Was This 1994 Video Game Instrumental The First Grime Beat Ever?

The composer of Wolverine: Adamantium Rage spoke on the similarities between a short video game theme and the UK genre.

July 27, 2016

In 1994, Acclaim Entertainment released Wolverine: Adamantium Rage, a 16-bit action platform game based on the X-Men character. One aspect of the game that's stood the test of time is the soundtrack by Dylan Beale, especially the boss battle theme streaming above. Listen closely: for fans of grime music, it sounds exactly like a classic tune from the earliest days of the genre even though, as FACT notes, it was written a full eight years before Youngstar's "Pulse X," widely considered to be grime's seminal beat.


SBTV tracked Beale down for an interview. Around the time he was hired to write the game's soundtrack, Beale played in a jungle group, worked in a North London record shop, and "...was heavily influenced by reggae, hip hop, jungle and then eventually techno and hardcore," all genres key to the formation of grime music. The game's boss themes were the only tunes that resembled grime though, with most of the music opting for a west coast hip hop sound.

Acclaim Entertainment required that each piece of music have a sample space of 200kb or less. This tiny file size forced Beale to get creative. "I basically sampled an orchestral stab and the bass, a hi hat, snare, a few things like that, then I had to trim them down to minute sizes."

Read the whole interview here. Still not convinced? Listen to a few remixes of the Wolverine boss theme below, featuring acapellas from Tempa T and J-Wing.

Was This 1994 Video Game Instrumental The First Grime Beat Ever?