Rough Trade Books of the Year 2017

Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2018

Hold Tight — Kindle (mobi)
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Hold Tight Paperback
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Hold Tight: Black Masculinity, Millennials & the Meaning of Grime by Jeffrey Boakye

HOLD TIGHT is a book about being black, British and born after 1980. It’s also about Grime.

Celebrating over fifty key songs that make up Grime’s DNA, Jeffrey Boakye explores the meaning of the music and why it has such resonance in the UK. Boakye also examines the representation of masculinity in the music and the media that covers it.

Both a guide to Grime and an investigation into life as a black man in Britain today, HOLD TIGHT puts seminal tracks like Moschino, Creeper, Next Hype, Too Many Man, Rhythm and Gash, I Can C U and… Do They Know It’s Christmas 2004, into perspective.

Insightful, very funny and stacked with sentences you’ll want to pull up and reload, HOLD TIGHT rolls deep, giving a context to Grime that hasn’t been given before. 

HOLD TIGHT playlist featuring all the tracks featured in the book is available on YouTube and Spotify, so now you can listen along while you read!

About the author

Jeffrey Boakye is a writer, teacher and music enthusiast from Brixton, now living and working in East London. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture. Jeffrey has taught English in London secondary schools and sixth form colleges since 2007.

Hold Tight is his first book.

Praise for Hold Tight

Boakye writes affectionately and incisively about the music, lyrics, and the social context of each of the 50 or so tracks featured, tracing their nuanced connections. It’s one of the best music books I’ve read and the YouTube playlist only makes it better.
John McGregor, The Guardian

...witty and perceptive, confident and charming—and its flow and timing are flawless.
New Statesman

One of the greatest books I’ve ever read.
– Sabrina Mahfouz

One of the most exciting book releases of the summer.

Jeffrey Boakye has written a fabulously textural polemic.
– DJ Magazine

Couldn't put it down... an essential starting point if you're looking to develop a wider knowledge of the genre.

As well as providing insightful historical context, Hold Tight gives sharp analysis of how black masculinity was depicted in the music.
The Fader

Boakye writes entertainingly and knowledgeably about subjects clearly close to his heart. As much as anything, it's an engaging analysis of grime from a personal perspective and just adds as another reminder of grime's cultural significance.
Complex UK

Further Reading

Interview with Jeffrey Boakye – Between Borders

Paperback ISBN: 978-1910312254

Ebook ISBN: 978-1910312261

Publication date: July 2017

Formats: Paperback / eBook