian interview ahead of the performance, JME told the paper, “We’re playing at big festivals now but we should have been playing at big festivals six years ago”.

The show opened with an interpolation of the classic grime Spaceship instrumental with Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town. After the sound of smashing glass, JME tore into Don’t @ Me from his 2015 LP, Integrity. Keen to avoid focusing too heavily on the Adenuga brothers, Jammer bounded on promptly for Murkle Man.

Other crowd favourites came in the form of JME’s 96 Fuckries and the Swindle-produced 123 from Frisco’s 2016 record System Killer. The repeated call-outs for energy were adhered to throughout. When Wiley raced out for Can’t Go Wrong, the ‘energy crew’ went into overdrive.

Skepta drew from the Mercury Prize winning Konnichiwa, treating the crowd to surefire classics like ManIt Ain’t Safe and – of course – man’s never been on the Other Stage when it’s Shutdown. That song might be well over a year old now and we’ve probably all heard it too many times. But there was no denying the pandemonium it brought about – rivalling Stormzy’s Know Me From for mosh-pit of the weekend. Interestingly, Skepta used the extended instrumental for the track which he used on the BRITs, giving the whole thing a definite grandeur.

As a group, they seemed to be very aware of the importance of the moment. Pyros, impressive visuals (the Tim & Barry video for That’s Not Me look especially iconic) and a raised platform for DJ Maximum at the controls successfully helped to elevate the performance to new levels.

Closing the show with a triumphant airing of Solo 45’s Feed Em To The Lions where Skepta went and got amongst it at the barrier with the fans, it felt like JME’s assertion that they’d been ready for the best part of a decade was all facts as “BBK” chants rang out across the farm.

Check out some snippets and shots below.

Shutdown #skepta #bbk #otherstage #glastonbury2017

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