When Coral Springs resident MC Jumanji and his manager Sergio Mendes didn't hear the music they liked in South Florida, the pair decided to do something about it. They recently founded the label American Grime, named after their favorite strain of hip-hop. "Grime was a way for the London underground to express themselves," MC Jumanji explained. "They didn't copy rap from the U.S.; they found a new way to come at it. It's a perfect mix of dancehall and hip-hop."
The label is putting an American spin on the British genre with an upcoming debut release, American Grime: Disciples v1. It features a gaggle of Palm Beach artists including Evolve Di Selekta, Knoxz, and Cubs, all of who were ferreted out in an intense screening process. "We value passion for the genre and originality in our artists. Grime is on a huge wave of popularity right now, but we love hearing the different takes on the sound. Some go dark and minimalist with their tunes. Others go percussion-heavy. Others go super high energy. What's truly awesome about that kind of mix is that you truly hear the different influences coming together. We also love hard workers. It comes down to how hard an artist wants to grow. We have artists who have submitted entire EPs for our review before our first release is out. That says a lot about the kind of drive we respect."
MC Jumanji is impressed by all the talent in Broward and Palm Beach but thinks local audiences need to catch up to the commitment of the artists. "From what I've seen, the hip-hop scene in Broward is alive and well. I know plenty of dudes that have pure heart and talent. The problem isn't with talent, though. The fan base in Broward is weak at supporting their local musicians. If there isn't a headliner, people don't go out. It's a shame. I think there are plenty of great shows and versatile artists. If anything, that is a staple for the area. I've always loved those shows that involve poets and other types of vocalists that showcase Broward's talent."
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The label is busy throwing Grime parties throughout South Florida and also has tentative plans for solo EPs from MC Jumanji, Cubs, Argyle Bixby, and Crowell. But first comes its debut American Grime: Disciples v1, which Jumanji says will spawn a few sequels if all goes well. "Even though we are about to push this volume one release, we are already working on volumes two and three."