Many in grime claim to be ‘going on legendary’, as if we’re to remember them among the annals of Sainthood. Not that, probably, that is what they mean. If, as Flirta D claims of DJ Trends is true, that ‘he’s legendary’, can you imagine a monument atop a plinth nearby Westminster? ‘DJ Trends: known for slaying dragons at 140 beats per minute.’ Unlikely. Today, the gravity of legendary deeds are lessened, as is the time span required for such deeds to mature and become the stuff of myth. Today, ‘legendary’ operates on folded time, diminished attention spans; a shorthand for deep time, often ill-afforded.1
1. An older friend who skipped Germany in 1940 warned me once never to trust anyone who tells you they’re making history while in the act of whatever it is they are doing that is supposedly historical. She was talking of Nazi hubris, and the surprising effects of positive, powerful statements, which the music industry no doubt has learnt from. Few think on such universal scales these days. Relativists, we accept that things have their own orbits, their own temporalities, their own logics that warrant distinction. But that doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes know when something is important or, indeed, legendary. Maybe it’s a hunch. Always it comes from historical knowledge.