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The fifth edition of The Slice Tower Hamlets – Grime Special

The Slice‘s fifth issue is a special Grime edition to coincide with BBC’s new TV series Grime Kids released this November and celebrates the music’s genesis on the streets and estates around Roman Road.

This fifth issue of The Slice has been hard to put together. While we were working on it, someone close to me became very ill and needed constant support.

It meant I had to take personal leave when the deadlines for the designer and printers were looming. Luckily, friends, neighbours, family and the small team of two at The Slice rallied to help.  My personal network of support came together in a time of adversity to create this issue.

It struck me that this spirit of comradeship, this willingness to come together and help people in adversity, is the spirit that marked the evolution of grime music in Bow, the topic we celebrate in this issue to coincide with BBC’s Grime Kids, a new TV series based on DJ Target’s book of the same name.

Grime was born from a generation of young people living around Roman Road in the 1990s and early noughties who faced their own adversity and came together as a community to create a movement of music that provided a voice for the invisible and unheard.  

Distinctively, the grime music scene was made up of crews; collectives of young musicians, videographers, photographers, MCs and radio DJs who supported each other in unity to create music about life on East End housing estates.

Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Strider and Wiley, among others, all sprung from our neighbourhood and have inspired the likes of Dave, Kano, and Stormzy, helping to create a uniquely Black and British sound that has defined UK rap as being separate from US rap.

At a time when I am grateful for the support of my crew, I can see how crucial a sense of brotherhood was in creating one of the most significant musical developments in the UK. Whether or not grime is your sound, it shows what can be achieved as a community. 

Published by Social Streets C.I.C., the not-for-profit digital media company that publishes Roman Road LDN, this edition of The Slice features sustainable organisations and initiatives across Tower Hamlets showing that the climate emergency and the cost-of-living crisis can be fought side-by-side. 

The Slice is a biannual print magazine dedicated to Tower Hamlets. Published by Social Streets, The Slice showcases content from our four online sister titles Roman Road LDNBethnal Green LDNWhitechapel LDN and Poplar LDN.

As a social enterprise, Social Streets uses journalism to strengthen the community by exploring ideas around home and identity and helping people connect.

Social Streets’ founder Tabitha Stapely said: ‘The Slice is more thoughtful, more inspiring and more community-led than most local publications. 

‘Compared to more conventional local newspapers that have a more sensationalist and often inflammatory approach to news, we focus on constructive journalism that shows both sides of the argument and tries to find solutions to local issues.’

With 12,000 copies of The Slice available, you can pick up a magazine at any of the Idea Stores in Tower Hamlets as well as community centres such as Toynbee Hall, Poplar Union and Oxford House. Most of the cafes, pubs and shops along the Roman will also be stocked up with the mag, so next time you’re doing your shopping at the market make sure to pick up a copy. 

See our complete list of stockists.

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Tabitha Stapely

Tabitha Stapely is the founder of Social Streets C.I.C, a not-for-profit media company using journalism to strengthen communities, particularly those in disadvantaged or neglected areas. Prior, Stapely was a writer and editor for national titles including The Telegraph Saturday Magazine, Elle and Red magazines.

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