Before the days of iPhones, SBTV and widespread social media (Myspace was holding it down though) Channel U, and subsequently Channel AKA, gave grime fans the music they craved. Chief propagator of the grittiest and grimiest, Channel U gave the up-and-coming grime artists a platform to both present their lyrical talent, and capture audiences with their music videos. A Mixture of low-budget and more extravagant pieces graced Channel U’s screen, but the differences in these music videos represented the varying plethora of grime attitudes and styles. The videos gave emcees and groups the chance to experiment with image, or produce something memorable and fun. The whimsical and zany, represented by something like Roll Deep’s Shake a Leg, or the stripped down and serious, like P2J Project’s Hands In The Air or the Spun A Web remix, were equally vital in drawing attention to the grime scene, and they helped to forge a grime culture, identity, and ethos that is still evolving and developing today. Whilst it can be said that these early tracks and videos helped to lay the foundation for future grime evolution and development, it must also be said that Channel U videos are symbolic of a particular moment in grime history; and as such they are symbolic of a particular moment in each of our lives. They were, for a lot of us, the backdrop to those teenage years of chirpsing, infraredding sick phone themes, or representing your ends, your click, your clan or your tag name on MSN. So get nostalgic with us as we re-discover some of these old gems.
P2J – Hands In the Air
Nu Brand Flexxx – Gash By The Hour
Big Narstie, Shystie, L-man, Solo – Spun a Web Remix
Mr Wong – Not A Hater
Roll Deep – Shake A Leg
Dj Mondie (Flirta D, Ribz, Napper & Shizzle) – Pull Up Dat