Fabio and Grooverider

Fabio and Grooverider

John Cameron

2 min read

The Evolution of Black British Music Docuseries Debuts on BET UK

A five-part documentary series that highlights Black music in the U.K. has premiered on BET UK. The Evolution of Black British Music has thus far featured notable figures like Fabio & Grooverider, Goldie, and Roni Size — and it’s only an episode in.The pilot episode premiered on August 11th, focusing on jungle’s origins in Hackney, East London. The August 18th episode deals with the history of UK garage, and subsequent documentaries in the series will explore grime, AfroBashment, UK funky, road rap, and drill.

The Evolution of Black British Music (Promo) | BET UK

The Evolution of Black British Music is directed by Femi Oyeniran and Nicky “Slimting” Walker. The two previously worked on Against All Odds, a film on grime centered around the story of MC Active.

“We will show that beyond just being dance floor fillers, the genres reflected their time,” reads a description of the series. “Jungle was born out of post-Thatcherite youth disillusionment; U.K. garage rose to prominence during the heady days of New Labour; grime grew in prominence in youth clubs; U.K. funky and Afro swing were born out of a yearning for the good times and coincided with the coming of age of second-generation Africans; while drill is arguably born out the years of austerity, the closure of youth spaces, and the digitalization of the world.”

Dance music’s roots in Black culture are certainly not exclusive to Britain. From disco to house music to techno, U.S. dance culture largely originated in gay, Black and Latino communities (of New York, Chicago, and Detroit, in therespective case of each genre).

The influence of dub, reggae and sound system culture had been steeping in Jamaica long before that. When cross-pollinating with offshoots of the American dance music that gained popularity in the U.K. in the late ‘80s, it planted the seeds that would later become jungle and drum and bass.

Each of the five episodes of The Evolution of Black British Music run one hour in length.

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